Written by Sahana Charan and published on 13 July 2021.
Make this Diwali memorable and fun for your kids despite the pandemic. Here are some amazing games and activities for a crackling festival of lights at home.
For the Chandrans, Diwali meant getting up early for the ritual bath and prayers, distributing homemade sweets to their neighbours, and visiting family and friends for celebrations. In the evening, all the children in their apartment complex would get together to light diyas and burst a few crackers under the supervision of adults.
However, this year, like everything else, festivals are also different. There are restrictions on mingling or going out to celebrate with loved ones and on large-scale community get-togethers. The Chandran family's festive fervour is still intact though, and they are thinking of interesting ways to have a blast indoors - including fun-filled activities for their little ones.
With a little ingenuity, you can also plan a sparkling Diwali within the confines of your home and ensure that your children have loads of fun. If you live in a gated community, which has taken all necessary precautions against COVID-19, you could even invite a few children from the complex over for a low-key evening of fun and games. Ensure safety measures and don't forget the masks and sanitizers. Here are some 'illuminating' ideas for games and activities to make this festival a joyous one.
This is a game we used to play as children at birthday parties and family get-togethers, and it has always been a source of enjoyment and laughter. Let all the participants sit around in a circle and ask one of the parents to initiate the game by saying a sentence to begin a story. The first participant must take the story forward by adding her own sentence to it and telling it aloud. The next participant does the same and so forth. The fun element comes when some of the children forget the words and make up their own sentences. The person who is not able to remember all the previous sentences loses the round. This game is usually played by whispering the story to the participant next to you. But in COVID times, it is better to maintain necessary distance unless you are playing it only with your kids.
Try to make a story from Indian mythology which has a Diwali connect. For example, you can choose to say how the festival of lights was celebrated on the streets of Ayodhya when Lord Ram came back after victory in battle.
All of us love decorating our homes with diyas, twinkling string lights, flowers and beautiful rangoli designs during Deepavali. So, why not organise a rangoli competition among the kids in your family? Ask each participant to make a colourful and innovative rangoli in a minute and the one with the most imaginative design will be the winner. Your children will enjoy competing with you and using their creative skills.
Encourage your children to use flowers, colourful lamps and natural materials such as turmeric to make designs that depict the festivities. Make sure you keep an eye on young children if they are using diyas.
Most children love the mischief and energy involved in playing the game 'Musical Chairs.' Get all the members of the family to participate, because the more the merrier! Create a festive ambience while playing the game and get the children to help with the preparations.
Make the game Diwali-themed by sticking pictures of different types of sweets on the back of the chairs. When the music stops, the host of the game must announce the name of a sweet and the person sitting on the chair with the picture of that item is out of the game.
Use the beautiful Japanese art of 'origami' to have some crafty fun with your little ones this Diwali. You can teach your child to make lovely origami paper flowers, lanterns, butterflies and decorations, through simple video tutorials available online.
Get your child to use colourful origami pieces like paper garlands and lanterns to decorate the whole house for the festival of lights. Your little one will enjoy the activity, while also adding a festive element to the celebrations.
Tambola is a game mostly played by adults, where the players are given tickets with numbers printed on them. The person conducting the game calls out numbers and participants who find them on their tickets have to mark the numbers. The player who is first to mark all the numbers is the winner. You can play a similar Diwali-themed game with your children and give out small prizes for the winners.
Print out your own custom Tambola sheets of tickets, which have Diwali-inspired motifs such as lamps, brass vessel, rocket, sparklers and so on instead of numbers.
Don't we all love playing Pictionary as a family? Double the fun by involving your children in a game of Diwali-themed Pictionary. Make your own Pictionary cards with words and names of objects connected to the festival of lights. You could colour-code them according to the level of difficulty. The team that guesses the maximum number of words based on the drawings is the winner. Your children will love the innovative, festive twist.
Instead of regular words, have cards with categories of different words connected to the festival of lights. You can use coloured chart paper to make your own cards.
This game will work well with younger kids, who are getting restless about staying at home and not celebrating Diwali with their friends. It is also a lot of fun when parents and children play this game together. All you have to do is make drawings or paste pictures on chits, including those of gods and goddesses. Include pictures of Goddess Lakshmi, which the participants have to find. Make many of these chits, fold them and mix together in a large bowl. Ask the participants to pick the chits one by one. The child who gets maximum number of chits with the Lakshmi motif on them wins.
This will bring out the artistic skills of your little ones. Provide each participant with a medium-sized plain Diwali diya and plenty of art and craft supplies such as paints in different colours, glitter, sequins, beads and glue. Allot a time limit of about 30-45 minutes to finish the decoration. Appreciate all the children for their effort and creativity.
1. Ensure all the materials being used for the games have been sanitised well. Also, make sure your children wash their hands before and after every activity.
2. For any activity involving lighting up lamps or burning crackers etc, ensure it is always under adult supervision.
3. Keep an eye on young children when using rangoli powder, glitter, glue and so on.
4. Take all necessary precautions such as wearing masks, using sanitizers and maintaining social distancing when involving people other than immediate family members in the activities.
Let the festival of lights bring brightness into your lives and spread cheer among your family. In these tough times, bonding with your loved ones and sharing laughter through games and activities will make your Diwali one to remember.
About the author:
Written by Sahana Charan on 10 November 2020.
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