Ayyam-i-Ha DIY Gift Wrap


It is that exciting time in our family when we welcome Ayyam-i-Ha – a Baha’i holiday that is celebrated for 4 days right before the last month in the Baha’i Calendar, The Fasting Month.

We have planned whole lot for the next 4 days:

1. I usually prepare 4 small gifts for each day of Ayyam-i-Ha
2. From the beginning of February, we do an Ayyam-i-Ha countdown and decorate our Ayyam-i-Ha branch with flowers.
3. We prepare decorations.
4. We invite friends over and go out for meals.
5. We sing, dance and play and spend these days in joy and happiness.

Today I would like to introduce to you the last minute craft you can have your children help you with – an Ayyam-i-Ha DIY Gift Wrap. I love making my own wraps and this particular wrap can be made for any holiday or celebration!

Materials needed:

– thing sheets of paper (I used soft paper for calligraphy)
– water colors and brushes
– finger paints and stamps

How to make it:

There is no strict rule! You can either use water colors with more water and a brush to make dots on the paper. Or you can use finger paints to draw designs or stamp the paper.


Dry your paper properly. It may crumble a bit so thinner paper is better. Our soft calligraphy paper dried within minutes.


Wrap your gifts now!

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha to you all!

painting eXperiments {A to Z Raining Day Activities}

 Painting Experiments
My children love painting. Playing with water paints, acrylic paints, tempura, finger paints – you name it! – is the most favorite time pass. 
When the weather is not good outside we color and paint. And we experiment with paint.Painting Experiments 11
Here are some useful tips on painting experiments:
1. Warning: painting experiments ARE messy! But you can contain the mess to an area by designating it and covering with newspapers or plastic table covers.
2. Try various paints and painting techniques:
make finger paint
– try painting with tempura paint
– try abstract painting
– explore with salt painting
– involve various objects in painting, e.g. q-tips, roller sponges
– paint on objects (seashells, rocks, leaves)
– have some fun with messy-less zippy painting
3. I am not kidding you when I say that your painting experiments can last for hours! So enjoy this experience thoroughly as it never gets old!
This post is a part of the A to Z Rainy Day Activities Series by a number of KBN Bloggers organized and hosted by Something 2 Offer!

rainy days

Be sure to check out other posts associated with each letter of the alphabet. In this post I linked X to eXperiments!
Take a look at the next post in this series: Y is for Yarn Maze by one of my favorite blogs Little Bins by Little Hands!

Creative Tuesday: Painting with Q-tips

Welcome to Creative Tuesdays!
Today I will talk about a very good creative activity that helps with eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills development: painting with Q-tips. I am sure you have heard or even done it before. It is simple, quick to arrange and very engaging. The only downside I found is that so many q-tips get wasted. So in order to modify you can just use a toothpick or a matchstick with pieces of cotton attached on top and the toothpick and the matchstick can be reused until they break!
Painting with q-tips
How to arrange the activity:
1. Find some paints – any paints will do. We used finger paints which were a bit old and didn’t work well as finger paints anymore. You can also use home made paints, acrylic paints, water paints, tempura paints – anything you wish!
2. Set up the work space: prepare few sheets of paper (during painting activities we go through at least 3-4!), set the paints and enough q-tips for each color your child will be using.
3. This is a half-supervised or independent activity. I would recommend it to children from 2+ years old and up (though my now 2 year old also enjoyed it since she was about 1.5 years old; but needed  to be supervised 100%!) and the amount of supervision depends on the age. With younger children choose fewer colors and demonstrate them how to do it, plus keep an eye on them. With older children more colors create more fun and room for imagination!
4. At the end when you are done with q-tips, you can use some scotch tape and make a q-tip collage. Or simply stick the q-tips at the bottom of the paintings and display the paintings on the wall!
I hope you enjoy this activity with your children. It doesn’t require a parent to be super creative or crafty, it is simple to gather the materials and set up the work space as well as relatively easy to clean up!

Creative Tuesday: When To Start Real Paints

There are so many wonderful activities for babies and toddlers to introduce them to safe, edible and fun finger paint and homemade paint.


The question I am often asked by parents is when it is safe to introduce *real* i.e. commercial paint, especially such as tempura and acrylic.

Continue reading »

Creative Tuesday: Roller Sponge Painting

Today’s Creative Tuesday is about Roller Sponge Painting!


Sponge painting is always fun, it is messy and children can spend long time exploring textures, shapes and colors with sponges.

