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!

A Simple Glitter Hand Print Card Tutorial Plus Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway!

Ayyam-i-ha giveaway

This is the time of the year when are in an anticipation of upcoming Ayyam-i-Ha and we have been preparing for a card exchange with our friends around the world!

Girls love making cards each year. In the past we have participated in Nawruz exchange and made and sent out several beautiful cards.

Today I will share a very simply tutorial with you – Glitter Hand Print Card.

You will need:

A piece of construction paper

A pencil

Craft glue



Clear construction paper



1. Fold your paper into half.

2. On the outer side sign your paper with a general Ayyam-i-Ha or any kind of greeting (e.g Happy Ayyam-i-Ha, Best wishes for Ayyam-i-Ha etc)


3. On the inside, use one side to trace your child’s hand print. You can turn it into a flower as we did and draw a butterfly or two on top. Of you can leave it as it is.

4. Apply craft glue generously inside the print and inside any other pictures you drew, but not too much as it may make the paper too damp.


5. Use glitter and a brush to spread it on the glue. Let your child’s imagination fly free! You might end up with a lot of glitter mess, but unless you have a crawling infant or a pet that can inhale or lick the glitter, you will be fine after wiping it down with wet wipes or a damp cloth (I know we have to do it several times and then run a dry cloth or paper towel over).

6. Place a piece of construction paper over your child’s work to secure glitter – your card is now ready to be sent and won’t into a glitter explosion when it arrives and the envelop is opened!

And now, onto the next fun event that me and Leanna of All Done Monkey are happy to present to you!


Once again we pair up with All Done Monkey 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 Leanna’s Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide!

(Prizes are available worldwide, unless specified otherwise!)

Grand Prize 1

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

1 prize

Our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book

Elika Mahony’s Digital Album: Birds of Love

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

1 Kindle book  from Sophia Wood

2 prize

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

ABC Cookies For All Seasons


This is the 3rd post in Fun Ways to Play with ABC’s – Seasonal ABC’s – hosted by Something 2 Offer.

The following activity is very hands-on, easy and… Tasty! The children don’t only practice their language skills but also work on fine motor skills, hand – eye coordination, focus; develop their creativity and gain sensory experience (texture and taste).

You can find the recipe for Sugar Cookies here.

The idea is very simple: make the dough, roll it, let the children make letters out of the dough, bake them and eat them!


Be prepared for the letters to be absolutely imperfect and more over when the cookies are baking, the expand all sorts of ways! But it is still fun!


You can choose to decorate the cookies with simple icing for special occasions, like, Christmas, Ayyam-i-Ha and other holidays.


Please stop by the Sensory ABC’s landing page for more ideas!

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!

This is again that time of the year when Baha’i all over the world celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha: Intercalary Days. These days are dedicated to joy, visiting friends, cooking delicious meals, giving presents and getting ready for the last month in the Baha’i calendar – the Fasting month (19 days when Baha’is above 15 years old and under 70 years old follow the Baha’i Fast).
In the Spirit of Ayyam-i-Ha, my dear friend Leanna of All Done Monkey and I have written and published an e-book dedicated to the ideas on what activities could be done during these days with family and friends. One of the activities described in the book is making Nine Pointed Star Cookie Cutters. So, as a gift to our friends, I recorded and posted on YouTube a video tutorial on how to make it.
I am wishing you Happy Ayyam-i-Ha and sharing this video right here! Enjoy!


Ayyam-I-Ha Giveaway

Ayyám-i-Há Giveaway


I am so excited to be joining with two of my favorite bloggers for a very special Ayyám-i-Há giveaway! For this contest, we want to see how YOU celebrate Ayyám-i-Há (or other favorite holiday) with your family and community. We have 3 exciting prize packages, so read below to see how you can enter to win!

1st Prize


Ayyám-i-Há: Fun Ideas for Children and Families by Varya Sanina-Garmroud and Leanna Guillén Mora: An e-book full of crafts, recipes, jokes, and printable activities!

2nd Prize



Gift certificate to Honey’s Hive Etsy Shop ($15 value): Can be used for any of the beautiful hand crafted jewelry or pdf tutorials (not for purchase of quilling or craft supplies or tools).

Ayyám-i-Há: Fun Ideas for Children and Families by Varya Sanina-Garmroud and Leanna Guillén Mora

3rd Prize

Ayyám-i-Há: Fun Ideas for Children and Families by Varya Sanina-Garmroud and Leanna Guillén Mora


How to Enter

You can enter by doing one or both of the following for up to two total entries:

1) Leave a comment on one of the participating blogs (see list below) telling us how you celebrate Ayyám-i-Há (or another favorite holiday!) with your family or community

2) Email a photo of the same to us at alldonemonkey {at} gmail {dot} com. Be sure to put Ayyám-i-Há Giveaway in the header.

Contest Rules

Contest closes on February 18, 2014, at midnight PT. Winners will be chosen by random draw. Winners will be informed within 48 hours of the close of the contest and have 48 hours to respond before another name is drawn. By submitting your comment and/or photo, you are granting us permission to use them in a post on “Ayyám-i-Há Around the World,” which will be published on February 28, 2014, on Multicultural Kid Blogs.

Participating Blogs

Creative World of Varya

All Done Monkey



Creative Tuesday: Yet Another Paper Flower

I’ll admit it: I LOVE flowers. However, I can’t have most of them in the house due to my pollen allergies. And especially flower pots. So I admire them from afar and… I craft them.

