Showing posts with label Diwali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diwali. Show all posts

Friday, October 10, 2014

Diwali party ideas for kids

We like to parday! No, that's not some vague pirate custom I'm suddenly into; it is how 'parties' are pronounced in these parts by the resident five year old and her bunch of gal pals thanks to 'Race 2' and the ever popular 'Parday on my mind'. 'Tis the season of light and sparklers and with Diwali round the corner, a friend and I are planning to co-host a Diwali Parday for our two five year old daughters and their motley bunch of party loving friends. Last year, inspired by all the Diwali parties for grown ups happening around us, we had hosted a mini Diwali party for the kids and it was a huge hit. The kids had a blast and the mommies were only too happy to get the kids off their hands and doing something fun while they did their own Diwali prep (we hosted the party two days before the Lakshmi Pujan day). It was also a great way for kids to experience the festival while bonding with their friends and have something to do during their break from school. This year, motivated by all the Diwali love we got last year, we're hosting a Diwali party on a larger scale for the little ones and I thought it would be a good idea to blog about it for other moms looking for some fun Diwali ideas for their children. So here's a quick lowdown on the 'Parday' of the season!

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Who, Where, How, When 
 These party ideas are most appropriate for children in the 4-7 years age group, but with a little tweaking and customization (ideas for some of which are included below) you can make this party rock even for children in a slightly lower or higher age bracket. We are hosting the party on the 20th which is the first day of Diwali and also the first day of the holidays for most kids. Perfect time to get the little munchkins into the Diwali spirit! The party that we've planned is easily doable at home for a group of between 6-12 kids; if you have some open space like a reasonably sized balcony, terrace or a usable common area outside your apartment/ house that's an added bonus. 4pm is the perfect time to start this party (Chaar baj gaye lekin party abhi baaki hai- another favorite with the five year old gang!) since it gives enough time to do the activities we have planned and get some Diwali grub into those little tummies at a relaxed pace. For more on the 'How', read on!

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The 'How': what does one do at a kiddie Diwali party?
Activity One: Rangoli Time
This is my favorite part about our Diwali parday; in fact this was how we got the idea for hosting a Diwali party for our kids in the first place. Nikki, along with some of her friends, loves 'rangolis' and everything to do with them and rangoli making is one of the biggest draws of Diwali each year. Last year, we thought it would be more fun to get a bunch of her friends together and do the rangoli making and voila, our mini Diwali party began to take shape.

Here's what you'll need to get the rangoli making off to a great start:
  • A couple of rangoli stencils: There is a whole host of shapes and designs of these available for Diwali. We used the basic shapes for our gang, but you can use the more intricate ones as well, specially for an older age group
  • Chalk
  • As many vibrant Diwali colours as you like! (Go for the organic ones since the kids will be handling them a fair bit)
  • Yellow and orange marigold flowers for flower rangolis and for decorating the colour rangolis
  • Loads of festive spirit :)

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For the rangoli making last year we used the beautiful open terrace area at my friend's apartment. We used the rangoli stencils and chalk to draw the outlines all along the perimeter of the terrace and then let the kids get as creative as they liked, filling up the designs with a multitude of vibrant colours! There were a couple of only flower rangolis happening as well for the smaller kids who were too little for using the colours. We had a couple of supervising adults helping out and guiding the kids where needed which proved to be a big help since we had a fairly large number of guests, but if you have less people to help just scale down the activity accordingly. For example, a bunch of four kids can work on a medium sized rangoli with one supervising adult. A closed indoor area could work as well with a smaller group but with an open area the kids can get as creative (read: messy) as they like without the party host having to worry about extensive clean-ups later! With older kids you can take it one step further by increasing the intricacy of the rangoli designs and can even try out the traditional styles with pattern dots.

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Activity Two: Designer Diyas
What you'll need:
  • Basic unpainted clay diyas
  • Acrylic paints in a variety of shades, the more the merrier!
  • Paint brushes and palettes to mix and match colours
  • Glue
  • Loads of eclectic diya decor: sequins, glitter, shimmer dust, the works!
This one doesn't really need any explaining. Just give the kids a diya and a paintbrush each and let them at it!
This is a pretty popular Diwali activity among kids and we're including this in the party this year since we have about twelve little party guests and the plan is to divide them into two groups of six kids each. One group does the rangoli activity first while the other group does the diya painting and then they switch activities.