Once upon a time I bought the awesome sets of roller sponges and my daughter absolutely loved them and still loves them. 

In my tot class I decided to let children play with them and it was absolutely enjoyable! They used 2 different colors: blue and white; and painted over and over again, applying layers of paint, using different shapes of roller sponges. 

Roller sponge painting promotes eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. It is a form of Abstract painting that can turn into more serious art. It also aids with imagination as children learn that roller sponges can also be used to stamp the paint on the paper creative different shapes (flowers, trees, houses etc).


Do you sponge paint with your children? Share with me – I’d love to hear about it!

Creative Tuesday: Leaves Painting

Today’s Creative Tuesday is all about leaves painting! Here the Spring in some ways resembles Autumn: the old leaves are falling and the new ones are showing and stretching towards the sky.


The other day my daughters and I were walking from picking up miss T from the school bus. I saw all those wonderful large brown leaves on the road and I suggested: “Let’s pick some leaves!” Miss T was very surprised and asked what for. “Why, to paint them, of course!” – I replied. She got super excited and picked up a bunch. She used gouache to paint a few and there were few more left.

So the next day I used these leaves in my tot class and we had an absolute blast!

Any type of paint would suit for leaves painting: finger paint, water paint, gouache, acrylic or tempura. Pick your choice, put on the apron, get the brushes and start painting!

Leaves painting can be done with a purpose (creating special designs) or just as in my class it can turn into abstract painting.


Try painting leaves together with your child and share your experience with me! I’d love to read about it!

Creative Tuesday: Pencil scrapings art

There are memories I have from my early childhood that are so bright and vivid. Most of them are very positive and out of those the majority are about craft, arts, dance and music classes I took. Now, I may not remember the name of my kindergarten teachers but I do remember the activities they did with us, the playful time and even some songs and poems.

One of such activities I am presenting to you today, in Creative Tuesday SeriesPencil scrapings art. Perhaps in English there is another name for this activity (hence I could only find one reference so far from Dynamic 2 MomsFingerprint facts) ,so I call it just that.

This is how you do it:

1. Pick few favourite colour pencils. Prepare a plate (or few), a knife, some plain paper and cotton.

2. Scrape the lead of each pencil with the knife – you will get small bits of led resembling tiny crumbs. If the lead broke, don’t worry – just crush it. Note: this activity is appropriate for children above 4 years old. HOWEVER, I would advise not to use a sharp knife (I used a butter knife) AND this part of activity has to be strictly supervised until… you can trust your child completely to be with the knife alone 🙂 .

3. Take a piece of cotton, dip into the scrapings and rub against the plain piece of paper. You can do it in patterns. Or you can place a shape and rub around or inside of it to get a special pattern. We made a nine-pointed star as we were preparing cards to send out for Ayyam-i-Ha.


Variation: you can do this with glue (apply the glue on the area and sprinkle the scrapings over then leave to dry), glitter (the same method as with glue or just on its own – mix glitter with scrapings as we did!) and glitter glue (the same method as with the glue – sprinkle scrapings on top of the glitter glue). Use your creative imagination and have fun with pencil scrapings!

Abstract painting

I think the first abstractionist ever was a child. Really. Abstract painting is just so natural for children – they splash the paint on the paper and mix it up, smudging and creating the most beautiful paintings. These paintings are in fact the most precious and the ones that are fast-forgotten: the mass-production is so overwhelming that it is hard to keep up with everything!
I tried keeping “the best”, but to me they are all the best and equally beautiful! As my daughter grows these paintings take different shapes and there is a story to them too.

I find abstract painting very interesting and engaging. It is also usually self-initiated and requires minimum intervention.

Here are some ideas for abstract play:

1. Finger painting. Experiment with different types of finger paint. You can find lots of recipes online (check Our Blogger Friends for some blogs references). It’s also a great way to introduce sensory play.

2. Paint brushes. Get a bunch of different sizes and width. Start introducing from thicker to thinner. This also helps with fine motor skills development.

3. Sponges. You can get regular dishwashing sponges, cut them up or use whole. Some companies make special sponges in different shapes with handles.

4. Tooth brushes. A great way to recycle your old tooth brushes!

5. Cotton and cotton buds (also known as q-tips). 

6. Pieces of cloth. Dipping cloth in paint and smudging on paper? It’s a dream come true!

7. Straws. The well-known blow-paint activity where you put a blob of paint on paper and blow on it gently through a straw. 

As you can see, abstract painting has so many ways. You have probably done it already with your little one but didn’t know that was it!