Apr 132017
 
 April 13, 2017  activities, crafts, Ridvan, STEM 2 Responses »

The Festival of Ridván begins next week, and because it commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s stay in a garden full of roses, I love to do rose crafts and activities with my children to celebrate (like make these rose cookies). Inspired by the roses that were piled in Bahá’u’lláh’s tent each day (so many that His guests could not see each other over them!) I have gathered together a huge list of rose crafts, play and learning activities, and recipes for you. Enjoy!

A huge collection of rose crafts, play and learning activities, and recipes

Rose Crafts

From Living Ideas: DIY Rose Egg Craft

From Crafts by Amanda: Realistic Duct Tape Roses & Cardboard Tube Bouquet of Felt Roses

From Red Ted Art: Paper Towel Roses & Duct Tape Rose Pens

From Messy Little Monster: Celery Roses

From No Biggie: Pipe Cleaner Rose Rings

From Mum in the Madhouse: Simple Paper Roses

From Bellissima Kids: Paper Roses Bouquet

From FabDIY: Coffee Filter Rose

From Self-Reliant Living: Egg Carton Roses

From Mom on Time Out: Hershey’s Kisses Roses

From Kids Activities Blog: Paper Plate Roses

Rose Play & Learning Activities

From Teach Beside Me: LED Roses

From Schooling a Monkey: 3D Rose Model – Biology for Kids

From Mother Natured: Rose Study

From Homegrown Friends: Color Changing Rose Experiment

From Kitchen Counter Chronicle: Make a Book – The Giving Roses

From Nurture Store: Rose Petal Sensory Play Tub

From Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Rose Petal Water Play

From Childhood 101: Rose Playdough

From Crafts on Sea: Rose Scented Playdough

Rose Recipes

From All Done Monkey: Rose Cookies

From Martha Stewart: Ring Around the Rose Petal Fools

From The European Mama: Rose Petal Jam

From Gimme Some Oven: Rose Cake

From Life of a Lost Muse: Rose Apple Pie

From Heather Christo: White Peach and Rose Sorbet

From The Pretty Blog: Homemade Rosewater Marshmallows

From Global Table Adventure: Rosewater Lemonade, Rosewater Tea, Sweet Semolina Cake with Rosewater and Lemon, & Sweet Saffron Custard with Rosewater

From Posh Little Designs: DIY Raspberry Rose Ice Cubes

From A Pumpkin & A Princess: Rose Petal Bath Soak

From Lulus: Coconut Rose Body Scrub

Apr 112017
 
 April 11, 2017  Ridvan Comments Off on Ridvan Flower Board with Activities for Kids

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 GrowIt 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 with Activities for Children | Alldonemonkey.com

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.

Ridvan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

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

Rdivan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

Make a card for a friend

Have fun with sensory play

Enjoy tea and muffins while talking about the story of Ridván

Rdivan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

Get ice cream

Tell the story of Ridván using a felt board

Make tents

Rdivan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

Make a collage of flowers

Make rose cookies

Learn a new song

Go on a picnic

Ridván Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

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.

Apr 142016
 
 April 14, 2016  Ridvan 1 Response »

Ridvan Coloring Pages for Adults | Alldonemonkey.com

Adult coloring pages are all the rage, so I thought it would be fun to create some Ridvan coloring pages for adults!  Adult coloring pages are meant to be a relaxing, meditative exercise, so I focused on doing abstract decorations for related words and brief quotations.

You can find even more resources for families to celebrate Ridvan in this series from a few years ago, and be sure to stop by Creative World of Varya for some children’s coloring pages for Ridvan.

Ridvan Coloring Pages for Adults

Download your copies here:

Ridvan Coloring Page

“Rejoice with exceeding gladness…” Coloring Page

Full quotation: “Rejoice with exceeding gladness, O people of Bahá, 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. God is Our witness. Were We to reveal the hidden secrets of that Day, all they 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.” -Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

“The Divine Springtime is come…” Coloring Page

Full quotation: “The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new. Speak, and hold not thy 28 peace. The day star of blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the kingdom of the name of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the name of thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Arise before the nations of the earth, and arm thyself with the power of this Most Great Name, and be not of those who tarry.” -Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

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!

