Nov 072014
 

Trumpet Craft {Birth of Baha'u'llah} - Alldonemonkey.com

One of my favorite crafts that I have done with Monkey was the bell craft we did several years ago for the Bahá’í holy day Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.  It was partially based on the Bahá’í children’s song celebrating this holiday, which mentions ringing bells and playing trumpets to mark the joyous occasion.

So this year I decided we should do a trumpet craft!

Trumpet Craft {Birth of Baha'u'llah} - Alldonemonkey.com

You’ll Need:

Cardboard tube (we used a paper towel roll)

Poster board

Paints, stickers, etc

Tape

The boys are always using empty cardboard rolls as horns, so it seemed natural to start with that as the foundation.

Trumpet Craft {Birth of Baha'u'llah} - Alldonemonkey.com

Little Monkey was hesitant at first but soon had a lot of fun using finger paints to decorate his.

Trumpet Craft {Birth of Baha'u'llah} - Alldonemonkey.com

I cut a cone our of poster board and let him decorate that as well.

Trumpet Craft {Birth of Baha'u'llah} - Alldonemonkey.com

After the paint had dried, I closed the cone with tape and attached it to the cardboard roll.  The main problem I had was getting some good photos of the finished product, as they had trouble holding still – it’s a fun toy to move with!

Trumpet Craft {Birth of Baha'u'llah} - Alldonemonkey.com

Happy Birth of Bahá’u’lláh to those celebrating next week!

Nov 142013
 

I am so excited to share with you some of what I have been up to lately that you may have missed.  I am grateful to be involved in some exciting projects and don’t want you to miss out!

Multicultural Kids Gift Ideas - Multicultural Kid Blogs

First of all, today Multicultural Kid Blogs published its first ever holiday gift guide – and it is beautiful!  Be sure to visit to find innovative and fun products for your kids, as well as homemade gifts, family service projects, and organizations to support.

Unity Tree Craft {Baha'i Faith} - Alldonemonkey on Kid World Citizen

Speaking of holidays, earlier this week I had the pleasure of doing a post for Kid World Citizen.  Monkey and I made a Unity Tree for the Bahá’í holiday the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.  It was a fun way to talk about unity in diversity, and how we can celebrate our differences since really we are all “leaves of one tree.”

The Baha'i Faith - Interview on Learning to Be the Light

I was also interviewed about the Bahá’í Faith by my friend at Learning to Be the Light as part of her Religion series.  I was impressed by how thoughtful her questions were.  It was a lot of fun!

Interfaith Activities for Kids - Alldonemonkey on Brilliant Star

My article on Interfaith Activities for Kids was published on the new website for the award-winning children’s magazine Brilliant Star.  What an honor!  I grew up reading this magazine!

Water-Pollution-for-Kids-A-Science-Experiment-Mud-Hut-Mama

Then just yesterday my dear friend at Mud Hut Mama included my piece on understanding water pollution in her Conservation Corner.  Monkey and I had so much fun with this science experiment, and I was glad to support this wonderful series.

Kid-Friendly Allergen-Free Foods: Multicultural Meal Plan Mondays on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Finally, I shared kid-friendly allergen-free foods as part of Multicultural Meal Plan Mondays on Multicultural Kid Blogs.

So that’s our news!  What have you been up to lately?  Let’s catch up!

Nov 062013
 

On November 12, Bahá’ís around the world celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.  As we prepare to celebrate this special holiday, I am so pleased to share with you this post from my friend Chelsea of Enable Me to Grow.  In it she shares how she celebrated the day with her young family a few years ago.  For more ideas, you can also see how we celebrated last year and follow our Bahá’í Parenting board on Pinterest.

We started out the day making cookies for our friends.  I went ahead and took it easy by using a box mix 😉  We had exactly enough for five families (plus one or each of us hehe).

