Apr 262016
 
 April 26, 2016  activities, crafts 2 Responses »

Angry Birds: 25 Crafts, Activities, Food, and More! | Alldonemonkey.com

Do your kids love Angry Birds as much as mine do?  They are so excited for the new movie coming out this spring, so in their honor I’ve gathered together 25 awesome ideas for Angry Birds fun – from crafts and activities, to food fun and party ideas!  Be sure to share in the comments how you are getting ready for the movie with your kids!

25 Ideas for Angry Birds Fun

From Busy Kids Happy Mom: Pinewood Derby Cars

From Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes:

Birthday Party

Pizza and Cake

Party Favors

Slingshot Craft

From Little Bins for Little Hands, STEM fun with a Plastic Spoon Catapult

From the Joys of Boys:

Waffles

Everything You Need for a Party (this one actually has tons of ideas, including games, a piñata, and more!)

M&M Cake

From I Can Teach My Child, DIY Costumes

From Lalymom, DIY Knockdown Game

From Not Time for Flashcards, Water Balloon and Sidewalk Chalk Game

From iGame Mom, How to Teach Physics with Angry Birds

From Brain Power Boys, Learn to Code with Angry Birds

From Red Ted Art:

Pom Pom Crafts

Eggs Craft

Bookmark Corners

From Paging Fun Mums, Origami Bookmarks

From DIY Inspired, The Ultimate Angry Birds Party

From Frugal Fun for Boys, Beanbags and Activities

From Therapy Fun Zone, Toss Game

From Powerful Mothering, Party Theme Ideas

From Spaceships and Laser Beams, Boy’s Birthday Party

From Happiness Is Homemade, DIY Shirts

From BentoLunch.net, a themed Bento Lunch

Feb 172016
 

Gifts that Empower Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

An important aspect of raising world citizens is empowering kids to see themselves as world changers.  Helping children recognize and nurture their own nascent abilities to effect change is a powerful way of setting them on the road to transform their communities and their world.  Here are some of my favorite gifts that empower kids and help them have fun in the process.

Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the books and kits below; however, all opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.

Gifts that Empower Kids

Books

I have to admit that I am at times a bit earnest when it comes to teaching my kids about values.  As a result, my son has developed a keen sense for when I am trying to teach him something “meaningful” and so tends to run the other direction.  That’s why I love books like Mason’s Greatest Gems, which teach values in a really engaging way that kids can relate to.  This story is based on the analogy of gems as qualities (like kindness and generosity) that we have inside us that we can discover and polish.  Kids will be attracted to the beautiful gems and the idea of digging up and discovering those gems.  (My son, who is a big fan of Minecraft, loved this idea!) Wonderful visual way to teach kids about the benefits of developing positive character traits.  The book even comes with links to free printable pages and group activities.

I Am and I Can Poetry Activity BookWhat’s really fun about I Am and I Can is that it incorporates so many elements dear to my heart – diversity, education, and empowering children – yet it does so in such a seamless way that it doesn’t feel forced at all.  It is a poetry activity book, illustrated with images of children from around the globe, where readers practices parts of speech as a way to interactively write uplifting poems.  For example, in one section they practice recognizing verbs that have to do with art and sports.  In the following section they come up with their own verbs, which they then use to fill in the blanks in a poem that celebrates their ability to uplift those around them.  My kids had so much fun with this book, and I loved the upbeat, positive message!

What better way to teach kids about their ability to change the world than by giving them real life examples of kids who are doing just that?  Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon is a wonderful book about a real girl that the author met by chance when she and her family were vacationing in the Amazon.  Doyli and her uncle live deep in the Amazon rainforest, where they rescue and care for baby monkeys orphaned by hunters or poachers.  The narrative does a great job of showing what it is like to live in the jungle, where you have to travel in two canoes to get to school, and your front yard is flooded most of the year.  But what really comes through is the passion Doyli has for saving the baby monkeys and what a difference her efforts make.  This book, as well as the second in the series, Tortuga Squad: Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Rica, will inspire kids to do their part to save the planet.

