How is it already the second week of Ramadan? Between Eid planning, work, school rounds, and keeping everyone fed; I’m feeling a tad over extended. I am so so grateful that I had a stash of activities planned to keep my kids occupied for a bit in the afternoons. I don’t think I’d manage to think up activities with the bad case of “fasting brain” that I’ve got.
For that exact reason, I loved this Tasbeeh threading activity. It didn’t require much planning. My kids were involved at every point. It took a few days to complete. Bonus point, we even got a lovely gift for their grandparents out of it!
So to start, we made a basic salt dough, and divided it in two. Then we coloured each half separately. Here’s a flop proof recipe:
Flop Proof Salt Dough Recipe:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
Up to 1 cup water
Mix your dry ingredients together in a dish, (or in the bowl of a stand mixer)
Add your water to your dry ingredients and mix until a dough is formed.
Gently knead your colouring into your dough. (you can divide your dough and colour it separately).
I learnt the hard way, that it is important to choose similar colours, because, if your little ones decide to combine your portions of dough, you might just end up with a lovely brown hunk of dough.
Once your dough is made, form little balls with it, approximately the size of a marble. We counted out 15 for each tasbeeh as well as the little long bit to end the tasbeeh off. Apparently there is much debate online about what this piece is called, some even call it an “imaam”, which I thought was quite cute.
After you form all of the balls, using chopsticks or a straw, make a hole in the centre of each bead. I flattened each bead a bit at this point, to shorten the drying time. This part of the activity can literally last the entire afternoon. Forming the beads, squishing them, and then re-forming them is very therapeutic.
Lay all of your beads flat on a tray if you plan on oven baking them. If not they can be left to air-dry at this point, and would take approximately 10 days. However, with our lovely humid climate, and my impatient nature, baking seemed the best option.
Bake your beads at 140C for 40 minutes. Thereafter, bake them at 70C overnight. You should wake up to perfectly baked beads the next morning.
If you'd like your beads to be shiny, at this stage you can either paint them with modge podge, or spray them with a can of clear spray paint. However, this is completely optional.
At this stage you're ready to start threading! We used crochet cotton, as it's thicker and sturdier, though in truth, even regular wool would work. Don't forget to add a tassel on when you're done! Here is a link to a lovely tutorial on how to make tassels. They're quick and easy, but so very versatile.
And you're done! Enjoy your lovely new tasbeeh that you made all by yourself. And don't forget to remember us in your duas.