Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Holi Festival of Colors: Colorful Spring Activities for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori activities holi festival of colors spring powdered paints
This year Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors, will be celebrated on or around March 1. It coincides with the full moon day of the Hindu lunar calendar month called Phalgun. It is also known as the Festival of Colors or the Spring Festival celebrating the joy of the season and the triumph of good over evil.

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 Classroom

Another 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.
NAMC montessori activities holi festival of colors spring crocuses
An option that is both “green” and more lasting is to provide a variety of seeds for colorful flowers to your students. In an area with prepared soil, students can throw the seeds at each other and then wait until the flowers bloom for the surprise of the flowers and their colors.

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:
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

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