Activity Kits

I have had the pleasure of reviewing Happy Heart Kid activity kits before, so I was thrilled to receive a Perseverance (Grit) Activity Kit to explore with my kids.  Every time we open one of these kits, it’s like Christmas!  The kids are so excited to see what activities have been included this time.  It is always something fun!  Happy Heart Kid activity kits are colorful and engaging, and I love that the activities are all so well thought out.  They take into account different learning styles and skills and so include a range of activities – crafts, games, discussion, role playing, and so on.  The kits are also easy for parents and educators to use:  Everything you need is included in the kit, and there are clear instructions and notes.  I also really appreciate that the kits break down abstract ideas into concrete, fun activities that children can really relate to.  So, for example, the “Grit” kit, which focuses on perseverance, includes a game where the players work together to come up with creative solutions to challenges like how to help a nervous monkey swing from tree to tree.  These kits are great gifts to empower kids through the development of positive qualities like perseverance!

Little Loving Hands Activity KitsLittle Loving Hands transforms the idea of activity kits by making the activity itself only part of the equation.  Kids still have fun doing a great craft, but when they finish they get to donate the item they make to a worthy organization, using a pre-paid envelope.  For example, the kit we received was to make a Seek and Search Activity Bag to donate to kids being treated at the National Institutes of Health.  Children will love being able to make such a personal gift for someone else. I love that the craft is so beautifully tailored for those that will receive it.  The activity bag we made is a fun, quiet game that kids can play while adults are resting and that can be easily taken from room to room.  Little Loving Hands kits are not only fun but teach kids about giving back and inspire them to see that they can make a difference.

Oct 202015
 
 October 20, 2015  activities, Education, education3 Comments Off on Engineering for Kids: Build a Parachute

Here is a great FUN project to teach engineering for kids: build a parachute that really works!  Thanks so much to Becky of Kid World Citizen – my blogging buddy and fellow Multicultural Kid Blogs board member – for sharing this fantastic activity!

Parachutes Kids- Kid World Citizen

We recently made some fantastic parachutes out of coffee filters, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and paper dixie cups. The kids had a blast throwing them off of our playset, and watching them float to the ground, often holding one of their superhero figures in the cups! Here’s how we made parachutes, and what the kids learned.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Continue reading »

Aug 252015
 

Three Easy Ways to Use Music to Teach Preschool Spanish | Alldonemonkey.com

Now that Little Monkey is approaching three years old, I’m incorporating more preschool activities into our homeschool.  One method that never gets old (and that my five year old loves as well) is music.  My boys both love to dance and sing, and music is playing constantly at our house and in the car.  Kids seem to be naturally attracted to music, and it is a great way to make any lesson fun.

Below are some easy ways to incorporate music as you teach Spanish, whether you are doing this in a classroom, a homeschool, or just informally. (Read more of my favorite resources for teaching Spanish).

Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of CD’s of Mister G for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

3 Easy Ways to Use Music to Teach Preschool Spanish

Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of this post, going through September 1!

To my mind there are three levels of engagement you can employ when using musical activities to teach Spanish: passive, partially engaged, and fully engaged.  Which level you use depends on the child’s level of Spanish and interest, your own level of Spanish, your goals in teaching, and the goal of the particular activity.  My kids and I have high levels of Spanish, but I don’t always opt for “fully engaged” activities since I have to be careful about their level of interest (one reason I love using music, since they are always interested in that!)  I find that a mix of activities works really well for us, to keep things fun but also keep them learning.  Experiment and find the mix that works best for you!

1. Passive Learning

This could also be termed “sneaky learning,” but I’ll try to sound professional by calling it “passive learning.” 😉 For kids with little to no knowledge of Spanish, this is a great method to use to start out.  Basically it involves exposing the kids to the sounds and rhythms of the language by playing music in the background, either during free play time or a dance or other exercise activity.  You aren’t calling attention to the lyrics themselves, just familiarizing them with the sounds.  If you are teaching Spanish at home, I’ve found that it’s great to play Spanish or bilingual songs in the car.