Apr 212015
 
 April 21, 2015  activities, music, Ridvan Comments Off on Celebrating the Festival of Ridvan with Music

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.

Ridván has come again and we are having fun celebrating each day with a little activity.

As we have been doing for the past three years, each day of Ridván the children receive a little note sharing a Ridvan related thought of the day (based on a quotation) with an activity to help discuss it. This year I’ve been putting the notes in our “homeschooling mail box” for them to open each morning after prayers.

Celebrating the Festival of Ridvan with Music | Alldonemonkey.com

Two of our activities so far have been based on music. Music is such a lovely way to introduce ideas to children, and listening in and participating in music-making can really uplift everyone’s spirit as well.

On the first day we attended our community’s Ridvan picnic, and shared a special song about Ridvan written and sung by Diana Howlett called “This is the Day.” The song is based on the three quotes below and you can find out more about the CD and even download the lyrics and sheet music on this page:

Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10)

This is the Day whereon the Ocean of God’s mercy hath been manifested unto men…” (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 7)

This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favours have been poured out upon men…” (Bahá’u’lláh, The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 121)

Today our activity was singing the ever-famous song “Garden of Ridván” (to hear and watch a video, plus find the lyrics, visit this page). I also made it into a game by asking the boys to stand up and clap each time they heard the word “garden.” It was a lot of silly fun and I was reminded again how much children love to play and have fun with even the simplest of “games.”

Celebrating the Festival of Ridvan with Music | Alldonemonkey.com

So there are two songs we know for celebrating Ridván – do you know of any others?? Please share in the comments below!

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!

Apr 302014
 
 April 30, 2014  recipes, Ridvan 6 Responses »

Rose Cookies {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

It’s hard to believe that Ridván is almost over!  We have enjoyed our new decorations this year and as always have fun saying prayers and hanging out in our Ridván tent.

Today we are meeting some friends for a picnic in a local rose garden (yes, we are going crazy for roses!), so I wanted to make a special treat.

I fell in love with these adorable Easter egg sugar cookies I saw on Pinterest and was inspired to adapt her recipe to make – you guessed it! – rose cookies.  I was so happy with how they came out, in terms of looks and taste, and my Monkey tester approved as well!  (Little Monkey was more interested in smashing it to bits in his high chair, but perhaps I offered it too close to his nap time!)

These are super easy to make, and you will feel like a rock star!

Rose Cookies {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

Follow her easy recipe (I followed a suggestion from ALLterNATIVE learning and substituted coconut oil for some of the butter – it added a wonderfully light coconut flavor!), but make your coils shorter and pinch the tops to make a gentle peak.  Coil them into circles to make the rose shapes – easy and so pretty!

Bake as per her instructions, let cool, and enjoy!

Rose Cookies {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

Apr 172014
 
 April 17, 2014  crafts, Ridvan, Spring 4 Responses »

Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses - Alldonemonkey.com

The Festival of Ridván is approaching, and each year I try to make it special for my kids.  This year, in addition to making a Ridván tent, I thought we should do some other decorations.  Since Ridván commemorates the time that Bahá’u’lláh spent in the Ridván Gardens outside of Baghdad, I wanted to do something with flowers.

Monkey loves play dough, so I thought he would really enjoy making salt dough ornaments – and boy, did he!  (Once I was able to tear him away from his Legos, of course).  The only problem was convincing him that we couldn’t eat them once they were done cooking 🙂

I found this wonderful two-part tutorial on salt dough ornaments from Tinkerlab, which includes a recipe.  As she mentions, you will probably not need the full amount of water indicated.Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

Monkey had fun rolling out the dough and doing the shapes with cookie cutters.  For the Bahá’ís in the audience, yes, you did spy some nine-pointed stars in there!  Those super cool nine-pointed star cookie cutters were an Ayyám-i-Há gift from Grandma this year from Special Ideas!

