Bloomsbury Early Years - A Visit To India
The Little Book of My Neighbourhood


3-5 years



Type of Content:


Related Activities

A Visit To India

An idea for understanding neighbourhoods

by Judith Harries

Organise an ‘India Day’ and learn about the different clothes, henna patterns, food, music and native animals.

What you need

  • A staff member, parent or friendly adult who can visit your setting and talk about India

  • Digital camera

  • Paper, pens and paint

  • Indian food

  • Clay and tea lights

What you do

  • Let parents and carers know that you are holding an India Day. Talk about your special visitor. Invite any families to bring in photos or artefacts from or about India.

  • Talk to the children about the visitor and make a list of questions that the children would like to ask.

  • Invite your visitor to talk to the children about India, sharing information about geography, clothes, food, music, festivals (Hindu, Sikh or Islam), special buildings, etc. What do they most like about India? What do they not like?

  • Show the children how to put on a sari and let them have a go. Look at some henna patterns online and talk about different celebrations. Ask them to draw around their hand on a piece of paper and let them design their own patterns using felt pens. Some children could have patterns drawn on their hands using washable paint or pens.

  • Try some Indian food at snack time; share poppadoms, naan breads, samosas and bhajis. Cook some rice with the children. Let them smell some different spices such as cumin and coriander.

  • Find out about tigers, elephants and other Indian animals. Look at some famous paintings of tigers such as ‘Tiger in a Tropical Storm’ by Henri Rousseau. Let the children paint their own pictures of tigers.

  • Listen to some Indian music such as ‘Raga Rasia’ by Ravi Shankar. Watch some Indian dancing on YouTube.

Ready for more?

  • Look at images of India online such as the Taj Mahal, the Indian flag, elephants, Holi festival.

  • Talk about the festival of Diwali. Explain that the children are going to make divas. Provide each child with a ball of clay. Let them handle the clay, squeezing, squashing and rolling it until it is softer to mould. Show them how to shape the clay into a shallow bowl big enough to hold a tea light, pinching the edges around the side. Leave the clay pot to dry and then paint with glitter paint.

Links with the EYFS

Related themes – Food; Animals; Celebrations; Ourselves

PSED: Children can show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

CL: Remind the children listen attentively to the visitors and ask appropriate questions.

Look, listen and note

  • Answer 'how' and 'why' questions

  • Develop narratives and explanations

  • Form positive relationships with others

  • People and communities (ELG13) Family members Communities & traditions

  • The world (ELG14) Places, objects and materials Environments Animals and plants

Where to go next: A visit to the UK
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