The best thing about the festive season is that everyone in the family from the youngest member to the eldest wants to get involved in the pre-festival preparations. Dussehra and Navratri are the perfect occasions to get creative and try out some easy DIY decoration ideas. Children love being involved in the preparation process and being helpful around the house, as it makes them feel important.
In southern India, it is that time of the year when households are busy preparing for the Golu display, while in western India, youngsters are gearing up for Dandiya. In the North, Dussehra sees the celebration of Ramlila, when the effigy of Ravana is burnt on Vijayadashami day. Adults and children both dress in their fineries and love to visit family and friends.
At home, try to design crafts to bring in the festivities. During Navratri, it is always a good idea to involve children, notwithstanding the mess they might make, because it also gives you a good opportunity to bond with the children.
DIY craft ideas for Dussehra
Here are five lovely DIY craft ideas that you can try with your children this Navratri/Dussehra:
Decoration for Golu doll
We have used a beautiful Lord Murugan doll as the centrepiece for the decoration. You can use any doll of your choice.
Craft pearls and sequins
Golden coloured craft paper
One small stick
Line the peacock feather in the background with sequins and add some pearls.
For Lord Murugan's weapon, cover the stick with gold paper using glue. Cut out a leaf shape from the gold chart paper, for the top of the weapon. You can make an attractive design on this paper and line it with sequins.
Use glitter to enhance the stick. Use some sequins to line Murugan's neck for a bejewelled effect.
Elephant wall hanging
Most children love elephants and that is why they will enjoy making this fun craft. You can use this as a decoration at your door entrance or enhance your Golu display.
Shiny craft paper of any color
Sequins, beads and pearls
Black sketch pen
Make an outline of an elephant on coloured chart paper. Neatly draw the shape of the animal, if you or your child are good at drawing. Otherwise, download an online template, and cut three elephant shapes in three different colours.
Cut the golden/shiny craft paper in squares, to correctly fit the middle of the elephant's body. Stick with glue.
Decorate the elephant's legs and head with glitter. Add pearls, sequins of your choice on the elephant's head to make it look festive.
Outline the golden paper on the body with sequins and draw the elephants eyes with a black sketch pen.
Take a satin ribbon and make a loop at the top and staple it, so you can hang it.
Stick the elephants, one below the other, to the ribbon.
Festive painted diya
This is a great craft for children to do, as it is extremely easy and looks beautiful. It can be used to decorate your rangoli or placed all around the Golu display for a dramatic effect.
Acrylic paint (in various colours of your choice)
Pearls and glitter to decorate
Immerse the diyas in water for some time and dry them. This is to prevent the diya from absorbing too much paint.
Once dried, paint them in your favourite colour.
You can paint the lamps in different colours and decorate them according to your choice.
Ask your children to use their imagination to decorate the lamps with pearls and sequins.
Create a nice design with the lamps to enhance your rangoli.
Paper flower garlands
These will look amazing when hung on the doorway in layers or as a decoration for the puja room.
Few sheets of coloured crepe paper (red, yellow, orange, green)
Pipe cleaners or rubber band
A long, sturdy string
Glitter pen (optional)
Cut five rectangular-shaped crepe paper pieces in orange and place them on top of each other.
Neatly hold them together and fold in a zig-zag pattern. You have to do this carefully so that it doesn't slip. It is better if a parent does this step.
Once you have folded the whole stack of papers, secure the middle with a rubber band or pipe cleaner. You can also use a string to tie it.
Then, cut the sharp outer edges of the paper to make it rounded.
Carefully spread out the folds on both to resemble a flower.
With green crepe paper, make leaf shapes and use them in sets of two.
String the flowers and the leaves alternately, with the help of a needle. You could use a glitter pen to coat the string so that it looks festive. Use craft glue to secure the flowers.
Let it dry. Then tie on the doorway or display it anywhere you want. You can many garlands in a plethora of colours.
Thermocol plate rangoli
This comes out beautifully and children can try their hand at this. It will be a sparkling addition to your decorations.
10-inch thermocol plate
1/2 cup sabudana seeds (Sago)
Turmeric powder (haldi)
Take a 10-inch thermocol plate and stick a colourful glitter paper to the inner circle.
Draw a rangoli of your choice.
Stick sabudana seeds along the outline.
Alternatively, fill it with haldi and kumkum.
Dussehra crafts for preschoolers
Check out the easy Dussehra craft of making Ravana at home with your child.