While Monkey worked the cookie cutters (and Baby played with some of the dough), I decided to try to make some roses to set on the counters.  You can find tutorials online to make beautiful, realistic roses, but I was looking for something easy that I could make while looking after my two little guys.

I used a technique similar to what I have seen others do to make paper roses: I cut a long strip out of the dough then rolled it up and pinched together the bottom.  They won’t win any contests, but Monkey took one look and said, “They’re pretty, Mommy.”  What more could a mama ask for?

Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

Once we were done, the ornaments went into the oven to bake on 25o F for just over two hours.  (Don’t forget to use a straw to make the holes so you can hang the ornaments later!)

After they had cooled, it was time to paint!  Monkey was very enthusiastic about this part as well.  I had in mind to do lots of pretty spring colors, but Monkey had other ideas.  Right away he spotted brown paint and declared he wanted to paint only with brown.  I decided to go with it, since the decorations were for him, after all – and because I had just realized how low we were on acrylic paints, meaning that I would need to use every spare drop we had, even the brown.  (For the record, he said he was making “chocolate” flowers).

Spring Banners & Lazy Salt Dough Roses {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

As it turned out, Monkey did move on to other colors – and we did run out of acrylic paint.  Luckily we had some finger paints, which worked out fine, although they are not as bright as the acrylics.

Spring Banners & Lazy Salt Dough Roses {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

We left them to dry overnight then in the morning threaded some pretty ribbon through the holes and hung up our spring banner.  I was happy with how it turned out but was over the moon with how excited the boys were about it.  Baby couldn’t stop pointing and “talking” about it, and Monkey kept dancing around shouting “Ornaments! Ornaments!”

Spring Banners & Lazy Salt Dough Roses {Ridvan} - Alldonemonkey.com

Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses - Alldonemonkey.com

Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses - Alldonemonkey.com

Happy Ridván to those of you celebrating, and to the rest, Happy Spring!

 

For more ideas for celebrating Ridván, be sure to check out last year’s collaborative series Walking Through the Garden of Ridván.

May 022013
 
 May 2, 2013  Ridvan 2 Responses »

Walking Through the Garden of Ridvan 2013It is hard to believe that as of sunset tonight (which has already happened in many places) Ridván will be over.  I have had so much fun participating in the first ever Walking Through the Garden of Ridván series with Bahá’í Mom Blogs and getting ideas for how to celebrate this special holiday with my boys.

Here is a look back on all the fun things that the participating bloggers shared during this 12 day festival.  For a full list of the posts, see our main page.


Ridvan series overview - Alldonemonkey.com

We set up a Ridván tent, learned about celebrations around the world, and sampled rose water cheesecake

Ridvan series overview - Alldonemonkey.com

…used music to celebrate, made a felt story board, and shared hospitality

Ridvan series overview - Alldonemonkey.com

…made crowns, used nightingale puppets and sensory play, and created a beautiful environment

Ridvan series overview - Alldonemonkey.com

…tapped into the joy of the festival, celebrated with loved ones, and, finally, left the beautiful garden.

How did you celebrate Ridván this year?

Apr 282013
 
 April 28, 2013  Education, Kid Fun, Ridvan 12 Responses »

Nightingales: Ridvan Craft and Sensory Play - Alldonemonkey.com

“Consider these nightingales.  So great is their love for these roses, that sleepless from dusk till dawn, they warble their melodies and commune with burning passion with the object of their adoration.  How then can those who claim to be afire with the rose-like beauty of the Beloved chose to sleep?”

– Bahá’u’lláh to His companions in the Ridván Garden, as related by Nabíl (quoted in God Passes By, p. 153).

“Hear those birds, Mommy?”  It’s just before dawn, and Monkey has crawled into our bed.  Just outside our window, the birds are singing their greeting to the sun as it begins its slow rise over the treetops.

We love listening to the birds in the morning, in that magical time suspended delicately between the dark of night and the brightness of the coming day.  In those few moments, not yet burdened by the chores of the day but full of the promise of the new dawn, we lie in bed and listen.

