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Try making your own Rangoli art

Create your own Rangoli pattern to celebrate Diwali.

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You’ll need

  • Pens or pencils
  • A4 paper
  • Compass
  • PVA glue
  • Glue sticks
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Something to create the Rangoli with, such as chalk, paint, tissue paper, coloured sand or rice
  • Containers, such as food storage tubs or bowls
  • Pictures of Rangoli patterns (optional)

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Planning this activity

  • You may want to consider printing out some pictures of Rangoli patterns for people to copy or even use as templates.
  • Decide what to use to make your rangoli. People could use chalk or paint to draw and colour with. They could also glue down scrunched up tissue paper, coloured sand or coloured rice. You could also use felt tips or colouring pencils.

Running this activity

  1. Gather everyone together in a circle.
  2. Ask if anyone knows what rangoli is. 
  3. Tell everyone that during Diwali, families often make decorative patterns of diyas, lotus flowers and other designs out of coloured rice flour. This art form is known as rangoli. These creative decorations are often a way to get everyone involved in preparing for the five-day holiday and to get excited for the celebrations that lie ahead, especially young people.
  4. Explain to everyone that they’re going to be making their own Rangoli pattern.
  5. Give everyone some paper and pencils. Ask everyone to draw their Rangoli pattern on their paper. People may want to use a compass or upturned bowl to help them to draw a circle.
  6. Remind people that Rangoli patterns tend to be symmetrical, including in the colours they use.
  7. Depending on what you’re using, people should stick down, colour in or paint with the materials on one section of their design.
  8. They should repeat this until all the sections their of the design have been filled in. 
  9. Once completed, leave the pictures to one side for the paint or glue to dry.


Rangoli patterns use lots of colours and lots of different designs. Had you seen Rangoli before? You needed to be creative and create your own Rangoli design. Was it easy to decide what to draw and make? Would you change anything about your design if you had the chance to do it again?

This activity may have given everyone the opportunity to try something new and develop their beliefs by learning about Diwali and Rangoli patterns. Did you learn anything new about Diwali during this activity?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

  • To make this easier, you could print out templates for everyone to use instead of creating their own designs.
  • To make this easier, people could use paint, colouring pencils or sand to create their patterns instead. You could also do this activity outside and make larger Rangoli patterns from natural objects, such as leaves or fallen petals.

If someone doesn’t want to get glue on their hands or touch the materials, you could let them work with a partner, young leader or adult volunteer, so they can help each other.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

There’re lots of people that celebrate Diwali. You could invite someone to your meeting, so they could share their experiences with everyone.

If someone celebrates Diwali in their religion or knows about Diwali and Rangoli patterns, you could give them the opportunity to explain it to the rest of the group if they want and feel comfortable to.