My kids, for example, love listening to the music of Mister G.  The topics are really fun (what kid wouldn’t love a song about chocolate, or an entire album about animals?), plus the music itself – which features Grammy award winning musicians – is wonderful.  In addition, the albums are bilingual, meaning that kids without much knowledge of Spanish to start won’t feel lost.

For kids with more knowledge of Spanish, passive learning is still a great way to increase their exposure to the vocabulary and structure of the language.  It can also be a great tool to get them to think more in Spanish by increasing the amount they hear.  This is very important in our situation.  Since Spanish is our minority language, I’m always looking for ways to balance out how much English the kids are exposed to throughout the day.

2. Partially Engaged Learning

Once you’re ready to begin teaching basic vocabulary, you can do activities involving partially engaged learning.  This is where you start to pick out one or two key words or phrases from a song and base a game or activity around them.  So, for example, you could teach them the word rana and have them hopping around like frogs to Mister G’s La rana, or teach them jirafa and send them on a giraffe hunt to the tune of Una jirafa en mi casa.  The song Siete elefantes is great for learning to count in Spanish!

These activities are great for kids without much background in Spanish because they are engaging without being overwhelming.  It’s a fun way to learn basic vocabulary and get some exercise!  This type of learning is also great for boys like mine, who have always been exposed to Spanish but whose understanding is mostly passive (meaning they understand very well but prefer to speak in English).  I’ve noticed that my older son especially is very hesitant to speak in Spanish because he is unsure of himself.  Really taking the time to reinforce the basics can build confidence and cover any gaps they may have in their understanding.

3. Fully Engaged Learning

For kids with greater understanding of the language, you can go for fully engaged learning.  This would involve building on an activity like the ones mentioned above with extension activities.  You can ask them questions in Spanish about the song, or teach them the lyrics, or do activities afterwards based on the full lyrics.  (In Spanish: Can you imagine having a giraffe in your house?  What would you do if you found one?  Let’s draw a picture of a giraffe in your bedroom!)  You could also have them engage with the full lyrics while the song is playing, by imitating the actions described, or having them jump up or twirl around when they hear particular words.  For kids with greater understanding of Spanish, this can be a fun way of getting them to pay closer attention to the lyrics and process what is actually happening in the song.

Something rather unique that I love about Mister G’s albums is that the songs are interspersed with short spoken conversations between Mister G and his friends.  Especially if you are a non-native speaker or – even if you aren’t – if you don’t have many Spanish speakers in your area, this is a wonderful way to increase the kids’ exposure to the flow of conversations in Spanish.  Great for vocabulary and grammar!

Enter to Win a Copy of Los Animales from Mister G!

Los Animales - Mister G

I am so excited to announce that I am giving away a copy of Los Animales from Mister G to TWO lucky US readers!  Enter below for your chance to win!

Mister G is a Latin Grammy nominee and Parents Choice Gold Award winner.  His albums have been selected by People magazine, Parents magazine, The Washington Post and Education.com as top albums for children.  His new release, Los Animales, is a collection of original bilingual songs for children inspired by his love of animals.  It features Grammy award winning musicians who together with the “kid-friendly, bilingual rock star” Mister G have created a fusion of salsa, jazz, bolero, Tejano, folk and rock music that kids and adults will love!  Listen to the music here and find out more about Mister G on his website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jun 252015
 
 June 25, 2015  activities, Book Reviews, Education, Global Learning for Kids Comments Off on India: Endangered Animals Games

India: Games to Learn about Endangered Animals | Alldonemonkey.com

As part of our unit on India, we studied about the country’s endangered animals, continuing our theme from Bolivia and Senegal.  This was a natural decision, as the boys love learning about the natural world.

I was provided a complimentary copy of Endangered Animals of India from the author; however, all opinions are my own.