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Once the kiddos are done with all that rangoli making and diya decorating you'll find that this section also doubles up as a how-to for DIY Diwali Decor :) Your rangoli area will be a riot of colours and flowers and you can line up the prettily painted diyas wherever you please! You can some more bling by putting up thermocol cutouts of diyas on the walls and hanging up some sparkly streamers (the kind you use for birthday parties) and paper lanterns all over the party area on the day of the party. Last year, we also got some fairy lights indoors and draped them at a few places around furniture (keep them out of reach of little hands though!) and switched them on after it got dark outside. The effect was magical and it was a big hit with the kids!

Since we're starting the party at 4pm we plan on doing both activities for an hour each. Even with a buffer of about an hour we should be done by 7pm latest, with our little brigade ready to hang up their paintbrushes and get those rangoli stained fingers into some Diwali goodies!

A Diwali feast to gladden little tummies
We've planned quite an elaborate (or at least I think so!) feast this year for our little guests since there's two of us co-hosting this party and between us we have enough help and helping hands on the day of the party. We've put together the menu based on the tastes and preferences of our little invitees, so feel free to go through, pick and choose what you like and design your own menu for your little ones.Here's the dinner menu we have planned:
  • Mini samosas
  • Corn and cheese fritters
  • Lemonade and Tang in industrial quantities for the tiny guzzlers
Main Course
  • Vegetable Pulav
  • Chhole
  • Palak puris
  • Aloo tamatar sabji (gravy)
  • Sides of lots of creamy dahi and cucumber and carrot fingers- hot favourite with the kids and usually among the first dishes to disappear!
  • Gulab Jamun
  • Fruit Custard
I'm not including detailed recipes in this post since all of these are pretty standard recipes, but if you need a specific recipe just write to me in the comments section and I promise to get back to you as soon as I can. Also, for mommies who would prefer their kids to avoid bingeing on the deep fried goodies, here are some tips:
  • The mini samosas can be made with whole wheat flour and baked (and loaded with as many veggies as you like!)
  • The corn and cheese fritters can be replaced with shallow fried corn and cheese patties/ cutlets( load 'em up with the green stuff if you want to as well)
  • Palak puris can be replaced with palak rotis 
  • Desert can be only fruit if you really must, but must you really? Its Diwali after all!
Post Parday Stupor
There won't be much energy to do anything post all that activity and (hopefully) tummy filling that happens (our lot went straight to bed last year!) but if you still have any little stragglers whose mummies or daddies haven't turned up to pick them up yet you can keep them busy with a quick game of cards (another great activity option for older kids) or some Diwali time story telling (for the younger lot). Send them home with their handpainted diyas and a gift of homemade chocolates or mithai if you like, and memories of a delightful parday that they will hopefully cherish and remember- at least till the next big bash comes around ;)

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Come join a set of fabulous bloggers sharing their Diwali moments , easy Crafts, DIY ideas, Recipes and book recommendations with you .

Starting from today till Diwali and beyond, each one of us will be writing a post related to Diwali.
Participating blogs
So sit back, relax and check out all the fabulous Diwali Dhamaka posts in the linky.

Monday, November 8, 2010

And a very happy Diwaala to you too!

Hello there peeps! Its me again, here to wish you all a very happy Diwaala! That's how I've been greeting people on my second Diwaala and it never fails to send them into peals of laughter. The life and soul of the party, that's me! I thought I'd stop by The Mommy Woman's blog and spread some festive cheer around here as well. Besides the poor Mommy Woman needs a helping hand with her blog now and then, given her dismal track record at being regular with updates starring me and its been a while since I've dropped by so what better occasion than Diwaala to grace the blog with my super cute presence!

I've just had a wonderful second Diwaala and I celebrated it with loads of friends and family. I thought The Mommy Woman would be happy to note that I've more or less outgrown that little stranger anxiety thingie I went through in between but no! Really that woman is so hard to please! Take for example my encounter in the elevator with the friendly grandpa who lives right above us. Now I've always made it a point to studiously ignore any friendly overtures by said grandpa in the past but I decided Diwaala is as good a time as any to make amends and so when we happened to be in the elevator together and I happened to be standing right behind him I tried to be chummy by casually giving him a friendly swipe in the seat of his pants.He seemed quite amused too and I'm sure it would have been the start of a beautiful friendship if it hadn't been for that pesky Mommy Woman who suddenly started apologizing for some weird reason and totally ruined the moment. Or take that day in the restaurant where I was having a blast playing a new game with The Papa Man. The restaurant had these groovy chairs with big gaps in the backrest and I discovered this fun game where I would poke The Papa Man through one of the gaps and he would act all startled and make funny faces. We were having so much fun that I thought I should treat some of the other chappies in the restaurant to this fun game as well so I trotted off to the neighboring table and gave a jolly poke to a tubby looking fellow stuffing his face with some soup. He must have really enjoyed it coz he let out a strangled yelp and nearly swallowed his soup spoon and I was going to rev up the fun a few notches higher with another poke, when I noticed that The Mommy Woman had turned a delicate shade of purple and was doing that whole apology thing again. Really that woman can be such a ditz! First she was worried about my whole stranger anxiety phase, and now when I'm going all out to make my debut, as it were, on the social scene, she has a problem with that as well. Hmph! The other day that pest control chappie had stopped by and I was doing my best to keep an eye on him by following him around and giving him encouraging pats for a job well done and trying to get my hands on that goop he was sticking on the walls to see if it was A-grade material, and she got all hysterical and had me removed from the scene! I ask you! The woman has no appreciation whatsoever for a friendly helping hand around the house.