We wrapped the cookies and tied a card to each.  For the cards, I just cut up a crayon drawing of my oldest son and we pasted a “to” and “from” square to the front…

…and a little description to the back, and then he decorated them a bit.  The note read:

Our family is celebrating the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of our Faith, so we made some cookies to share with our friends.  We hope you enjoy them! To read more about Bahá’u’lláh, His Teachings and His life, visit: http://www.bahaullah.org/
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
Bahá’u’lláh

Next we decorated the house a bit.  We hung up a few balloons onto our hanging lights and changed our table cloth.  I added photos of some of the places Bahá’u’lláh lived during His life for the center of our table and added some cut out leaves and flowers.  Then we tied some ribbon to a couple candles.  We talked briefly about the places Bahá’u’lláh had lived.

My oldest son got to decorate the window with Window Crayons.

Next I had hidden a “gift” for him and asked him to go check if something special was in his room.  When he found it I told him that on this day God gave us all a very special gift and that gift was Bahá’u’lláh.  Bahá’u’lláh teaches us how to pray and live a happy life, and He is very special.  I said he got to decorate Bahá’u’lláh’s name to remind us how special Bahá’u’lláh is and how He is a gift to the world.  (This idea came from p. 213 Core Curriculum’s Lessons for Young Children).

Here was the final product.

We also made a cake and decorated it.  My older son got to blow out the candles, of course, and even the baby swiped a taste of icing.

In the afternoon, they dropped off the cookies we made for his friends – by car or by foot.  Then we had a short little program together as a family which went as follows:

We started by singing a prayer by Bahá’u’lláh (Blessed is the Spot).

Then I gave my son the name of Bahá’u’lláh he had decorated earlier and talked again about how Bahá’u’lláh is a gift to us.  Then we read the story from p. 290 of Lessons for Young Children.  I edited it slightly to be what I thought he could relate to, as follows:

In the early house of dawn of the twelfth day of November in 1817, in the city of Tihran in the land of Persia, a baby boy named Mirza Husayn-Ali was born to a loving father and mother.  He had two eyes, like His father.  He had two lips, like His mother.  He had two hands, like His sister.  He had two legs, like His brother.  But in His heart He had a Spirit, a most glorious wondrous Spirit unlike any other.  So when that baby boy grew to be a man, and His name became Bahá’u’lláh, eyes cried softly in his presence because they were so happy to see him, lips sang sweetly His praise, hands held gently His Tablets, legs walked tirelessly to see Him, and hearts glowed brightly in His love.  On this day many years ago a baby boy was born to a loving father and mother – a baby with two eyes, two lips, two hands and two legs – and everyone loved Him.

Then (as suggested along with other activities on p. 212) I asked my son to run back and forth from the living room to the table three times (a distance I thought would make him a little bit tired) and then talked about how people walked so long and so far to see Bahá’u’lláh because they loved Him so much and wanted to be near Him.  I felt my son really related to this!

Then we sang two songs: “I Have Found Bahá’u’lláh” and “Shine Your Light on Me Bahá’u’lláh.” (Both of these songs can be heard here.  There is actually a song called “Bahá’u’lláh’s Birthday” but I couldn’t learn this in time since I only learned about it today).

Then we ate dinner.  I had set the table a bit nicer than usual, we had special drinks, and I made an easy dinner everyone would like and there would be absolutely no fuss over – fish and veggies 😉

Afterward, of course, we enjoyed cake and ice cream.  When I asked my son what he was grateful for today, he looked from the table settings to the cake a few times and said, “I’m thankful Bahá’u’lláh had a birthday.”

Having so much cake left over we will have to visit some more friends tomorrow to give some away.

It was a special day for us.  After the kids were in bed, it was time for some personal reflection on the significance of this day.  I read a few programs from this site.

Happy Holy Day everyone! 🙂

Chelsea Lee Smith is a mother of two 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.

Oct 212012
 

Bell Craft and Video - Birth of Baha'u'llah - Alldonemonkey.comScroll to the end for a video of my father singing a special holiday song!

Do you know what we remember, on the twelfth day of November?

