As the Bahá’í festival of Ridván approaches, I’m pleased to share this beautiful Ridvan flower board idea from my friend Chelsea Lee Smith of Enable Me To Grow. It is a great way for families to celebrate this festival with kids! For more ideas, see our Walking Through the Garden of Ridván series.
Ridvan Flower Board
Ridván is the “King of Festivals” for Bahá’ís and commemorates the 12 days that Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. camped on the banks of the Tigris River near Baghdad and, while there, proclaimed His mission to a small group of followers. (To read more click here).
I wanted to create some sort of way for our family to get a surprise on each of the 12 days (plus a decoration to have out during the Ridván period). Luckily I happened to find a piece of homemade art at a second-hand shop made out of wood with 12 wooden flowers, so I used it to make this Ridvan flower board. I took off the random bits that were on it (stickers, pieces of paper, buttons, paper muffin cups etc decorating the flowers) and repainted it, cut up some leaves and painted them too, then added little jewels, some decorative ribbon, and some letters and numbers I bought.
You can make your flower board out of cardboard, card stock, cloth, etc. You could either add leaves or flowers – if with cloth a little tab of velcro may work well to attach them, and if it’s paper then try using blue tac.
I put a little surprise activity on a post-it note on the back of each of the leaves. The leaves are attached to the frame with sticky tac, so that my son can take them off to read on the appropriate day. (You can use pictures for younger children so they can “read” the notes themselves).
For a group project, you could give each child a flower or leaf to decorate and add to the board. And you could either post up quotations or numbers on top of the flowers/leaves for each day.
Sample Activities for Each Leaf
Bake a cake for the Ridván party
Plant a garden
Do a crown craft
Make a card for a friend
Have fun with sensory play
Enjoy tea and muffins while talking about the story of Ridván
Get ice cream
Tell the story of Ridván using a felt board
Make a collage of flowers
Make rose cookies
Learn a new song
Go on a picnic
Because we’ve been in the groove of celebrating Holy Days for the past few years, it is seeming to come so much more naturally now and I don’t feel stressed about getting things together but just going with the flow. So if you are new to the idea of celebrating but want to do something, don’t worry if it seems difficult at first or like it’s too much to plan. The smallest and simplest of things mean the most to children… like today I arranged the fruit on the plate in a pretty way for morning snack (ie grapes in the middle of the plate surrounded by cut up pears and apples) and the boys were super impressed. Just putting in a little effort here and there to make things festive and remembering to talk about the meaning of the day is great. And with a little practice, it will all come together easily.
Chelsea Lee Smith is a mother of three and is passionate about empowering families with tools for character education so that they can contribute to making the world a better place. She blogs at Enable Me To Grow offering activities, ideas and resources for character building and more.