At Willows Pre-School we value multiculturalism as London becomes more and more diverse and we realise there is a need to incorporate activities that reflect that. Young children benefit greatly from early childhood programs that embrace their culture during their early years. In that way, the children are prepared to be more accepting and open-minded. Therefore, we try to celebrate as many holidays from different religions and cultures as possible, and Holi is one of them.
Holi is a Hindu festival that has been celebrated since ancient times. It is a way to welcome spring and symbolizes a new beginning where people can release all their inhibitions and start fresh. On the first day of the festival, a bonfire is lit to symbolically burn away all the bad and give way to a colourful and vibrant new future.
At Willows we love diversity and -being a multicultural environment- of course, we celebrate Holi. We read the story of Holi to the children and discuss how good won over evil. The children are asked to be brought to school wearing white tops and they are given coloured powder which they would throw at each other. Due to bad weather conditions, we could not do this activity but we came up with different colourful art ideas. The children painted their hands with as many colours as they like and then printed it on paper. The children were given a 2D paper that was shaped like a T-shirt and they painted with as many colours as they wanted, using bonbons and pegs. The children in the baby room also celebrated by getting messy with colours and they painted with their fingers or hands.
Last, we also encourage parents and teaching staff of Indian descent or origin to talk to the children about Holi and what they do to celebrate in their homes.
A member of staff who is actually visiting her family in India at the moment, sent us some pictures of Holi celebrated in her hometown, which we showed to the children and discussed it.
The children have had a lot of fun with the activities their teachers prepared for them. It was definitely a very colourful day! Hopefully, when the weather is a little better we can come together to throw some coloured powder at our clothes!