Endangered Animals of India

To keep it fun, I created a few simple, interactive games based on a wonderful children’s book by Meera Sriram and Prabha Ram. Endangered Animals of India is a fact-filled book with descriptions and beautiful portraits of ten endangered animals in India, such as the red panda.  My Monkey really enjoyed flipping through the book not only for the pictures but also for the fun facts about these animals.  I love that the authors really drove home the point about how vulnerable these animals are but at the same time wove in a lot of funny details about them, such as the fact that Nilgiri tahrs alert each other to danger by snorting!

Habitat Matching

India: Endangered Animals Games | Alldonemonkey.com

One thing that really struck me was the diversity of the habitats of these animals.  So the first game we played was to match the animals to their respective habitats.  First, I made some quick sketches of the animals on poster board, then cut them out to use as the game pieces.  Next, I drew rough drawings of the habitats on a separate sheet of poster board.

Monkey then had to match the animals to their habitats – as most of the animals were fairly unfamiliar before reading Endangered Animals of India, consulting the book was allowed!

Vulnerability Scale

India: Endangered Animals Games | Alldonemonkey.com

Next, on another sheet of poster board, I recreated the vulnerability scale from the book, ranking the degree to which the animals are endangered, from Least Concern to Extinct (!)  Luckily, none of the animals in the book are in the last category (yet).  Reusing the game pieces from the previous game, Monkey had to place the animals on the scale.  This exercise really helped underline just how vulnerable these animals are.  I purposely did this game last, as by now – after reading and playing the habitat game – Monkey had started to develop a bit of an attachment to the animals and so was more affected by seeing where they fell on the scale.

Scavenger Hunt

Since it was the end of our homeschool year, we ran out of time to do the other games I had brainstormed, but these emphasized the role that children could play in helping the animals.  Since gathering information about them is crucial, you could do a scavenger hunt, where you hide the game pieces in your house, and the children would be responsible for finding them.  For older children, you could add numbers to the game pieces (perhaps on a sticky note so they could be removed for other games), indicating how many of the animals there were, so scientists know exactly how many of the animals are left in the wild.  A math extension could be adding up the numbers for a grand total, or creating a bar graph.  Were there more animals in the flatlands or the mangroves?

Animal Protection

An active learning exercise would be to create fun activities that would allow the children to see themselves as champions of the endangered animals.  For instance, one danger to the leatherback turtle is having their eggs stolen.  Children could do a race with plastic eggs to “save them” from predators and carry them to safer place.  To make it more cooperative, instead of competing against each other, you could set a timer and see how many eggs they could put in the safe place (for example, a basket) before time is up.

Global Learning for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of our new series Global Learning for Kids. This month we are learning all about India, so link up below any old or new posts designed to teach kids on India–crafts, books, lessons, recipes, music, and more!


Jun 022015
 
 June 2, 2015  activities 5 Responses »

Lego Summer Camp Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

Have a Lego lover in your house?  Here is your resource list to set up your own Lego summer camp!  Kids will have a blast with these themed activities and snacks!

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.

Lego Activities

Lego Clean Mud - Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Lego Clean Mud from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail

Lego Slime Sensory Bins from Brain Power Boy

Lego Math Activities for Preschoolers from The Pleasantest Thing

Counting and Measuring with Lego from Imagination Tree

Lego Building Challenges from The Pleasantest Thing

Lego Count and Move from JDaniel4’s Mom

Timed Lego Build - The Pleasantest ThingsTimed Lego Build from Mom with a Lesson Plan on The Pleasantest Thing

Rubber Band Powered Lego Car from Frugal Fun for Boys

Lego Minifigure Storytelling from A Mom with a Lesson Plan

Lego Car Ramp Painting - Toddler Approved

Lego Car Ramp Painting from Toddler Approved

Printing with Lego from Kids Activities Blog

DIY Lego Shirt from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail

Make a Race Track with Legos - Inspiration Laboratories

Make a Race Track with Legos from Inspiration Laboratories

Ice Bowling with Lego from Lemon Lime Adventures

5 Ways to Play with Lego Bricks and Water from Fun at Home with Kids

Lego Zip Line from Little Bins for Little Hands

Flying Lego MiniFigs from Creekside Learning

Lego Snacks

Lego Yogurt Snacks - The Chaos and the Clutter

Lego Yogurt Snacks from Chaos and the Clutter

Watermelon Legos from Watermelon.org

Lego Lunch Ideas - JDaniel4s Mom

Lego Lunch Ideas from JDaniel4’s Mom

Lego Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches from Babble:
I made these for my kids recently and was queen for a day!

