Today, on an unseasonably warm Thursday late afternoon, we celebrated Diwali (belatedly) at the library by making Rangoli (designs) right outside the library, in a courtyard near the Children’s Entrance. Children (and their grown-ups) enjoyed making Rangoli by using sidewalk chalk to outline designs and drawings, and then filled up the spaces with colored sand, to make the colors really pop! They seemed to love that sensory 1, 2 experience, of the difference in feel of the chalk and the sand, and some did color mixing exploration as well.
One young entrepreneur, having mixed some of each color of sand into what he termed Rainbow Sand, tried hawking it at 10 dollars a bowl, but eventually the price was lowered to half a dollar and then just given away, as he discovered the nature of supply and demand. A true New York experience!
While the kids learned just a bit about the nature of Diwali and what the Rangoli signified, and were given sample pictures of Rangoli to look at for inspiration, this was more of a process-oriented creative program rather than an end-goal oriented one. And this showed in how and what the kids made: these were modern interpretations of the ancient art of Rangoli, besides the more traditional designs of peacocks, geometric flowers and lamps, kids created a pokeball, a dinosaur, a kid playing baseball, a rainbow and some freeform abstract art.