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Today’s Creative Tuesday is about yet another flower we made with my last year’s toddler play group. It is super easy and helps develop fine motor skills, review colors and shapes.
What you need:
Few circles of different colors
A stem – simply cut one from green paper
2 leaves – any shape, cut out from green paper
A white sheet of paper, or – my favorite – upcycled paper
(in fact, making the whole thing from upcycled paper would be even more fun!)
How to make it:
First, glue the stem and the leaves on the paper.

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Then, let the children fold the circles into halves.
Apply glue on just one side of each circle and arrange them above the stem in semi-circle.

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Voilà! Your flower is ready!
You can either just use it to decorate the wall or even use it as a cover for a birthday card.

Ayyam-i-Ha Game

We had a lovely Ayyam-i-Ha celebration with our friends. It happened on the last day of this Festival and it also happened to be our friend daughter’s birthday. We had some absolutely delicious food and our hosts prepared a great game for children to play. 

I would like to share with the instructions of this game, originally created by Anisa Skuce-Newell, an art major and a mom of a 5 year old, our dearest friend.  Anisa is one of program directors at  the Eaglearts Academy Summer Arts Camp.

Things you need for this game:

A CD with some Baha’i children music

Few purses (depending on how many children participate)

Few sets of cards of people from different countries (Anisa had special card sets but you can make your own!). Variation: cut out little people out of the paper.

A glass table, light table or just a big sheet of paper

A round tray


A treasure box with few bottles filled with various beans, seeds and pasta (all uncooked)

Few tea candles


Prepare: place a CD with children’s music somewhere in the house, purses , cards and the treasure box in other places.

Age group: 3+ years old

Start by asking the children if they know what special day is today (you can make your own story or choose a story from a Baha’i book). Tell them a brief story about a Man who came many years ago to bring about Unity on Earth – Baha’u’llah. Tell the children their first task is to go to {a place} to find a CD. When they come back, play a song for them to dance with (e.g. Red Grammer‘s “Teaching Peace”).

Tell the children their next task is to find purses.

Once the purses are found, tell the children now they need to go to {a place} and each find a set of cards for themselves. When they come back, talk about Unity in Diversity and how we have many different countries and people around the world.

Invite the children to the glass/light table or toward the sheet of paper. Bring out the big round tray, place it on the table. Show the children the picture of the globe (or the actual globe) and ask them if they know what it is. Ask them what shape it is and what shape the tray is.

Invite the children to trace the tray on the table/sheet of paper.

Ask the children if they know any countries of the world. Suggest them to draw circles inside the big circle to indicate different countries.

Once they are done, ask them to go to {a place} and by helping each other bring the treasure box. Explain that cooperation in bringing this big box will make it easier for everyone to carry it.

Open the box and bring out the jars with different beans and paste. Ask the children to fill the “countries” with them.

When the children are done with that task, ask them to bring out their purses, take out the picture cards and place them around the globe they drew, so it looks like all of them are holding hands together.

If you are using the glass table, lighten few tea candles and put them under the table. If you are using light table, lighten it. If you are using a sheet of paper – place the candle around the display.

Tell the children we will turn off the light and see how beautiful our world is! We sang together “Joy to the world” from Family Learning House CD. It is also a good chance to introduce the quotation: “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole world” (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1983), p. 288.)

After the game we had a yummy cake to celebrate the festival and Ahdi’s birthday!

This game can be used for any Baha’i holiday. And of course can be adapted to a non-religious holiday as well since it talks about Unity, Unity in Diversity and Peace in the World!

How did you spend your Ayyam-i-Ha? What activities did you do with your children?

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!

Today is a start of a very special Festival for all the Baha’is in the world: the days of Ayyam-i-Ha (Intercalary Days). In the Baha’i Calendar, Ayyam-i-Ha is a 4 (5 during leap years) days Festival that takes place before the Fasting month – from February 26th to March 1st. And the Fasting month starts on March 2nd until the eve of March 20th. In these days Baha’is all over the world visit with each other, cook delicious foods, share tea time together, organize activities for families and children. Last year we had a treasure hunt for children. This year we are yet to know what the activities will be like and I’ll be sure to share with you!

I’d like to wish Happy Ayyam-i-Ha to all the Baha’is around the globe! May you have joyous time and may the upcoming Fasting month be full of wonderful spiritual achievements!

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!

Winter Traditions: Christmas Gawking

Yes, we are a bunch of gawkers! We like going around the malls and looking at Christmas decorations. We don’t celebrate Christmas and New Year in our family – it is a choice we gladly made, emphasising our Baha’i holidays (Ayyam-i-Ha and Nawruz). We do participate in the festivities if our friends invite us or when it is celebrate at our work place.

Both my husband and I grew up without any emphasis made on Christmas (especially what is called “Catholic” Christmas which is celebrated in December). For me, New Year was more important when I was growing up and it was and probably is the biggest event in Russia.

As our daughters are growing up, we teach them about various Winter holidays, including Christmas, Gregorian New Year and Chinese (Lunar) New Year. But the biggest emphasis is made on Ayyam-i-Ha which is celebrated for 4 days (5 days during leap years) and it is a great time for gift giving/receiving, cooking, hosting and visiting friends.

But back to us being gawkers. Christmas time in China is magical. Even though it is not an official holiday but it is a great commercial event and everything gets decorated. So we go around, look at all the beautiful decorations and various Christmas trees.

Here are a few pictures I want to share with you from both Zhuhai and Macao!