Lego Man Cheese Sandwiches from Babble

Pepperoni Pizza Legos & Candy Legos from The Photographer’s Wife:
I made Lego chocolates like these for the Monkeys’ last birthday party using Lego molds – super easy and the kids loved it!

For even more Lego ideas, be sure to follow my Lego Fun board on Pinterest!



11 Weeks of Themed Activities from All Things Kids

Week 1
Sugar Aunts: Outer Space

Week 2
Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Ocean

Week 3
Still Playing School: Colors

Week 4
Where Imagination Grows: Backyard Fun

Week 5
Little Bins for Little Hands: Science

Week 6
All Done Monkey: Legos

Week 7
Rainy Day Mum: Bugs & Butterflies

Week 8
The Pleasantest Thing: Dinosaurs

Week 9
JDaniel 4’s Mom: Rainforest

Week 10
Coffee Cups and Crayons: Secret Spy School

Week 11
Fun-a-Day: Frozen

 

May 262015
 
 May 26, 2015  activities, Education, education3, raising world citizens Comments Off on Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers Subscription Kit

Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers | Alldonemonkey.com

I received a complimentary mission kit from Junior Explorers to facilitate my review; however, all opinions are my own.

Do you have a little nature lover in your house?  Junior Explorers helps teach ecology for kids through a monthly subscription kit with fun, interactive games and cool gear!

Monkey loves learning about animals and the natural world, so he was thrilled to receive an Amazon Mission kit from Junior Explorers!  This mission puts kids in the driver’s seat by telling them that they are needed to complete an important mission to help find missing jaguars!  To get ready, they first go through a checklist to prepare for their mission – including making use of the fun stickers, temporary tattoos, postcards, tiny animal toys, and official Junior Explorers button included in their kit!  There are also animal cards with facts about the animals they will encounter on their mission, as well as an information sheet about the Amazon.

Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers | Alldonemonkey.com

Then it is time to hop on the computer to get started!  After “packing” up your gear at the station, you set off on your journey to find the jaguars! There is a nice tie-in between the website and the package, as you need to refer to the animal cards to complete some of the activities along the way.  I also like that you make use of virtual gear that a real explorer would have with them – like a compass, map, binoculars, camera, and (of course) a tablet.

While the Junior Explorers website is very visual and easy to navigate, it is also very text-based, so really more appropriate for kids that are already reading.  Of course, you could sit with younger children and help them with the reading, but the games are designed for elementary age and above, as they require good hand-eye coordination.  They were just the right level for Monkey, who found them challenging but not frustrating.  Once he had finished the mission, he had fun going back and playing some of the games again.

Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers | Alldonemonkey.com

I would definitely recommend this for elementary age children who love animals!  It is a great way to help kids imagine themselves as explorers and envision themselves taking a leading role in helping the planet’s creatures.  Be sure to visit the Junior Explorers site for more information about their monthly subscription service!

May 132015
 
 May 13, 2015  activities, crafts, Declaration of the Bab Comments Off on Activities to Celebrate the Declaration of the Bab

Activities to Celebrate the Declaration of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

The Bahá’í holiday the Declaration of the Báb is coming up next week, so I wanted to share some fun activities we did to celebrate last year.  There are lots of creative ways you can celebrate.  One year we held a play date, complete with storytelling and games, while another year we had a treasure hunt in a park.  This year we did a scavenger hunt and craft, rounded out with some treats!