Take the other day when I saw her handing some vegetables to the cook and, deciding to offer my services, I took out some potatoes and onions from the vegetable basket in the kitchen and stacked them up on the counter, just in case the cook required them. Now how was I to know that poor chump of a cook would assume that The Mommy Woman had kept them there and chop them all? Next thing I know The Mommy Woman is doing the headless chicken act all over the kitchen, demanding to know what is to be done with 2kg each of extra chopped onions and potatoes. Really, how am I to know! She'll be asking me to look up recipes on Google next! I decided that the kitchen is probably not the place for me and went looking for that nice bai who does the jhaado pocha in our apartment and who always has a kind word for me. I love helping her out with the pocha and the dusting and I thought I'd lend her a helping hand by attacking a particularly nasty looking dirt stain on the floor with a soft cloth I found on the bed. I was happily scrubbing away (I SO love doing pocha!) when I heard a shriek and saw The Mommy Woman turning that familiar shade of purple (someone tell the woman that purple is so passe!)and then she grabbed the mop from my hands and started moaning about her beloved silk sari. I tried telling her that if she wants to avoid these misunderstandings she really shouldn't leave her things lying around like that but I don't think she quite got my point. She can be so obdurate sometimes, really. I must make some time to hop across to Landmark next weekend and get my own copy of What to Expect with The Mommy Women in the Toddler Years. I hope they have a section on the Terrible Thirties, because with The Mommy Woman behaving the way she has been these last few days, I'm going to need all the expert advice I can get!

As it is I have my hands full trying to keep The Mommy Woman busy in some constructive activities all day long so that she doesn't waste too much time idling away in front of the laptop. I try and put in an hour of reading with her everyday where I point out various objects in my picture books and make her tell me what each object is. Or I make her sing songs by telling her exactly which song I want with some innovative actions, and I get her to repeat each song a few times so that she gets each nuance perfectly right.
I even tried setting up a play date for her last week with a friend who has a Mommy Woman of her own, the same age as mine, but that didn't go so well. The thing is, being my usual helpful self, I thought I would help The Mommy Woman out with some of her household chores. I'd heard her cribbing about how she never gets enough time on weekends to do her grocery shopping, and there seemed to be a lot of groceries and stuff lying around at my friend's place, where we were having the play date so I thought I'll pick them up for The Mommy Woman and save her some time. I thought she would be happy at my thoughtful gesture but I should have known better. There were a range of emotions that flitted across her face when we were back home from the play date and she opened the diaper bag to find six teaspoons, one packet of sugar, a slab of butter and one tea cake in there, but happiness was not one of them.

Really, pleasing The Mommy Woman is next to impossible, I'm beginning to think. "I'm having a particularly tough time with The Mommy Woman these days" I said gravely to The Papa Man that evening "I don't think I can handle the pressure anymore."
"Ooh my little chatterbox, you've started talking so much these days! Chutter putter, chutter putter all day long! Soooo cute!" he gushed, cooing with delight and going into a complete mush overdrive as usual. Really is it too much to expect these people to at least try and understand what I'm trying to say for a change, instead of babbling like idiots every time I try and make a few statements? I guess not. Anyway, enough ranting for one post. I'm off now to spend some time with Chintu, my new friend and next door neighbor. He's been helping me make some delightful new additions to my vocabulary. Like that new phrase he taught me last week, "Abey Chup!" I'm not sure what it means exactly, but it must be something wonderful because The Mommy Woman went into a near dead swoon when I tried it last on that aging relative we'd gone to meet for Diwaala. Ooh I can't wait for Diwaala holidays to end and school to begin so I can try it on my teacher. She'll be impressed all right! Maybe then The Mommy Woman will finally be happy!