The condition of the environment is alarming and pollution meters are blinking at a dangerous red. Being a responsible citizen, you too want to endorse the concept of a Green Diwali and refrain from bursting crackers but you don’t know how to explain that to your kids. Diwali is about crackers for them, right?
Being a parent, you know very well that trying to take away something from your kid without giving an alternative for the same is like trying to snatch a piece of meat from an eagle. Ask me! So how do you ensure that your little one endorses a green Diwali without throwing a tantrum or making you feel like the worst parent in the whole wide world? Of course you teach your kiddo the dangers of pollution and so but then, kids are kids. There is a limit to rationality they can accept and understand. You give them alternatives, the kind that are not only environment friendly but also fun to do. Children understand festivals and their relevance the way we teach them. Let us change the way they look at Diwali. Why don’t you try what I am planning this Diwali with my 8 year old:
- Let your child be the Rangoli planner
Rangoli is an important part of Diwali celebrations. Let your kid choose the Rangoli design and better still, let her have a corner to decorate on her own. Get some stencils, they are super easy to use. Instead of colours, use biodegradable options like coloured rice, pulses or flowers. They are also easier to handle for kids. You do run the risk of having Doraemon adorning the floor at the entrance of your house instead or floral motifs but then, what the heck!
2. Foster a tree
Tell your child to adopt a plant, not plant a tree! That way, your kid becomes the guardian responsible to take care of the growth of the plant. Get a sapling of a sturdy plant and declare your kiddo as the foster guardian. Google everything about the plant and help your little one make notes on how to care for it. Plant it on the day of Diwali that becomes its annual birthday and let your child learn responsibility of taking care of a living thing and contribute to the environment too!
3. Light it up in a different way!
Diwali is after all, the festival of lights. Switching on the electric lights is no fun, even for kids. It is the festival season-the time for family fun. So get together with your kid on DIY projects- buy diyas from the street vendors and paint them together or go innovative with orange peels and coconut shells. Fill your diyas with oil together on Diwali and see your little one’s face light up with joy along with the wick of the diyas.
4. Teach your kid to play Santa
Santa does not have to be associated with Christmas alone. Teach your child the real meaning of Santa- the essence of sharing and looking out for the less fortunate ones. Ask your child to pack all the toys and games she no longer plays with or has outgrown and ask her to distribute them to poor children. You will give those children a truly happy Diwali and also give your own child the gift of compassion by doing so. Win-win for all!
5. Burst crackers that do not pollute!
Kids are kids after all, so treat them to some fun and quirky crackers. Fill up paper bags and smash them. Inflate balloons filled with colourful paper flakes and burst them. Use paper poppers. Give your children glow sticks that come in vibrant colours and let them weave magical stories with them.
We are done with recycling (read painting) last year’s diyas and plan to play Santa this evening. Our Diwali is definitely green this year, what about yours?