Last year, I wrote about the Holi tradition of dressing in old clothes and throwing brightly colored paint on each other. I suggested that depending on your climate and accessibility to an appropriate environment, Montessori students could partake in this tradition. Of course, for a lot of us, it is probably too cold to do this activity outdoors which is more than likely the most appropriate place for this activity. If it is warm enough to do this in a grassy area near your Montessori classroom, make sure students have enough notice to bring in old clothes and please use non-toxic paints that will not hurt the grass, water shed, and outdoor wildlife. There are many other options for celebrating this colorful, fun holiday with your Montessori students as a way to get excited for spring!
Holi Festival of Colors: Spring Activities in the Montessori ClassroomAnother option for indoors or outdoors is paper streamers. Students can cut the streamers into smaller (6 inches to 1 foot) sections or keep them in a long roll. These should be fairly easy to clean up indoors or out and students will have fun with the throwing and cleaning.
Confetti is a possibility for inside. Students can cut larger sheets of paper into confetti themselves. After the throwing is complete, students can have a sweeping and vacuuming frenzy. An entire classroom could quickly restore the environment to order.
If throwing paint, confetti or seeds is not a possibility for your students, an art activity based on splattering paint could be an alternative. A Jackson Pollack-inspired, large canvas group art project could be fun and memorable.
The throwing paint tradition of Holi and all it encompasses (color theory, gross motor skills, etc.) can be a very enjoyable activity in your Montessori classroom whether you go the traditional route or do one of the alternatives above. Your Montessori students might also have some creative ideas for how to celebrate this Hindu tradition.
Previous NAMC blog:
Celebrating the Holi Festival in the Montessori Classroom
Further web resources:
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.