Dec 122018
 December 12, 2018  Baha'i, character building for kids, Education Comments Off on Baha’i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum

Part of our character building classes is teaching children about heroes in Bahá’í history and how they can emulate their qualities. Bahiyyih Khanum, daughter of the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, is a leading Bahá’í heroine and holds a unique place in religious history. In these lessons, the children studied a prayer and learned about her qualities of service and leadership.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum |

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.

Bahá’í History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum

Also known by the title Greatest Holy Leaf, Bahiyyih Khanum was born in 1846, the daughter of Bahá’u’lláh and His wife Navváb. She was only a child when her family was forced from their homes and, along with the other members of her family, spent the rest of her life as an exile.

She also holds the distinction of being the first woman in religious history to lead a worldwide faith community. When her older brother ‘Abdu’l-Bahá died in 1921, Bahiyyih Khanum assumed the helm of the Bahá’í community, shepherding it through some of its most difficult times, as it prepared to transition to the leadership of the young Shoghi Effendi. Grownups can read more about her extraordinary life in Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum, Outstanding Heroine of the Baha’i Faith.

The children’s class activities outlined below were taught over two classes and focused on Bahiyyih Khanum’s qualities of service and leadership, as well as teaching about the Holy Family.

For some aspects, like the prayer book, we did half during one lesson and half during the other. The other activities you can divide between two (or three) lessons as you see fit.

Children’s Prayer: “O Thou Kind Lord”

At the beginning of each class, after our opening prayers, we studied the following prayer from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “O Thou Kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might…” (read the whole prayer).

The children made a prayer book from two sheets of construction paper stapled together. During the first lesson, we pasted on the cover a copy of a photo of Bahiyyih Khanum (from the resource pages of the Core Curriculum Preschool lesson book). On the first inside page, they pasted a copy of a the first paragraph of the prayer. On the opposite page, they traced their hands, to go along with the idea of “handiwork.” Their homework was to read over and begin to memorize the first paragraph of the prayer.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum |

During the next lesson, they pasted the second paragraph on the next page of the prayer book, which includes “…enable them to render service to the world of humanity.” On the opposite page, they drew pictures of things they could do to help others.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum |

On the last set of pages, they pasted the final paragraph, which includes, “These children are pearls, cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness.” Then we folded over a piece of card stock and cut out a shell shape, being careful to have the top (the “hinge”) of the shell on the fold, so that the shell can open and close.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum |

They then drew a heart on the outside of the shell (for “loving-kindness”) and a pearl on the inside. They then pasted the finished shell to the page opposite the final paragraph of the prayer.

Holy Family Tree

Next we focused on learning about the life of Bahiyyih Khanum, first by helping the children understand how she fits into the Holy Family (the family of Bahá’u’lláh). For this, I drew on the expertise of my friend Melissa at Delighted Hearts, who worked with me to develop this beautiful Holy Family Tree, which children can use to help them understand the relationships between the members of Bahá’u’lláh’s family. Be sure to visit her website for the printable worksheet!

Baha'i History: Bahiyyih Khanum - Holy Frmily Tree | All Done Monkey & Delighted Hearts

Life of Service

For more ideas, read this lesson for children on service and ideas for involving young children in service.

To learn about her life of service, I adapted a story from Prophet’s Daughter: The Life and Legacy of Bahiyyih Khanum, Outstanding Heroine of the Baha’i Faith about when Bahiyyih Khanum was very young. Though she was just a small child and not very strong, she would still help to serve tea using a very heavy samovar, an act of service that impressed Bahá’u’lláh’s guests. I loved sharing this story with them, because it shows that even though they are young, they can still serve others and teach the Faith.

Since the children were not familiar with the samovars commonly used in Persia at that time, a local Bahá’í kindly loaned one to use to demonstrate.

Then we had a tea party! During the party, they practiced serving each other the tea (iced tea) and snacks.

Baha'i History Lesson: Bahiyyih Khanum |


Another important aspect of Bahiyyih Khanum’s life was her role as a leader, which I really wanted to emphasize to help them realize how women and girls can also be leaders.

We brainstormed ideas about what makes a true leader – someone who helps get things accomplished, someone who helps and protects others, and someone who can inspire others to do their best.

Then we did several activities to practice leadership:

  • Giving compliments to each other (to help inspire them)
  • Playing Simon Says
  • Role playing what they would do if they saw a bully on the playground or saw someone sitting alone.

This was one of my favorite lessons this past year, as Bahiyyih Khanum is such an inspiring figure!

