Holi Hai!-5 Colorful Language Building Activities

Holi Hai!-5 Colorful Language Building Activities

holi child image

The festival of colors, Holi, is celebrated with a variety of colors, treats, tastes, smells and of course, smiles all around. This brings fabulous opportunities to build new language skills for your child! Read on to learn of fun ways to build new vocabulary or even to strengthen existing vocabulary of your child during the festive season:

holi food image

1. Sweets and savory. Holi, like the many other Indian festivals, has a variety of unique food items available. Most households would celebrate with sweets and namkeen (savouries). Give opportunities for the child to explore the food. By exploring together, you can lay emphasis on the flavor, texture, color, shape, how it’s cooked, ingredients etc. Letting the child get messy with the food should also be okay!

Vocabulary hints: Sweet, oily, salty, triangle, circle / round, long, fried, yummy, yellow, brown, raisins.


holi colors image2. ‎Make your own colors. Get your child involved in making some colors before playing holi. Talk through the activity and give choices for the child to make e.g. Which bowl, what color, more aata? It is best to allow the child a separate set of utensils to make his own color while you make your own, as well.

This is how you can make the color – Take some rice flour / aata and add dry or natural food coloring ingredient(s) e.g. Haldi for yellow. Mix well and  strain (using a strainer or sifter) if you want the color  to be finer.

Vocabulary hints: bowl, aata, alot / more, less/ too much, blue, red, green, pour, slowly, enough, sieve, mix, spoon, oh no!, messy, dirty, ready, wash up



holi spray gun image3. Spray away. Simple spray bottles can be used and filled with water and some child-friendly water colors. Take a large sheet of white paper and hang it vertically. Allow the child to spray on the paper. Encourage talk about directions, colors and emotions. After the fun, don’t forget to let the paper dry to be able to show the child his artwork. That becomes a great opportunity to practice recall!

Vocabulary hints: spray bottle, water, watercolors, paper, up, down, right, left, blue, red, messy, happy, fun, tired, clean up, painting.


holi balloons4. ‎Big,bigger, biggest-Balloons. Take 5 to 8 balloons and keep a mug, funnel (neck should be the size to fit the balloon opening) and a small bucket of water. Take your child’s help to fill water into the balloons! Use the mug to pour water through the funnel (and into the balloon). Tie a knot once the water is filled.

This activity allows you as well as the child to see subtle changes if attention is paid carefully.  For instance, when water is gradually filled into each balloon, they will slowly expand.  Comparative vocabulary can be easily taught here.

Popping the balloons on the floor, once filled with water, can lead to creative artwork and a fun mess for the child!  Caution: Not all children will enjoy playing or bursting balloons. 

Vocabulary hints: big, small, empty, full, wet, growing, small, bigger, biggest. 



5. Rangoli patterns. Holi colors (dry) can easily be used to make rangoli patterns. Use the floor or a tray, few dry holi colors, shapes the child likes (maybe used from a clay set). Lay the shapes on the tray and sprinkle the color powder over it a couple of times. Once it is relatively covered, gently raise the shape from its position.  Several shapes placed together can form a nice design. Household items such as spoons can also be used in this activity. Language regarding shapes, the sequence of actions, the end pattern formed etc. can be used.

Vocabulary hints: colors, powder, pour/sprinkle, raise, design, wonderful!



We hope the games will be enjoyed by you and your little ones this festival! Holi Hai!!


Tanushree Chandhok
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