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Monday, February 28th, 2011

Holi Crafts: Messy Paint and Hand-Traced Flowers

Holi_crafts/ Jaimie Duplass -

Let your kids get messy and colorful in the spirit of Holi. A large paint canvas or poster board will do. And let them go to town with their hands, brushes if they desire, and paints. We have created a couple paintings for our house like this.


Craft 1: Make a Painting


Canvas or poster board (large!)


First, change the kids into old clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined. For canvas, I let the kids paint in acrylics (which I don’t think is child safe if ingested) and just wash them up really well afterward. The only difficulty I run into is that the kids tend to like to keep adding color until everything is brown. To avoid this, I minimize the colors I give them. I usually pick two or three colors only, which go together. After that paint dries, I will give them another color to put hand and footprints, or whatever they want to do, over the initial painted canvas.


Let the kids use their hands, feet, paint brushes, sponges and other objects you find around the house, which can all make for a lot of painting fun.


If letting them get covered in paint is a little more than you can handle, or if it’s still too cold to get outside and paint, then we have another craft idea for you too: making flowers out of handprints. It’s a cute, colorful Holi craft to kick-start the festival which does not require getting messy.


Craft 2: Flowers from Handprints (From AmaraMoms)


This year, as an Indian celebrating Holi in California, I am not in the mood to get wet or do the color thing. Maybe we’ll stick to sookhi Holi this year, which is Hindi for Holi without water. Or maybe playing Holi with dry colors bought from the Indian store. But how do I convince the kids about this? After Halloween, Christmas and Diwali, the next festival which they very much enjoy is Holi. The very colorful, the very wet, the very messy kind is what they want! In fact, now I recall, they made me promise to get them the huge Bazooka-like water guns for this year’s Holi. So who am I kidding?


This year, I have decided to have the kids play Holi a bit more traditionally than previous years. Our idea is to have them wear white, smear each other with color, impress upon them the significance of the festival, do a Holi story and craft (like the one below), and then play Holi with rang, gulal and pickaaris, mithai and music!


Construction paper of as many colors as possible, particularly pink, yellow, red and green – the traditional colors of Holi
Paper plate
Glue or staples


1. Trace your child’s hand on the construction papers, or if they are old enough, they can do it themselves. You need at least 10 tracings.


2. Cut out the hand tracings.


3. Glue the hand tracings on the outside of the paper plate, with the fingers pointing outwards.


4. Glue another set of the hand tracings on the paper on the inside of the first circle, again with the fingers pointing out.


5. You should be able to glue another third layer in the center of the plate, overlapping the other circles.


6. You will get a bright, multi-colored Holi flower. Have the kids make a few of these and paste them on the window.

Craft from AmaraMoms

© 2011 – 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

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Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

  1. CommentsHoli Craft: Straw Painting | InCultureParent   |  Monday, 05 March 2012 at 9:14 pm

    […] to this messy (but awesome) tradition, there are a number of creative art options to try, such as splatter painting, finger painting and colored sand art. This year, we had fun with straw painting. My girls enjoyed […]

  2. CommentsHoli Crafts and Activities for Kids - Multicultural Kid Blogs   |  Friday, 06 March 2015 at 3:01 am

    […] Messy Paint and Hand Traced Flowers from InCultureParent […]

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