Holi Finger Paints!

Finger paints! Thats the first thing that came to my mind when I thought of Holi in the US.

I usually write about multi cultural activities for toddlers and kids, but recently festivals have been on my mind. What is more multicultural than celebrating a festival of that culture?  Today I thought I will write why I think Holi is the perfect festival for preschoolers and kids.

What will kids like more that make a mess with colors and then eat treats at the end! Many preschools now celebrate holi and I would love to have holi parties with my friends.

The date for Holi in 2009 is March 11.

In my understanding, Holi is the festival of colors. It celebrates the arrival of spring and the colors that nature brings to the world. Its easy to explain to kids. Older kids may like the mythology behind it but younger kids will love this explanation of welcoming spring.

So call your friends and kids friends over for a holi party. Here are some activities and American adaptations.

  • Buy finger paints in bulk from teacher supply stores like School Box. Set up yogurt containers with the finger paints and provide plenty of paper for the kids to make hand prints
  • If the teacher and other parents are open to it, tell them to wear old, white, play clothes and let the kids smear paints on each other. It only happens once a year. Let them smear each other with finger paint
  • Mix paint and water (finger paint or colored tempura powder which I have not been able to find in a store, only online) and let the kids spray from buckets using water guns.
  • Now, since it may still be winter in many parts, you can make snow men and have the kids smear and spray the snowmen with colored water. How wonderful to see the colored water freeze around the snowmen.
  • Go to Party City or some stores like that and buy colored confetti and have the kids throw that on each other
  • If you are sticking to art – get plenty of paint brushes and let the kids paint paper you have stuck to the wall.
  • Or buy the crayola window paint available at Target etc, and let them have a go at your windows
  • Make sure to take a lot of pictures!

Be sure to end with some Holi Treats. Maybe one of you can suggest a Holi recipe for treats.

Last 5 posts by Dora


  1. sarmila

    I really like your post, to me holi or dol purnima is a favorite festival,personally I don’t like to play with the colors from my childhood, but I liked Abir ( the colored powder) most,,

  2. Khushi

    I liked Abir too. As I grew up I stopped playing. I would also unfortunately like to dunk people by pouring water on them from the balcony. Thank God I could not get sued for that in India.

  3. Malini

    Good post Dora…it reminded me of childhood days enjoying Holi with my brother and elder sister in the terrace.
    I certainly dont forget to take snaps of my kid playing with water (mixed with abir and not harmful colours)…..

  4. Yasmin

    Dora, Thanks for the wonderful ideas for Holi. I really enjoy reading all your posts.

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