If you were a Baha’i child growing up in the US in the late 1970s, chances are you are already singing along.  This was a popular Baha’i children’s song at a time when there were not very many of them, especially ones to celebrate specific Baha’i holidays.

We give thanks to the land of Ta [Teheran], for giving us Baha’u’llah!

Every year on November 12, Baha’is around the world celebrate the anniversary of the birth of their religion’s Prophet Founder, Baha’u’llah.  One of my favorite childhood memories of this holiday is of our family all gathered around the piano singing this song while my mother played.  Scroll to the end for a video of my father singing this song!Bell Craft and Video - Birth of Baha'u'llah - Alldonemonkey.com

Ring the bells and sound the horn, This was the day when He was born! (Ding dong, ding dong!)

So this year to celebrate I decided to make bells with my little Monkey.  Not only because of this song, but also because Baha’u’llah referred to Himself as the “Most Great Bell,” ringing out to announce the new dawn of a new age for all humanity.

I also thought bells would be an easy symbol for my toddler to grasp, just as the stars we made for the Declaration of the Bab holiday in the spring.

So I pulled out my handy craft foam and got to work.  First I made a template out of cardboard (does anyone else have a stash of empty cereals boxes sitting around for craft projects??) and used it to trace a dozen bells out of the craft foam.

Once they were cut out and ready to go, my little Monkey and I sat down to decorate.  Suppressing my natural aversion to mess, I let him go crazy with the glitter glue.  After all, if you aren’t festive and sparkly on a holiday, then when are you?

It was actually much less messy than I had anticipated.  The main issue was that our aesthetics were very different.  Namely, his consisted of wanting to squeeze all the glitter glue out in big piles, which I was sure would never dry.  I did persuade him to then create designs out of these glops of glitter glue, so in the end we only ended up with one blotch that will be permanently wet.

Bell Craft and Video - Birth of Baha'u'llah - Alldonemonkey.com

Nevertheless, we were both pleased with the results.  You’ll never guess which of us decorated which!

Bell Craft and Video - Birth of Baha'u'llah - Alldonemonkey.com

After they were (almost) all dry, I enlisted my husband’s help in stringing them up over our mantel, using some royal blue embroidery thread.  My very handy husband reworked one of our corncob holders in order to make holes small enough for the thread.

Bell Craft and Video - Birth of Baha'u'llah - Alldonemonkey.com

I purposely hung the bells up out of my little Monkey’s reach, in the hopes that the bells will last at least until the holiday on November 12th.  But I also saved out two just for him, which I taped to the wall above his table and which he is free to touch and play with as much as he wants.  (And he has!)

Bell Craft and Video - Birth of Baha'u'llah - Alldonemonkey.com

Since the time this post originally ran, we have received several photos from other families who made the bells to celebrate the holiday:

Bell Craft - Alldonemonkey.com

The Moore family of Sacramento, California made this lovely set of bells…

Bell Craft - Alldonemonkey.com

…while these beautiful bells come to us from Kate and Claudia of Brisbane, Australia!

Skyla of At Home with Momma Skyla writes that her family not only made the bells and learned the song, they also added instruments and sang at their community’s celebration!

Katie of ¡viva la evolución de la familia! also learned the song with her kids to share with other families for the holy day: “We had a wide range of ages with the three kids between 21 months and 7 years.  So the older one told a little bit about Bahá’u’lláh to the younger ones.  He also helped trace and cut out the bells too.  We decided that next year we’d focus on doing horns!”  Love that idea!

Thanks to everyone for sharing!

And now for the video!  Nothing says love like agreeing to sing a song on video for your daughter’s blog (or agreeing to tape your husband singing the video).  Many, many thanks to my dad for singing and my mom for doing the video!  I know you will all enjoy this as much as I do!  So without further ado, here is my father singing my childhood favorite for the holiday, “Do You Know What We Remember…?”

For more background on this holiday, you can read our recent article on Making Multicultural Music.

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