Scavenger Hunt

In the past we’ve focused on the idea of search, to commemorate Mulla Husayn’s search for the Promised One (the Báb).  To continue this theme, our first activity was a simple scavenger hunt at the park.  Simple is key because the boys were still rather young (4 and 1), and we were at the park, so I knew their attention spans for structured activities would be rather short.

For the items on their list, I threw in some general spring items (flowers, birds), plus others to do with the holy day: Since “the Báb” is an Arabic title meaning “the Gate” I had them look for any gates.  (There were several at this park; if there aren’t any at yours, you could always modify it to include doors).  And since green was a color associated with the Báb (throughout much of Islamic history in Persia, only the descendents of Muhammad, such as the Báb, were allowed to wear green), I also had the boys look for as many green things as they could find.  Not hard to do in a park!

Craft

Following up on the color green, after we got home we did a modified version of this really fun fireworks painting craft from Artsy Momma.

Activities to Celebrate the Declaration of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

The kids enjoyed the novelty of painting with the pipe cleaners (painting with unusual materials is always a hit!), and their paintings turned out beautifully.

Activities to Celebrate the Declaration of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

Treat Boxes

And, of course, since it was a holiday, we couldn’t forget the treats!  I found these great treat boxes at the Dollar Tree in the section for wedding showers.  They came flat, which made them easy to decorate, plus Monkey had fun “building” his box once it was done.

Activities to Celebrate the Declaration of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

And they were just the right size for the pencils, stickers, and lollipops I had gotten for them.  In fact, Monkey’s treat box remained in his room as a holder of miscellaneous treasures for quite some time.

Activities to Celebrate the Declaration of the Bab | Alldonemonkey.com

Happy Declaration of the Báb!  How are you celebrating?

Apr 292015
 
 April 29, 2015  activities, crafts, Ridvan Comments Off on Crown Craft: Celebrating the Ridvan, “King of Festivals”

This post was originally posted as part of the Walking Through the Garden of Ridván series and is reprinted here with permission from the author, Chelsea Lee Smith.

To help think about the meaning and importance of Ridván as the “King of Festivals,” as used in the selection below, our family made crowns.

As to the significance of that Declaration let Bahá’u’lláh Himself reveal to us its import. Acclaiming that historic occasion as the “Most Great Festival,” the “King of Festivals,” the “Festival of God,” He has, in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, characterized it as the Day whereon “all created things were immersed in the sea of purification,” whilst in one of His specific Tablets, He has referred to it as the Day whereon “the breezes of forgiveness were wafted over the entire creation.” God Passes By

I had some paper ready for the boys to choose colors from, and I had also printed out a page of small nine-pointed stars (found in Google images) for decoration. We sized the cut out crowns to their heads and then they glued on the stars where they wanted them… it was so sweet to see which ones they chose and how they wanted them placed.

Crown Craft: Celebrating the "King of Festivals" {Ridvan} | Alldonemonkey.com

After making the crowns, Zorion said he had something to ask me and he whispered into my ear, “Can we march with our crowns on?” It was too cute. So of course I said yes and, because the marching song that always comes to my mind is “Teaching Peace” by Red Grammar, we started singing and marching. (If you don’t know the song, listen to it and find the lyrics here).

Crown Craft: Celebrating the "King of Festivals" {Ridvan} | Alldonemonkey.com

We have also done made crowns for the past few years, and they still live in our dress-up box.

Crown Craft: Celebrating the "King of Festivals" {Ridvan} | Alldonemonkey.com

Crown Craft: Celebrating the "King of Festivals" {Ridvan} | Alldonemonkey.com

How are you celebrating Ridván?

Walking Through the Garden of Ridvan 2013This post is part of the Walking Through the Garden of Ridván series, where members of Baha’i Mom Blogs are sharing ideas for celebrating Ridván during all 12 days.

Follow along by visiting this page!

Apr 252015
 
 April 25, 2015  activities, Ridvan Comments Off on Tapping into the Joy of Ridvan

This post was originally posted as part of the Walking Through the Garden of Ridván series and is reprinted here with permission from the author, Chelsea Lee Smith.