Related Posts: 

12 Inspiring Women from Baha’i History

Moveable Sun Craft: Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh: Why It Matters

Nov 062018
 November 6, 2018  Birth of Baha'u'llah, crafts Comments Off on Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha’u’llah

As a follow up to last week’s stained glass heart craft for the Birth of the Báb, today I’m sharing a craft for the upcoming Bahá’í holy day the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh. This is an easy movable sun craft, which anyone can make as a cheerful decoration, or you can customize it with a quotation for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

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

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha’u’llah

The Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Mirza Husayn Ali, is customarily known by the title Bahá’u’lláh, which is Arabic for “the Glory of God.” For this craft for the upcoming Bahá’í holy day celebrating the anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s birth, I have focused on the word “glory,” here represented by the sun.

This craft is an easy one to do at home with your child or to do with a group of children in a class or at a holy day event. If you do, please share your photos! You can either share on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram (@alldonemonkey).

Materials (per child)

3 sheets of construction paper or colored card stock

Orange or yellow marker



One round head fastener


To make this movable sun craft for a class of 3-6 year olds, I prepped ahead by doing steps 1 and 2, as well as the final step. You may decide to have your students or child do those steps with you, depending on their age and attention span.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

1. Stack your sheets of colored paper. Trace a large circle on the top layer and cut out the shape so that you have three identical circles, one from each sheet of paper.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

2. Leave your yellow circle as is. Fold your white circle in half, lightly crease it then open again. Fold in half the opposite direction. Cut along the line of your first crease except cut a small quarter circle as you approach the edge of your new fold.

When you open it again, you should have a semi-circle topped with a small semi-circle in the middle (almost like a little UFO!). The small semi-circle will be the base of the rising sun.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

3. Have the children color the smaller semi-circle either orange or yellow, to represent the sun.

4. Next, cut your orange sheet into rays. You can let the children cut the rays themselves in whatever pattern they wish, just as long as they cut out some pieces, so that when it is placed on top of the yellow circle, some of the yellow will show through. (In other words, don’t just cut a fringe by cutting slits all the way around).

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

If you would like a more even pattern, you can fold the orange circle in half, then in half again, and then once more. Cut out a “V” in the middle of this triangle, making it as much in the middle as possible, so that the sides remaining are even.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

5. Open the orange circle (if folded) then glue onto the yellow circle.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

6. Place the white sheet on top and secure them all together with a round fastener right in the middle, so that the sun can spin.

7. If you are just making the movable sun craft as a fun decoration, you can stop – you’re done! However, if you are making it for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh then write “Bahá” on four consecutive orange rays.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

8. Spin the sun until “Bahá” is hidden then write “Glory” on five of the yellow rays. If you did the folded method of making the orange rays then you will have exactly the right number to write both phrases. Note that for “Glory” the first and last letters will be on half spaces, so that they don’t show when you spin to show the “Bahá” side.

Movable Sun Craft: Birth of Baha'u'llah |

9. Finally , on the white semi-circle, write the following quote (this could also be done ahead of time):

“Thou art My glory, and My glory fadeth not.”


Related Posts

Trumpet Craft for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bell Craft for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh: Why It Matters

Nov 022018
 November 2, 2018  Birth of the Bab, crafts Comments Off on Stained Glass Heart Craft: The Birth of the Bab

In anticipation of the upcoming Bahá’í holy day, here is an easy but beautiful stained glass heart craft for the Birth of the Báb we did in our children’s class. It only requires a few materials yet allows children to be creative and add their own personal touch on it.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab |

Stained Glass Heart Craft: The Birth of the Bab

Next week, Bahá’ís will celebrate the anniversary of the birth of one of the Prophet-Founders of the Bahá’í Faith, known by His Arabic title, the Báb (“The Gate”). This stained glass heart craft is a fun activity for the holy day to use in a children’s class or at home. It makes a beautiful gated frame for a short prayer from the Báb.

Materials (per child):

1 sheet of card stock

1 block of contact paper, about the size of the sheet of card stock

Torn tissue paper of varying colors


Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab |


For this stained glass heart craft, I did steps 1-6 myself ahead of time, to prep for a class of 3-6 year olds; however, if you are working with a child one on one or have a group of older children, you may choose to have them do some of these steps.

1. Fold the card stock in half cross-wise. Lightly crease then reopen.

2. Fold each end toward the crease mark so that they meet in the middle. This will be your gate. Sharply crease these edges then reopen the sheet.

3. Fold the card stock in half again (as you did originally) and cut out a large heart shape. Make sure not to pass the creases you just made in Step 2.

