Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights. Traditionally, small oil-burning lamps called "diyas" are lit. Rangoli, intricate designs made of coloured powdered rice, are made on the floor at the entrances to welcome guests. For the celebrations, women of India decorate their hands with mehndi, a dye made of henna painted in intricate designs. Children can participate in making their own versions of each of these Diwali traditions.
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Things you need
- Air-drying white clay
- Craft gems and sequins
- Tea candle
- Coloured sand
- Shape templates (optional)
- White craft glue
- Paint brush
- Black construction paper
- White or flesh-coloured construction paper
- Fine-point permanent markers
Take a piece of air-drying white clay about the size of a golf ball. Mold and knead it until it is pliable and easy to work with.
Shape the clay into a small bowl shape, just large enough to hold a tea candle inside. Leave it round, or pinch one of the edges to make it more of a "teardrop" shape.
Press decorations into the sides of the clay, such as sequins, little gems and glitter. Make pretty designs all the way around.
Allow the clay to air dry according to instructions. When it's dry, place the tea candle in the bowl. Light your diya lamp for your Diwali celebration.
Take a piece of black construction paper. Draw a geometric design on it with the white chalk. Make it fancy. Use a ruler to make straight lines, or templates with shapes to make the designs you like.
Put some white craft glue on a paper plate or in a small paper cup. Using a paint brush, spread some glue along the chalk lines, or fill in some of the sections of the design. Work with one colour at a time, so only paint over the sections you want to be the same colour.
Sprinkle coloured sand onto the glue. Shake off the excess.
Paint some more sections with white glue and apply your second sand colour. Shake off the excess. Continue this method until you have coloured all of the sections.
Allow the glue to dry. Display your designs at the entrance for the festivities.
Place the child's hand, fingers spread apart, on a piece of white or flesh-coloured construction paper. Trace around it carefully with a pencil.
Cut out the hand shape with a scissor.
Show the child pictures of mehndi if you can find some if they don't know what it is, for inspiration. Allow the child to make flowers, swirls and designs on the hand cut-out with the markers.
Hang the hands as part of your decorations.