Holi – a festival of colours and fun for all. This is a festival that is especially enjoyed by children, because there isn’t another festival that allows them to be as boisterous as Holi does. Perhaps it is the vibrant colours, perhaps it is the freedom to be able to do what they want, and how they want. The fact that there aren’t many limits to the amount of time they can spend drenching each other with their pichkaris or the amount of colour they can apply that makes Holi find favour with children.
All we need to do as adults is to channelise their festive energies so as to make it safe, and yet enjoyable. If it can be turned into an experience where they learn something fun, it is even better.
Here are DIY holi things you can do at home with kids…
1. Make safe, non-toxic colours
Ideally for this, one needs to start collecting petals of colourful flowers at least a month in advance so they can be dried and powdered at home. However, if you have not been able to do this, you could still make some colours at home. For example, mix a small bowl each of rice flour and wheat flour and mix in half a bowl of turmeric powder to make a gorgeous, totally safe yellow powder. Besan (gram flour) mixed with turmeric yields a brighter yellow. Red can be made by using red sandalwood paste – kids will love making this. You can make a bright magenta wet colour by peeling a beetroot, cutting it in half, and putting each part in a bucket of water overnight. Voila! Bring out the water guns! Involve them in this activity and tell them the benefit of each ingredient.
2. Fruit Kebabs for the little guests
If you are clever, Holi can be a great way to help kids make friends with varied fruits. There isn’t any elaborate recipe for this amazing healthy snack that you can actually serve to their friends and to them. It is just a ‘funkier’ version of a fruit salad. Slice the fruits and get them to slide small cubes onto skewers in a rainbow pattern. It’s easy to find fruits to ape VIBGYOR colours – black grapes, kiwi cubes, pineapple pieces, oranges, apples or strawberries – the sky is the limit. Add a little sprinkle of chaat masala or a drizzle of strawberry sauce to make them yummier.
3. Holi Cards
Get them to make colourful Holi cards – either draw out their own themes – or (especially for younger kids), use vegetable stamps or wooden block printing blocks to stamp them onto paper. Let them express their creativity for friends and family using varied techniques. Use an old toothbrush to pick up some watercolour from the bottle, and use a finger so that the bristles release a spray onto the paper. You could even simply put splashes of paints onto paper and then blow the paint to create whimsical patterns. Another technique I feel kids would love is to doodle shapes with wax crayons and then use a hairdryer to make the crayons melt into different patterns.
4. Their own Holi clothes
Get basic plain coloured t-shirts. If they are white, it’s even better – and let them go crazy painting it! True it could get spoilt for Holi, but you could use old t-shirts too!
5. Holi Balloon Crush
Well hitting someone with water balloons is not good. But dunking someone in a large basin of water balloons is okay. Fill up a large basin or inflatable pool with water balloons and help the kids into it. Play some music – or get the kids to sing as the dance and burst the water balloons with their stomping.
Go ahead, let them get their hands dirty doing something fun this Holi!
Have any more ideas? Please share in the comments below.
Text by Teenu Jolly
Teenu Jolly is a respected name in the domain of early learning. She is Director Shemrock Smiles, and also Master Franchise of Shemrock in Panchkula.