Preschooler-Infant Playgroup (Declaration of the Bab)
Last week we hosted a playgroup for little ones for the Bahá’í holy day the Declaration of the Báb. Since the main commemoration takes place at night (to mark the time the actual historical event took place), we thought it would be nice to have something for the kids during the day.
There was a lot of play time involved and plenty of treats for the little guys. D from The D Lists even made vegan smoothies for everyone! Since the star was often used as a symbol for the Báb, Monkey and I made some star cookies to share. I know, I know. “Leanna, didn’t you make star cookies last year?” Yes, well, I prefer the term “consistent” rather than “boring.” 🙂
This was not the big to-do we did for Naw Rúz, but it was still a lovely playgroup. We started off with singing a prayer by the Báb then I told them the story of the holy day. Since the kids were all 4 and under, the telling went something like this:
“A long time ago, there was a young man named Mullá Husayn. Can you say that? Mullá Husayn.”
“I want say ‘robot’ … Robot.”
“Mullá Husayn had a teacher who loved God very much.”
“I have a teacher at the gym.”
“Let’s make up a story ’bout robots.”
“This teacher told Mullá Husayn that there was a very special Teacher sent by God who was coming to tell everyone about peace and unity.”
(pointing to seatmate) “He’s a girl.”
“So he told Mullá Husayn to go out and look for this special Teacher.”
“The baby’s listening to the story, too.”
“I want a cookie.”
“But there was a problem – Mullá Husayn didn’t know what the Teacher’s name was, what he looked like, or where he lived! How was he going to find him?”
“I could have found him.”
“The chair is listening to the story, too.”
“Mullá Husayn went and said prayers for 40 days – that’s a really long time – and asked God to help him.”
(Siren from toy fire engine sounds)
“The couch is listening, too.”
And so on. Not to keep you in suspense – Mullá Husayn found the Teacher, who was (as you may already have guessed) the Báb. The “declaration” in the title refers to when the Báb “declared” that He was the Promised One Mullá Husayn sought.
After our tale was over, we danced around to the Hawaiian Unity Song (here is a really adorable rendition by some children in Australia). It’s a really fun song, and, frankly, it helped dispel the eerie feeling Monkey had given me when he suggested that the furniture was listening to our story.
Afterwards we had two activities that played on the theme of search. The first was a sensory bin filled with dry beans. The kids had to dig through the beans to find treasures (small toys) hidden inside. **Note: A sensory bin of this type must be supervised at all times, particularly with very young children, and is not suitable for infants.
The second activity was an obstacle course, drawing on the idea that Mullá Husayn had to overcome many obstacles to find the Báb. I drew some stars on paper plates that they had to jump on, laid a squiggly line (a scarf) that they had to follow and pillows they had to climb before landing on one final star at the end.
After that, it was time for bubbles outside and snacks. We had such a good time. The Monkeys and I are so lucky to have such wonderful friends to celebrate with!