Sunday, October 9, 2011

India crafts: Flower Rangoli

Rangoli is a colorful design, often geometric.  It is usually done on the floor or courtyard of a home, using rice, grain or flour, or some kind of colored powder.  It's prominent during festival seasons in India, especially for Diwali.  It is used to welcome guests and gods/goddesses into the home.   You can find great examples of the variety of designs on this Diwali site. And Activity Village has a fantastic rangoli page with all sorts of ideas and printable outlines.

We used flowers to make our rangoli and we did it two ways: one indoor and one outdoors.

In Little India, there are street vendors selling flowers for puja (prayer ceremonies).  For a mere $2, we got a huge pile of jasmine, marigolds, roses, and orchids.  And between our indoor and outdoor crafts, we read Lily's Garden of India, one of our books for the month, which features Indian plants and flowers (including some of the ones we used). 

  •  printouts of rangoli designs like these
  • colorful flowers
  • glue (for indoor rangoli)
  • sidewalk chalk (for outdoor rangoli)

Indoor Rangoli

Step One: Pull the petals off the flowers and keep them in bowls sorted by color.  

Step Two: Put glue on one part of the rangoli design (I did this) and sprinkle flowers on top (The Whirl Girl did this). 

 Repeat with another design!

 Outdoor Rangoli

Step One: Draw a rangoli design.  I did some of the big shapes and The Whirl Girl added her own designs.

Step Two: Fill in with flowers.

Voila!  We were joined by some friends in the neighborhood, making it double the fun.  We'll probably make some more around Diwali time and invite more kids to join us.  

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