Diwali Day at Hammersmith Nursery
Today we are Celebrating Diwali! Diwali is the biggest Hindu Festival in the year. It is also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists around the world! Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. Diwali is known as the ‘festival of lights‘ because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called ‘Diyas’. Many common ways of celebrating Diwali include fireworks, music, dancing, eating lots of delicious food, and decorating the home with beautiful candles, lights, and patterns such as Rangoli patterns.
Here at Willows Pre-School, we also celebrated Diwali Day! With food, decorations, dancing, and music, we had so much fun! Our babies celebrated today by making Rangoli patterns. Rangoli patterns are beautiful, colourful patterns made during Diwali, usually made with coloured flour, rice, or chalk. Our babies made Rangoli patterns by stamping bright coloured paint onto Rangoli stencils with sponges, as well as colouring in a large Rangoli pattern on a tuff tray using chalk. They also created a sensory tray filled with colourful rice, glittery stars, and sparkly pipe cleaners to represent fireworks. They also listened to Indian music and danced, playing musical statues, and listening to the different types of instruments used in the music.
Our toddlers celebrated similarly today. The toddlers read the story of Rama and Sita and looked at the characters of the story. They then created their own Diya lamps using paper plates they decorated with glitter and paint! They talked about what the lamps symbolise and talked about fireworks before creating their own fireworks in a tuff tray using stickle bricks!
The preschool children also read the story of Rama and Sita. They looked at the story in a little more detail. After reading the story the children recapped the events in the story and did a sequencing activity, putting the events of the story in order. They also looked at each character in the story and talked about their role in the story and what they could have done differently. The preschool children created their own lamps using salt dough. They decorated the with glitter and sequins, ready to be taken home and filled with an electric candle to complete them. The preschoolers also created fireworks paintings today. They talked about how fun fireworks can be and how to stay safe when using them. They learn how to hold a sparkler (using a pencil to demonstrate) and learned how to keep their pets safe if they hear fireworks.
We were also very lucky to have a member of staff talk to us about Diwali and what it means to her and her family. She wore a beautiful Sari to show the children and taught them a dance! She played some traditional music for the children and showed them a dance before encouraging them to copy her and join in, the children had a great time, and we can’t wait for the next celebration to begin: Halloween!