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Celebrate the festival of light

Make a diya, and learn about the festival of light. Can you separate Diwali fact from fiction?
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Air-drying clay
  • Tea lights
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint suitable for clay
  • Clay tools (or alternatives like glue spreaders)

Make a Diya

  1. Everyone should get a piece of clay, and roll it into a ball about 5cm big. 
  2. Make a hole in the top of the ball using your thumb. Gradually make the hole bigger, until your clay is shaped like a small bowl. It needs to be big enough to fit a small tealight inside, but not too deep – the wick of the candle should stick out over the top of the bowl.
  3. Shape the bowl so it has a point at the front, a bit like a boat. Make sure it has a flat bottom, so it sits still on the table. 
  4. Use tools (or just your fingers) to decorate the outside of the Diya with patterns. 
  5. Leave the finished lamps to dry.
  1. Once the lamps are dry, paint and decorate them, and leave to dry. 
  2. When the paint is dry, put in a tealight.

Learn about Diwali 

  1. Everyone should stand one behind another in a line down the middle of the room. 
  2. The person leading the game will say something about Diwali – it might be true, or it might be false. 
  1. If players think the statement is true, they must run to the wall on their left. If they think it was false, they must run to the wall on their right. 
  2. The person leading the game will tell everyone whether it was true or false, and explain. 
  3. Everyone should return to the middle of the room, and get ready to play with another statement.


This activity reminds you that you’re a local, national, and international citizen. Are there any similarities between Diwali and any festivals or celebrations you take part in? Are there any other festivals or celebrations you’d like to find out more about? Diwali is a time to think about others and people in need – is that a responsibility everyone shares, no matter their background?

This activity also encourages you to respect and trust people from different backgrounds. How could you respect people who’re celebrating Diwali? Why is it important to learn about festivals and celebrations which you might not celebrate? Did you learn anything surprising about Diwali? How would you feel if you were invited to a Diwali celebration?


Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.