It was a busy weekend at our house! First, I’ve been getting over a 3 month cold/cough/fever that resulted in beginning a massive antibiotic dose. The meds pretty much wiped me of energy. Second, we got over a week of solo parenting (though neighborette saved my butt one night by cleaning my kitchen). If she believes in heaven, there’s a very special place for her!
Third and fourth, we had plenty of celebrations! We celebrated Holi and Våffeldagen – a smörgåsbord of Indian-Swedish festivities.
Holi is the super fun holiday that celebrates spring equinox and the victory of good over evil.
Våffeldagen celebrates waffles. No joke. Swedes take their food and their puns seriously. Hop over to my post about how våffeldagen got its name along with a recipe!
Back to Holi, with little kids abound, we opted not to attend one of the larger Indian community events. Lots of people, lots of color throwing, it can easily become overwhelming and scary for toddlers and babies.
Instead, we invited our neighbors over and turned our backyard into funfetti of colors. I was planning on making my own colors but didn’t have time, so I bought them from Jai Jai Hooray. The colors are vibrant, non-toxic and made in the USA.
Tips and Rules for a Successful Holi with Little Kids
1. Wear light/white colored clothes – Holi colors show up best on white. It’s important that you wear clothes that are OK to take some staining. I washed our clothes twice in laundry (and pre-soaked them) and they have a slight pink hue to them.
Whatever you do, AIR DRY the clothes. Using the dryer is the best way to set a stain in; if you want the chance to scrub out the stain, air dry the clothes. Also, the sun is a natural bleacher. Once the sunny weather I’ll be line drying them and probably running the clothes again in the laundry.
2. No throwing powder at the eyes. Never fun to get stuff in your eyes especially when you are little.
3. Keep a box of wet wipes out. Wet wipes to the rescue! Got powder in your mouth or eyes? Use one to get it out.
4. Give each child a bowl and a color. Bamboo bowls work great and are easy to hold. Let each child choose a color and fill them up halfway only. You know they will want refills!
We used 14 Jai Jai Hooray packets for 4 adults and 4 children. Gave us more than an hour of coloring, plus “painting” the ground. Winning!
5. If someone doesn’t want color on their hair or face, respect them. Little children are especially emotional and events like Holi can ramp up their feelings. Help a little one out and listen to them.
6. Babies and toddlers may do their own thing and that is A-OK! Our 17 month old was happily chilling with her color bowl as everyone ran around yelling and screaming. All she wanted to do was feel the powder. She eventually joined us and was seriously into the rubbing colors on people in her own way.
Holi is a winning combo for many different learning elements: fine and gross motor skills, colors, listening to rules, open ended play, and cooperative play.
We had so much at our Holi, we’re going to do another one when the weather warms and we can pull out the kiddie pool and water balloons!
PS – If you haven’t downloaded my free Holi printables, make sure you do it!