For Bahá’ís, this time of year brings to mind one bird in particular: the nightingale.  This bird, known for its plaintive melodies, was used frequently by Bahá’u’lláh as a metaphor for a person in love with God.  The nightingale is a prominent figure in Persian poetry, in which it is characterized by its sweet melody, sung to its beloved, the rose.  In a similar way, people in love with God will not rest but instead spend all their hours singing praises to their Beloved.

Here is a beautiful Bahá’í song that I grew up with that uses the nightingale metaphor to talk about Bahá’u’lláh.  If you’d like to play it yourself, here is the sheet music.

To teach the little ones about these beautiful birds, last year at our community gathering we did a really fun nightingale craft from the Core Curriculum for Spiritual Education.

Nightingales: Ridvan Craft and Sensory Play - Alldonemonkey.com

We set up a table with the materials, including stickers and markers to decorate the birds.  I also found some colorful streamers to use for the tails.  If you look closely, you will see one of our ladybug cupcakes on the table!

Nightingales: Ridvan Craft and Sensory Play - Alldonemonkey.com

It was a simple craft, but at the end the kids had something really cute and fun to play with.  Monkey still loves making the wings flap!

Nightingales: Ridvan Craft and Sensory Play - Alldonemonkey.com

By the time this Ridván rolled around, however, Monkey really wasn’t very interested in crafts, so I tried a different approach.  First, we listened to this recording of a nightingale’s song, which Monkey asked me to play several times.  It really is beautiful!

Then we sat in our Ridván tent and did some sensory play.  This was so much fun!  It would also make a great activity for a group.

Nightingales: Ridvan Craft and Sensory Play - Alldonemonkey.com

In case you were worried, the robots didn’t miss out on the fun!  In fact, play was suspended for several minutes as Monkey carefully rolled them – one by one – in from the other room.

Beforehand I had gathered some materials related to the holiday, such as tea bags, rose petals, a flower from our yard, and a small rose made of tissue paper.

Nightingales: Ridvan Craft and Sensory Play - Alldonemonkey.com

I covered the bowl with the beautiful blue scarf we are using as the “river” around our tent.  I had Monkey reach his hand under the scarf and try to identify the objects in the bowl.  It was hard!  Especially considering that I hadn’t prepped him at all for the kinds of things that would be in the bowl.

I then had him close his eyes and smell the tea and the flowers.  Afterwards, we examined the flower petals and noted the differences between the fresh petals and the dried ones.  We then cut open the tea bag to play with the dried leaves.  It wasn’t the first time Monkey had seen loose tea, but it was the first time I had let him play with it!

I think his favorite part, though, was our “taste test.”  It is amazing how difficult it can be to guess a flavor when it is completely out of context!  When I put some sugar on his tongue, for example, Monkey told me it tasted “spicy.”  He was surprised to see what it was!  Honey, though, he guessed instantly, probably because he frequently has it on its own.

Once Baby woke up from his nap, I let him play with some of the objects as well.  As soon as I held out the first one, his eyes got huge, and he started cooing, so I know he was excited!

Nightingales: Ridvan Craft and Sensory Play - Alldonemonkey.com

**Please note: Sensory play with infants should be strictly supervised for safety reasons.**

When doing sensory play with babies, be sure to use larger objects than you would with older children.  In addition to the choking hazard, it is also more fun for them.  Baby Monkey quickly became frustrated with small objects, as they were difficult for him to grab and hold onto.  Of course, don’t give them anything with sharp edges or points, and be very careful that they don’t put anything in their mouths, which of course they will try to do!

But if you follow precautions and good common sense, sensory play with babies is extremely rewarding.  Baby and I had so much fun, and it was a great way for him to connect to the holiday as well.

Have you done sensory play with your kids?

Walking Through the Garden of Ridvan 2013

This post is part of the series Walking Through the Garden of Ridván with Bahá‘í Mom Blogs. For a full list of the posts in this series, visit our main page.

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