4. Take the cut out shape and make it smaller by cutting off about an inch all the way around. The amount you cut off will be the amount of space you have for the “stained glass” to show through.

5. On this smaller heart, write this short prayer (see below of a melody you can teach for this prayer):

O God, my God,

my Beloved,

my heart’s Desire.

– The Báb

6. Fold the contact paper in half (with the sticky side facing in). Trim so that it is about the size of the back of the gate when refolded.

7. Peel the paper off of one half of the contact paper and have the children place the small heart with the quote in the center.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab |

8. The children can then decorate the remaining area of the contact paper with the torn tissue paper. You may also wish to give them other items, such as glitter, to use.

They can fill the space completely or leave some spots empty, as they wish. Just make sure they leave room around the edges so that you can seal off their creation at the end. They should focus on decorating the center of their rectangle, as only the area around the heart will show through at the end.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab |

9. When they are done, peel off the backing of the rest of the contact paper and fold it over the decorated area to seal it in.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab |

10. Glue this sealed contact paper to the back of the gate, so that the small heart shows through in the center of the cut-out heart space.

Stained Glass Heart Craft for the Birth of the Bab |

Once you have finished, children could also decorate the rest of the gate frame with markers or stickers, if they wish.

Here is a melody for the above prayer that you can teach the children as well:


View this post on Instagram


“Oh God, my God, my Beloved, my heart’s Desire.” – Bahá’í prayer . I finally have my voice back after being sick for more than a week, so I can share with you the melody for this prayer from the Báb, which we used in our stained glass craft (see post from last week). This is a short, easy prayer for kids to learn for the Birth of the Báb holy day coming up in just over a week! It celebrates the birth of one of the Prophet Founders of the Bahá’í Faith in 1819, known by the Arabic title the Báb, which means “the Gate” because He prepared people for the coming of Bahá’ulláh, the other Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. . . . #mkbkids #bahaifaith #bahai #prayer #prayers #spiritual #music #song #mommyblogger #momsoninstagram #kbnmoms #Sacramento #instagood #instamusic #ignorcal #holyday

A post shared by Leanna || Parenting, Education (@alldonemonkey) on

Happy Birth of the Báb to those celebrating next week!

Related Posts:

Birth of the Báb Gate Craft

Birth of the Báb Virtues Game

Trumpet Craft for the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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

Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses -

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} -

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} -

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} -

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} -

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} -

Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses -

Spring Banners and Lazy Salt Dough Roses -

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.

Feb 262013

Family Challenge Bags - Alldonemonkey.comLooking for a fun way to come together as a family to focus on spiritual values?

(I know, I know – “fun” and “spiritual values” don’t usually go together, but just keep reading!)

This year I have created a Family Challenge Bag.  It is a great tool to use at any time, but it is particularly appropriate for times of intensive reflection, such as Lent, Ramadan, or the Bahá’í Fast.

It is often difficult to explain spiritual concepts to young children, so as the Bahá’í Fast approaches I was looking for a concrete way to help Monkey understand this special period.

The Bahá’í Fast is a time for individuals to refocus and recharge, as they turn inwards and work on building their relationship to God.  The actual fasting is only required of those fifteen years or older, in good health, and without other significant physical demands, such as manual labor or travel. Yet anyone can participate in the intensive reflection and meditation that characterizes the Fast.

When fasting, it is easy for me to remember to pause and reflect.  After all, my stomach always reminds me that it is the Fast!  Plus I have a surprising amount of extra time when I am not eating or preparing food during the day that I can use for extra prayer or meditation.Family Challenge Bags -

As a nursing mother, however, I will not be fasting this year, and obviously Monkey won’t be either, so I wanted something to help us remember to focus on reflection and service.

Thus was born the Family Challenge Bag!  The idea is simple: each morning during the Fast we will pick one card out of the bag.  (I used a jewelry bag, but any drawstring bag will work).  On the card will be written our challenge for the day, such as saying a prayer for someone, working on ways to say “please” and “thank you,” or choosing a book or toy to donate to charity.

You can download our Family Challenge Cards and use as is or edit the document to suit your own family.  Older children, for example, could take on more complex challenges, and a family celebrating Lent might incorporate activities involving their church.

The Family Challenge Bag is a concrete tool to help young children especially to focus on spiritual values during special times of reflection and service to others.

How do you help your children (and yourself!) focus on spiritual values?

This post has been shared at Natural Mothers Network’s Seasonal Celebration,Made in a Day’s Made U Look Linky, Bowdabra’s Crafty Showcase, and The Sunday Parenting Party.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial