Fun days in October

Diwali and Halloween activities for the Early Years

Jan Homden has put together a list of ideas and resources for Diwali and Halloween to help celebrations in the Early Years classroom.

October 27 – Diwali

‘Diwali (or Deepavali, the “festival of lights“) is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn (northern hemisphere) every year. Spiritually, the festival signifies the victory of light over dark and good over evil. (2019 – starts on October 25, ends on October 29)

Ramayana is the story of Lord Rama who rescues his wife Sita from the Demon King Ravana with the help of his brother Lakshmana and an extraordinary monkey called Hanumana. Click on the link  above to watch this two minute video production of the Ramayana story published by ChinmayaChannel.


Make salt dough diyas 

1 part salt, 2 parts plain flour, 1 part water, mixed together to make a dough.

Give each child a ball to dough to mould into a bowl shape ( just big enough to hold a tea light ) and show them how to pinch one side to make a spout. The diyas can be left to air dry naturally for a couple of days, or cooked at a low heat in an oven (about 100 degrees) for an hour or so. When fully dry, the children can paint them and when the paint is dry use glue to decorate with glitter and sequins. Click on the image to follow the link to Jennifer’s Little World.


Rangoli patterns

A rangoli is a colourful design made on the floor near the entrance to a house to welcome guests.

Decorate Rangoli patterns with coloured rice, sand or flower petals (see image). Have a look at Rangoli Maths Patterns PowerPoint from twinkl which introduces children to rangoli patterns, while showing them how they can make their own.


Mango Lassi Drink –

The children could help in the making of this traditional Indian drink – a treat for snack time.

Lassi is a popular traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Recipe courtesy of Watch What U Eat.

Click on the picture to follow the link.

Sing along to:

Diwali is Here – Song in English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu – from: Appuseries

“Happy Diwali” written by Nancy Stewart. For lyrics and suggested hand movements to the song click Diwali.

Books to share with links and reviews from Amazon:

Lighting a Lamp: A Divali Story (Festival Time)by Jonny Zucker  (Author), Jan Barger Cohen (Illustrator). Part of a pre-school series that introduces young children to world religions and focuses on the way the festival is celebrated today. Also includes historical and cultural information at the end for parents and teachers. Age range 2 – 5 years

Rama and Sita: The Story of Diwali by Malachy Doyle (Author), Christopher Corr (Illustrator). The perfect picture book to introduce children to Rama and Sita and the story of Diwali, with text by award-winning author Malachy Doyle and stunning, colourful illustrations from Christopher Corr. Age Range 6+

Let’s Celebrate 5 Days of Diwali! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series, Book 1)by Ajanta Chakraborty  (Author), Vivek Kumar  (Author). In this multicultural and educational series from Bollywood Groove, join Maya, Neel and their pet squirrel, Chintu, as they visit their Aunty Eesha in India to celebrate 5 Days of Diwali. Age range 3 – 7 years

Diwali (Holidays and Festivals (Heinemann Paperback)) by Nancy Dickmann (Author) Non-Fiction and explains the significance of each day’s events and the meaning of this special holiday. Age range 4 -6 years


October 31 – Halloween with not so scary ideas for Early Years.

Many families around the world celebrate this festival with dressing-up and trick or treating, carving and decorating pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, playing games such as apple bobbing and telling scary stories. However, many families and schools do not celebrate Halloween so check your school’s policy before planning any activities.

In the classroom role play corner create a bat cave for Meg and Mog – Hang a spider’s web and a few bats, add spiders, cushions, books and torches. Or, set up a Halloween shop selling little plastic spiders, bats, frogs, bugs, lizards and pumpkins etc. Put the items into clear plastic jars with screw on lids, decide on the price and the children can make labels e.g. bats 1p each, spiders 2p each.

Provide a cash register/till and play money. Click on the image to follow the link to Amazon.

Water Play based on Incy Wincy Spider – In the water tray put plastic spiders and add guttering, drain pipes, plastic jugs and basins to enhance the play. The children use jugs of water to wash the spiders down the guttering and drain pipes into a  tuff spot or a large basin. Watch Spider in the Bath!

Spider! Episode 1 | Spider in the Bath – The Boy tells us how he likes every kind of creature….except spiders!

In the Sand Tray/Tuff Spot – A Halloween version of The Silly Soup Song. Dye white rice orange and when dry pour it into the tuff spot, add plastic spiders, snakes, bats, worms, frogs and lizards, a black pot, spoons and plastic tweezers.

A special soup for Meg! The Silly Soup Song (To tune of Pop goes the Weasel)

I’m making lots of silly soup,

I’m making soup that’s silly.

I’m going to cook it in the fridge,

To make it nice and chilly.

Children take turns to stir the soup while everyone joins in singing the song. Then each child adds an ingredient to the soup (using the plastic tweezers), and says ‘In goes a ________’  encourage everyone to recite all the ingredients in the soup.

Extension: Around the pot leave rhyming objects/picture cards (cat, hat, rat, mat, bat, mug, bug, rug, jug, pan, van, fan, man etc.) ‘In goes a ______ and a _______’. Children to choose 2 objects/picture cards that rhyme.

Songs for Halloween

Five Little Pumpkins Sitting On a Gate | Halloween Songs for Kids | Pumpkin Song | The Kiboomers

Skeleton Dance | Halloween Songs for Kids | Shake Dem Halloween Bones | The Kiboomers

Five Creepy Spiders | Halloween Songs + More Kids Songs | Super Simple Songs

Spooky Spooky – Halloween Song – This song was written and performed by A.J. Jenkins. Video by KidsTV123

Sing Along with ‘Halloween Rules’ – Halloween song with lyrics! Bounce Patrol Kids – This video has the lyrics set out karaoke style! What do you want to be this Halloween?

Books for Halloween

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson  (Author), Axel Scheffler (Illustrator) An old time favourite! Age range 2 – 5 years.

Spider Sandwiches by Claire Freedman (Author), Sue Hendra (Illustrator) Age range 3 – 5 years

Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell  (Author) Age range 2 – 4 years

Five Little Pumpkins by Ben Mantle (Illustrator) Age Range: 2 – 4 years

Haunted House Pop-Up by Jan Pienkowski  (Author, Illustrator) It’s’ fun scary’ – Enjoy a tour of this spooky old house where a spine-tingling surprise lurks in every dark corner. Re-issued in its original full-size format, with four new pop-ups, this definitive edition brings the classic novelty to a whole new generation. Age Range 4 – 8 years


Jan Homden – Consilium Education




Feature Image: Niko_Shogol – Pixabay

Other Images: OpenClipart-Vectors, rauschenberger,  geralt, confused_me,  skeeze, ArtificialOG & Alexas_Fotos  – Pixabay  Thgusstavo Santana – Pexels & Jennifer @ Jennifer’s Little World

Photo: ESA; Photo: