When I was a child, the Declaration of the Báb was always such a magical day. The special night time commemoration, the wondrous story of Mulla Husayn’s search and his meeting the mysterious Youth (the Báb) at the city’s gates… it seemed like something out of a fairy tale, yet it was all true!
It’s almost time to celebrate this special Holy Day again, so here are a few ideas for how you can help convey the wonder of the occasion to your little ones. We would love to hear your ideas as well, so please leave them in the comments!
1. Connect the Hearts to the Person of the Báb Through Storytelling
At the center of the Holy Day is, of course, the Báb Himself. This day is a great opportunity to share more about the Báb with your little ones. The events of His life were so dramatic that they lend themselves easily to storytelling or drama, which can be adapted to suit the age and temperament of the children. Older children, for example, could write and put on a play, while younger children might enjoy listening to a dramatic retelling of a story.
***Keep in mind that we are discouraged from representing any of the Messengers of God directly. If you are putting on a play, you could instead could take on the role of His mother or a companion talking about Him.
When I was a child I especially loved the story of the Báb’s younger years from the Ayyám-i-Há album with Hand of the Cause William Sears (here you can listen to a portion of it). On this album (at minute 9:36), Mr. Sears tells the story of the teacher that sent a very young Báb home from school, saying that the Báb had no need of a teacher like himself. What kid wouldn’t be thrilled to imagine a child too smart for school? This album also contains (at minute 11:42) a wonderful song about the Báb.
2. Understand the Station of the Báb Through Imagery
Take the opportunity to explore the station of the Báb and help children understand His importance to the Faith and how He relates to Bahá’u’lláh.
The Báb’s title means “the Gate” and this image can be easily used for crafts, such as making gates out of playdough, Popsicle sticks, or even twigs and twine. Or you might like to take a field trip to explore gates in your area!
Grey Planet Learns to Shine is a lovely book by Sophia Wood which gives the metaphor of light and planets to explain the coming of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
3. Create Special Devotions with Beauty
Children’s tender hearts can be moved by creating a special atmosphere. For example, you could make your prayer spot especially beautiful on the Holy Day through the use of flowers, candles, or a unique rug or scarf.
You could also add a few framed photos to help envision a scene, such as the Bab’s house in Shiraz and the Shrine of the Bab.
You may wish to select prayers and Writings by the Báb to share during prayer time.
4. Go on a Treasure Hunt
Share Mulla Husayn’s incredible journey to find the Báb by leading children on a journey of their own. You could set up a treasure hunt, with pictorial clues or a map the children have to follow to find treats. Or for younger children, you could simply have them search in a specified area (ie the back yard) for hidden prizes. Last year, for instance, for a group of toddlers I hid cut-out stars (printed with a prayer from the Báb) near our table at the park.
(This idea is adapted from the Core Curriculum for Spiritual Development).
5. Have Fun with Stars
Since the five pointed star is often used as a symbol of the Báb, you can have lots of fun with star craft activities! Here are some ideas:
- Make star wands (as illustrated in the Core Curriculum manual)
- Make star cookies (or star pancakes!)
- Decorating a quotation of the Báb with star stickers
How do you plan to celebrate the Declaration of the Báb with your little ones, or what have you done in the past?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.enablemetogrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/34869_1372655032657_1931098_n.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Leanna GM is a stay at home mother of two boys. She has Masters degrees in Anthropology and in Library and Information Science, with a focus on Latin America. She blogs about her adventures in parenting at All Done Monkey focusing on spiritual education, natural parenting, and raising global citizens.[/author_info] [/author]