Rejoice, with exceeding gladness, O people of Bahá!”, Bahá’u’lláh has written, “as ye call to remembrance the Day of supreme felicity, the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken, as He departed from His House proceeding to the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendors of His Name, the All-Merciful! Were We to reveal the hidden secrets of that Day, all that dwell on earth and in the heavens would swoon away and die, except such as will be preserved by God, the Almighty, the All- Knowing, the All-Wise. Such is the inebriating effect of the words of God upon the Revealer of His undoubted proofs that His pen can move no longer.

Wow what a special time this is. Truly 12 days of heavenly joy… and there are so many ways to celebrate and share the happiness!

Here are five things we have done during Ridván which we have found to be lots of fun and very uplifting:

Spending time with friends

Some moms in our community got together this year for a Ridván picnic at a playground – the kids played and we all shared snacks and each other’s company. We also had a short “program” – we sang a prayer together, had a little game, and did a craft activity (making a collage of rose pictures – cut out from an old calendar – along with the quotation: “Associate with each other, think of each other, and be like a rose garden.” ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá). What better way to celebrate than spending time with those you love?

Tapping into the Joy of Ridvan | Alldonemonkey.com

Sharing special treats

At our community’s gathering this year which was also a casual picnic in a park (luckily on a different day – so great there are 12 days of Ridván!), I set up a cookie-decorating station for the kids. I brought a tray, a batch of bakery cookies (from a grocery store), a tin of icing, some candies and sprinkles, and a set of colored icing tubes. Yes I know, not healthy at all, but in a pinch and because I really didn’t feel I could muster the energy to do it all homemade… I thought on a special occasion this would be fine 🙂 So the kids enjoyed making cookies for themselves and for the rest of the community… it was so sweet to see how hard they worked and how proud they were when they could give the cookies away.

Tapping into the Joy of Ridvan | Alldonemonkey.com

Going on a treasure hunt

Last year during our children’s program we had a treasure hunt for “rose chocolates” and told the children that the candies would remind them about how sweet our love is for Bahá’u’lláh. It would also be neat to hide roses or rose petals – maybe attached to a quotation or portion of the Ridván story, for older children? 🙂

 

Tapping into the Joy of Ridvan | Alldonemonkey.com

Making a garden

Because it’s so lovely to think about being in a garden, we have included gardening in our Ridván activities each year. This year I splurged a bit and bought some little plant kits for the boys as one of their daily activities… I appreciated getting something where it was all ready for me since I have yet to tap into any gardening side of myself 🙂 We carefully read and followed the instructions, and already one pot (the sunflower) is starting to sprout! The boys REALLY enjoyed this and I think it also makes the “garden” aspect of the Ridván story a lot more hands-on and tangible, not to mention memorable.

Tapping into the Joy of Ridvan | Alldonemonkey.com

Gifts of love

Last year for our children’s program I also made some little gifts for the kids and parents, kind of like a “party favor.” Honestly I’m not exactly sure what the recipients thought (although everyone was of course very thankful!), but I found I actually got a whole lot out of the experience because, while making the crayons and bookmarks, I was pouring my love for Baha’u’llah into every one. As the kids get older, I’d love to give them the chance to think of some ways they could “gift” other people – maybe with crafts, baked goods, or services – during the Ridvan period, to allow them to express creatively the love and gratitude stirring within.

There are so, so many ways to feel joy and create joyful experiences for our children during these 12 glorious days… and they don’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Simply going on a nature walk to marvel at God’s creation would do the trick. In fact, we may do that tomorrow. 🙂

Tapping into the Joy of Ridvan | Alldonemonkey.com

If you have any ways you have enjoyed celebrating Ridván and making the time especially joyful for your children, please share in the comments!

Walking Through the Garden of Ridvan 2013This post is part of the Walking Through the Garden of Ridvan series, where members of Baha’i Mom Blogs are sharing ideas for celebrating Ridvan during all 12 days.

Follow along by visiting this page!

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial