Feb 162018
 
 February 16, 2018  Ayyam-i-Ha 

It’s that time of year again! As Ayyám-i-Há approaches, party planners in communities everywhere scramble to come up with fun, meaningful activities that will appeal to a wide range of ages. Here are our best tips from veteran party planners on how to throw a community Ayyam-i-Ha party to remember! And don’t miss out on our giveaway of a wonderful new coloring book for kids for Ayyám-i-Há!

Throw a Community Ayyam-i-Ha Party Like a Boss | Alldonemonkey.com

Be sure to visit our Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide and download your copy of our Ayyám-i-Há fun book!

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

Throw a Community Ayyam-i-Ha Party Like a Boss

Looking for great ideas for your community Ayyam-i-Ha party? Here are suggestions from experienced party planners from around the world. Be sure to share yours in the comments!

Inviting the Wider Community

  • Invite those already involved in core activities, like children’s classes.
  • Send out an invitation (hard copy or digital, even on Facebook) to set the tone about the party so that friends and neighbours who are not Bahá’í learn about it before hand.
  • Have an open house, so friends don’t feel the need to commit and can just drop by when they’re able. Makes it easier if you have a small house, too!
  • Make invitations with pictures and a quote with a little explanation about Ayyám-i-Há.
  • If possible, try handing out invitations in person so you can explain more if anyone has questions.

Gift Exchanges

  • White elephant exchanges are very popular! “It’s hilarious to watch 50 something adults picking presents and exchanging them.”
  • Have everyone bring a simple gift then a gift under each person’s chair.
  • Treat bags for kids
  • Have every child bring an inexpensive, wrapped present. Then each gets to pick one of the presents out of the basket.
  • Have all the children bring simple inexpensive presents like pencils, stickers, or erasers then pass out one to each child. Every child leaves with new treasures, plus they get the experience of giving.
  • Hang up a sheet on a doorway, going only half way up, and decorate with pictures of fish. Make a fishing rod with a small basket on the end of the string to “fish for presents.” Each child then gets to “fish” for a small gift.

Entertainment

  • Skits about history
  • Live music & dancing
  • Talent show
  • Puppet show that shares the concepts of Ayyám-i-Há (such as hospitality, service, kindness and gift giving).

Activities

  • Break children into age groups for active games
  • Have kids make picture frames for their favorite Bahá’í quote
  • Have different stations where people can make gifts (potting plants, card marking, candle rolling, making lavender sachets) for others.
  • Face painting
  • Piñata!

Music

  • Sing songs from children’s classes together
  • Performances from the children’s classes
  • Live music

Food

  • Sheet cake
  • Pizza
  • Picnic in the park
  • Candy, but set up in a different part of the house. Each family went in as a unit, and the parents decided how much the kids could have. (There were also toothbrushes!) Then they put the candy in the fabric goodie bags.
  • Ice cream sundae bar
  • Cupcake/cookie decoration station
  • Progressive dinner (appetizers at one home, main course at another, dessert at another)

Service Projects

  • Collect items for a local homeless shelter
  • Do a food drive for a local food bank
  • Help a local family in need
  • Donate supplies to a Bahá’í school
  • Collect winter jackets
  • Make no-sew blankets for children in foster care
  • Host the party at a park then do a park clean up afterwards
  • Collect books and toys for the local children’s hospital
  • Assemble lunches for homeless youth
  • Have a station to make bird feeders (with pine cones and seeds), cat toys and dog treats to take to the SPCA
  • Make toiletry bags to give to the domestic crisis center or “blessings bags” for the homeless, with items like travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, soap, toothbrush and washcloth
  • You can find more service project ideas in our Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide or in this list from Brilliant Star.

Ayyam-i-Ha Coloring Book Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be giving away a wonderful new children’s coloring book about Ayyám-i-Há, the Fast, and Naw-Rúz from my dear friend Melissa of Delighted Hearts. COLORING BOOK – Celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha, Observing the Fast, & Celebrating Naw-Ruz Around the World has 84 coloring pages for children. It celebrates the unity in diversity, featuring over 40 languages, and 222 countries, territory, and regions of the world.

To win your copy, simply comment below by telling us how you’re getting ready for Ayyám-i-Há!

Contest runs through midnight PT on Monday, February 19, 2018. Winners chosen through random selection. US Shipping Only.

Apr 132017
 
 April 13, 2017  activities, crafts, Ridvan, STEM 

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. 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 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.

Feb 142017
 
 February 14, 2017  Ayyam-i-Ha Comments Off on Find Great Ayyam-i-Ha Gifts in our Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Guide!

Looking for some great Ayyam-i-Ha gifts for your loved ones? Find something for everyone (including homemade gifts and crafts) in our newly updated Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide, while supporting Bahá’í-inspired and globally minded businesses!

Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Guide 2017 - Alldonemonkey.com

Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide 2017

And don’t miss these Ayyám-i-Há gifts on Etsy, and these cute printable bookmarks and gift tags!

And of course, don’t miss our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book, on sale now!

Ayyam-i-Ha: Fun Ideas for Children and Families

Apr 142016
 
 April 14, 2016  Ridvan 

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

Feb 222016
 
 February 22, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha 

Printable Ayyam-i-Ha gift tags for the Baha'i holiday Ayyam-i-Ha

Here is another free printable for you: Ayyam-i-Ha gift tags!  I had so much fun making these!  They are business card sized, so you can either punch a hole in them and attach to a gift with ribbon, or you can drop them instead a treat bag.  For some I deliberately left off the “To” field, in case – like us – you will be taking treats to your child’s classroom and don’t want to label each individual tag.

Download your free printable Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Tags.  Enjoy!

Don’t miss our printable Ayyam-i-Ha bookmarks, which are great in the classroom or as teacher gifts!  You can find even more gift ideas, including craft tutorials and service projects, in our Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Guide!

Feb 192016
 
 February 19, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha, Gift guides 

Ayyam-i-Ha Gifts on Etsy | Alldonemonkey.com

Looking for a great gift for your loved ones this Ayyám-i-Há?  Here is a collection of wonderful Ayyam-i-Ha gifts on Etsy, from — to –.  Don’t forget you can find even more Ayyam-i-Ha gifts in my gift guide, including our Ayyam-i-Ha Fun e-book!

Updated for 2018!!

Nightingale Creations has handmade beaded bookmarks, prayer beads, and accessories.

Elika Arts has original acrylic paintings and acrylic cards.

Honey’s Hive has handmade eco-friendly paper quilled jewelry (including nine pointed star earrings) and tutorials.

Sophia Wood Art has art and children’s books, including The Night Before Ayyám-i-Há.

18 Letter Press has Ayyám-i-Há pennants, wrapping paper, and art prints, plus original Bahá’í children’s books, including one on Ayyám-i-Há!

Delighted Hearts Shop has Ayyám-i-Há banners and children’s crafts.

Little Star Prints has greeting cards, children’s class quote cards, and prints.

chARiTy elise designs has pottery, porcelain jewelry, bisque stamps, handmade supplies and more.

atinyseed has Bahá’í themed art and gift items.

Nine Star Studios has banners, gift tags, bags, labels and door signs.

RubySue Stationery has Ayyám-i-Há and other greeting cards.

Created Noble has art, cards, and coaster sets.

Lucky Bug has message boxes, cards, and Ayyám-i-Há gift bags.

Patty’s Garden Studio has original watercolor floral paintings, greeting cards, pillows, and tote bags.

Felterrific has lots of felt crafts, including handmade Ayyám-i-Há countdown calendars.

jbart has greeting cards, art, and home decor.

A Gladsome Heart has cut paper art, including Ayyám-i-Há banners, gift tags, art, and greeting cards.

Aniarchy has a board book with engaging visuals and quotes from Bahá’u’lláh, great for adults or even young children.

The Sprout + Flower has handmade flower and crystals crowns.

9 Star Jewelry has prayer beads and Bahá’í-themed jewelry.

Muluc has Bahá’í prayer book covers.

Sweet Relief Farm has Bahá’í-inspired jewelry, home decor, and gift tags.

Cut Glue Art has prints and children’s class resources.

Eagle Wise King has Bahá’í-inspired art.

Bahá’í Breezes has Bahá’í-inspired art, including prints and greeting cards.

Please note that while we have made great efforts to ensure the quality and integrity of the participating businesses and blogs, inclusion in the Gift Guide in no way constitutes an endorsement and All Done Monkey is not responsible for the content of the websites included in this Guide.

Feb 092016
 
 February 9, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha, crafts 

Printable Bookmarks for Ayyam-i-Ha | Alldonemonkey.com

With the approach of the Bahá’í holiday of Ayyam-i-Ha, many of us like to share treats or small gifts with friends or in our children’s classrooms.  These printable bookmarks are an easy, fun way to share the spirit of the holiday and teach a little something about what we were are celebrating.

I chose some of my favorite quotes from the Bahá’í writings and included them in the bookmarks, which you can download here: Ayyam-i-Ha Bookmarks.

Jan 282016
 
 January 28, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha, crafts 

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

The Bahá’í holiday of Ayyam-i-Ha is coming soon, and while I loved the countdown chain we’ve done previously, this year I wanted to jazz it up a little and do something a little more crafty and maybe even pretty.

A popular symbol among Bahá’ís is the nine-pointed star, since the number nine symbolizes unity.  I wanted to play with this image and see if I could combine it with a flower, since spring is also just around the corner (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself!)  So I made a flower countdown calendar that when opened is also a nine-pointed star.

It’s almost that time of year! Countdown calendar tutorial on the blog tomorrow! #mkbkids #kbn #momsoninstagram #ayyamiha #bahai

A photo posted by Leanna Alldonemonkey (@alldonemonkey) on

As any Bahá’í will tell you, a nine-pointed star is not the easiest symbol to have.  Most of us can’t just casually draw a star with nine evenly spaced point or fold a piece of paper into a simple nine-pointed origami star.  And neither, I’ve discovered, is it very easy to cut a circle into nine equal slices.

And nineteen is also a challenging number in many respects.  The Bahá’í month is 19 days long, so a countdown calendar should have 19 parts.  But how do you draw a flower with 19 petals??

So now, thanks to the magic of computers, I’ve done the legwork for you, and you can simply print and assemble your nine-pointed star flower countdown calendar!  For those not celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha, it is still a beautiful, fun craft!

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower

Step 1

Download the Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower template (you can also download the Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Template PDF) and print on the paper of your choosing.  I did the first two pages on colored paper and the last on white, so the photo shows up well.

Step 2

Cut out the circles on the first two pages, cutting about a 1/2 inch outside of the drawn line.  Cut the lines into the circle as well.

Step 3

Cut out a circle large enough to cover the photo on the 3rd page and tape it over like a little door or window.

Step 4
Glue the circles on top of the third page. The small wheel should go on first and then the larger wheel on top of that. Make sure they are all centered on top of each other.

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

I lined up the lines of each of the circles, though it would also be a nice effect to put them off center, so the petals alternate colors when opened.

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

Step 5

Write a number on each petal (with “19” on the final window to the photo of the globe) and then decorate however you like!  On the first day of the month before Ayyam-i-Ha, begin folding back one petal a day, starting with “1” and going all the way to “19” on the final day.

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

How are you getting ready for Ayyam-i-Ha?  If you do this craft, I’d love for you to share the photo on my Facebook page!  And be sure to scroll down to enter our annual Ayyam-i-Ha giveaway!

AYH2016

Once again we pair up with Creative World of Varya to bring you an exciting Worldwide Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway!

We are so pleased to be able to offer you 3 fabulous prize packages – each including a copy of our book!

Simply enter below for a chance to win! And you can stay tuned for our updates on our Children’s Book Facebook page!

For more Ayyám-i-Há fun, be sure to check out the Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book we wrote together, as well as my Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide!

(Prizes are available worldwide, unless specified otherwise!)

Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway

Our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book

Elika Mahony’s Digital Albums: Glimmerings and Infinite Bounty

US$40 Gift Certificate from Happy Heart Kid (US residents only)

Ayyam-i-Ha Garland from Delightful Design, LLC

Art Print from Sophia Wood

Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway

Our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book

Elika Mahony’s Digital Album: Birds of Love

US$15 Gift Certificate from Honey’s Quilling/Honey’s Hive: may be used for Zibbet shop

1 Kindle book from Sophia Wood

Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway

Our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book

Elika Mahony’s Digital Album: Fire and Gold

Baha’i Themed Wrapping Paper from 18 Letter Press

Enter our giveaway to win one of these fabulous prize packages!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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?

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