Oct 172014

Character Building Game for Kids {Birth of the Bab} | Alldonemonkey.com

Here is a simple but fun game to reinforce virtues like kindness and generosity.  For the past year I have been helping teach character-building classes for Monkey and several friends.  I wanted a fun way to review the lessons we had already learned, and I know from experience that this group of 4 and 5 year olds learns best by doing. 

So here is a “gate” game, inspired by the upcoming Bahá’í holiday the Birth of the Báb.  I wanted to reinforce the symbolism of the Báb as the Gate for Bahá’u’lláh, but it’s a fun activity for kids of any background, since who doesn’t want to be a gatekeeper for their friends??

Character Building Game: How to Play

One child stands at the front with his/her hands out to the sides, like a gate (in a doorway if possible!)  Then s/he gives clues (either verbally or with charades) about a particular virtue, like generosity or patience.  (For young children, an adult or older child can help).  The other children try to correctly guess the virtue in order to be allowed through the “gate.”  The first through the gate becomes the new gatekeeper.

Character Building Game for Kids {Birth of the Bab} | Alldonemonkey.com

For older children, you could make the game more challenging by not allowing them to use common words as clues for particular virtues.  So for “patience,” for example, you might forbid the gatekeeper to say “waiting” or “time.”  You could also challenge the other children to recite a piece of Scripture about that virtue in order to get through the gate.

For Bahá’ís, you could have the gatekeeper give clues about people from Bahá’í history, like Martha Root or Tahirih!

Happy Birth of the Báb to those celebrating!

Oct 152013

Gate Craft - Birth of the Bab

I had a very elaborate craft planned for the upcoming Bahá’í holiday Birth of the Báb – last year.  I sketched and schemed, shopped and dreamed.  And then delayed.  And delayed some more.

With a very active toddler and a baby on the way, it was just hard to find the time and energy to make my beautifully designed craft.  So I decided it could wait until the Declaration of the Báb holiday in May, but that came and went as well.

This year I was determined to make the craft that I had dreamt of for so long.  So I gathered my materials and my nerve and got started one recent afternoon during Baby Monkey’s nap.

I should have just delayed some more.

Let’s just say that while our iron survived my experiment with Heat and Bond (but only after much cleaning), the ironing board cover did not.  Apparently Heat and Bond is not for the mechanically challenged.

Gate Craft {Declaration of the Bab} - Alldonemonkey.com

I tried to forge ahead anyway, but the sad result was a stained, crooked, rippled mess.  Thankfully I have a preschooler who likes to smash things, so I figured at least it wouldn’t go to waste.

But I was still determined to do something for the Holy Day.  And finally I realized that there are probably many mothers like me who also dream of doing elaborate crafts but don’t have the time — or, if they are really like me, the talent — to do them.

So here is a simple yet elegant little craft you can whip up during nap time or that you can do together with your older kids.  The result is a fun workable gate that any child will enjoy.  For Bahá’ís it has the added bonus of being a great visual to help kids understand the Báb’s station as the “Gate” for Bahá’u’lláh.

Gate Craft for the Non-Crafty

You will need:

Paper grocery bag


Tape or glue

Markers/paint/decorations (optional)

Gate Craft {Declaration of the Bab} - Alldonemonkey.com

Cut a 12″ x 24″ rectangle out of your bag.  As much as possible use the natural folds of the paper.

Fold the paper lengthwise (writing facing in), so that it now measured 6″ x 24″.

You may want to go ahead and glue the two sides together a little, just so they don’t shift on you when you start to cut the gate pattern.

You can leave it as is or follow this simple pattern to draw a gate on either end of your rectangle.

Cut then do a final gluing around your new edges.

Gate Craft {Declaration of the Bab} - Alldonemonkey.com

Fold the gates in so that they meet in the middle.  (Your rectangle should now measure 6″ x 12″).

Decorate as much or as little as you like.

Since I am using this for the Birth of the Báb, I wrote “The Báb” on the outside and “Bahá’u’lláh” on the inside, to reinforce the Gate metaphor for the relationship between the two Prophets.  I also used some scrap felt to make a little candle on the inside, since Bahá’u’lláh was from the province of Núr (“Light”) in Persia (and because it’s pretty!)

Gate Craft {Declaration of the Bab} - Alldonemonkey.com

Gate Craft {Declaration of the Bab} - Alldonemonkey.com

If you decide to do this craft, I would love to see how they turn out!

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