Diwali Ideas and Activities for Preschoolers

Diwali is one of the biggest, brightest and colorful festivals of India. In fact, the festivity begins several weeks before the day of actual festival. Some parts of India celebrate Diwali as a five day long festival and in some other regions, it is only a day long festival celebrated in a grand manner. Regardless of number of days of festivity, Diwali is the day that brings a lots of joy and cheerfulness all over country.

Now days, most of the festivals are celebrated in schools too. Especially, preschools and day care centers celebrate almost all festivals and carnivals in a colorful manner following the rituals and traditions. The reason behind the celebration is to cheer up kids and helping them learn about the culture and traditions of India and also to make them enjoy the festival.

So, kiddies, especially preschoolers and kindergarten children almost celebrate Diwali before the actual day of celebration. A pre Diwali bash is organized in most of the children

Following are the few Diwali activities that can bring a lot of joy to kids.

Decoration of Diyas


When it comes to Diwali celebration, all we think about is the lights and effervescence of the carnival. It is the festival of lights, which is incomplete without lighting up colorful diyas.

Decoration of diyas aka lamps is one of the interesting and functional activity for preschoolers. You can buy the plain, eco-friendly and unpainted diyas made of clay and let the diyas be decorated by the kiddies. For decoration, you can buy some clay paints, rhinestones, glue, tube paints, ribbons, etc. These things are easily available in crafts store and fancy stores.

Instead of giving the kids too many decorative items, you can just give two or three items. For example,

  1. Two clay diyas
  2. Gold color / white color or red color paint
  3. Ribbon
  4. Glue

You can supply each child a set of clay diyas, probably a couple of clay diyas and a few pieces of decorative items with brushes and glues.  You can teach children how to use different decorative items to make the clay diyas colorful. Alternatively, you can ask the kids to paste the rhinestones to the decorated clay diyas as an activity. Each child is unique and each decorated diya look different from others.

A few ideas for painting the diyas in simple ways.

  • Paint white color or gold color outside and or onside the diyas.
  • Put dots in red color at the middle of the pots across circling the pot.
  • Cut a small piece of ribbon and glue it to the diya.

Divide the kids into two or three groups.

You can ask first group to color the inner part of the diya and the second group to pain the outer part. (Of course, give diyas to each child in all the groups).

After completion, the next group can decorate the diya by putting dots or pasting rhinestones to the diyas.  For preschoolers, this will be easy to do and they’ll enjoy a lot doing this craft!

Candle Decorations

Instead of diyas, you can also go for candle decorations. Buy plain white candles for children and children can splash glitters on the candle or wrap the candles with colorful ribbons or papers.

Greeting Card Activity

Greeting card activity is one of the important and popular among the preschoolers. Kids would have already aware about making greeting cards for various occasions. To make greeting cards for Diwali is not an usual activity. Capturing the essence of the festival in the greeting card is essential to show off the uniqueness of Diwali.

So, you can tell the story of Diwali to the kids (which also forms an activity for preschoolers as a part of Diwali celebration) and explain the importance and simple traditions that are attached to the celebration. For instance, Ganga Snan, lighting diyas, wearing new, colorful and embellished clothes, bursting crackers, eating a lot of sweets and rich foods, etc. that all form important part of of Diwali. You can also tell them about how to celebrate eco friendly Diwali. To know this in their formative years will make them responsible citizens in the future. You can ask the kids to create greeting card based on the core celebration of Diwali.

You can ask the child to include the specialties of Diwali in crafting the greeting cards. Some of the greeting card ideas for Diwali include,

  1. Drawing lamps or diyas in round, oval, small and big sizes with burning flame.
  2. Drawing crackers on the card
  3. Simple yet beautiful drawings representing Diwali

Just give the kids some paper and paints, crayons and color pencils. Provide some source of inspiration through images, example cards, etc! The little geniuses will definitely bring a big smile on your face.

Rangoli Coloring

Kids love rangoli coloring. Rangoli coloring makes a fun filled and joyous activity for the children. Create plain rangoli designs featuring the highlights of Diwali celebration like diyas, candles, floral decorations, etc. Simply, you can draw floral rangoli and ask children to color it.


Kids, from India or not, love coloring Rangoli designs!

Lakshmi Foot Print Painting

Diwali is attributed to Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Lighting lamps and making the atmosphere bright is symbolic of inviting Goddess Lakshmi to stay with her devotees.

Drawing Lakshmi foot print is one of the traditions followed in many homes during Diwali celebration. Usually the Lakshmi fosot prints are drawn at the entrance of the home in red color with colorful and embellishing decors.

You can ask the children to paint the Lakshmi foot prints with red color and golden decorations. Ask the kiddies to color the foot prints in either of two ways.

  1. Coloring the Lakshmi foot print or drawing the Lakshmi foot on the floor using color powders.
  2. Coloring the Lakshmi foot print on a cardboard.

Create a demo by coloring a pair of Lakshmi foot print for the kids. Create multiple pair of foot drawings scattered for the kids. Let the kids color the foot. Alternatively, give them the cards printed with plain foot prints and let them color it.

Instead of giving them the foot prints and let them paint the foot print, you can ask them draw their foot print and color it as Lakshmi foot.

Make groups of two. Ask one child to wet the foot and place the foot on the floor. Let the other child to mark the shape of the foot. Repeat the same with other child. Since preschoolers are too young, everyone would love to get the print of their foot. So, both kids can draw the foot print. Motivate the kids to color their foot prints.

A Diwali Collage

Collage is a beautiful collection of memories to cherish forever. Create groups of four or five kids together.

Give every child a board or a chart paper to create Diwali collage.  Make them paste some interesting images, colorful designs representing Diwali, on this board.

Encouragethem to decorate the collage board with red and yellow papers. Red and yellow creates the Diwali festivity mood!

Colorful Crackers

This is yet another interesting activity for the kids. Kids can make their own, safe crackers for the Diwali.

Things needed include, cardboards, cardboard tubes, cardboard boxes, chart papers, aluminum foils, random glittering papers, color papers, glue and scissors. You can also use paper scraps cut into long thin pieces.

The base to this activity is cardboards in different shapes and sizes. If you don’t get cardboards, use cardboard tubes and boxes. Cut the cardboards and create triangle shapes, square and tube boxes with an opening.

Paste colorful glittering papers on the cardboard. Cut the aluminum foil, color papers and paper scraps into thin long pieces, just like shredded vegetable. Kids cannot do this part on their own. Not many preschoolers can handle scissors! So, teachers can help them by preparing the colorful papers.

Stick the shredded paper (mix the colors) into the cardboard boxes.

The crackers are ready!

Slideshows and Story Telling

Diwali celebrations have many interesting legends associated with the origin of the festivals. You can narrate the story to the kids as a part of Diwali activities for the kids.

Diwali is a 5 day celebration and you have at least 5 stories for the kids. If not, just narrate the story of Naraka to tell them the importance of Narak Chaturdashi. Visual presentation attracts a lot of kids. Put a slideshow narrating the story of Diwali. You can play the story for a few days and create a quiz!

Diwali is the festival of lights. Kids have plenty of holidays and even would have enjoyed the pre-diwali bash at schools. Even the toddlers could capture the essence of the festivity and fun. You can make your little ones take part in not only Diwali celebration but also in preparation for Diwali at home.

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