Recently Chronicle Books sent me the book Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan.
This beautifully illustrated children’s book showcases Islamic culture, through the eyes of a young girl, using colors. We learn about the red of the prayer rug, the brown in dates, the yellow of the zakat box, and so on. There is also a glossary of terms which may be unfamiliar to little ears.
Our favorite part of the book was it’s use of large horizontal double page art, which spreads unbordered to the edges. This allowed us to lay the book flat and talk about all the images of food, holiday preparations and architecture we see.
We especially loved the page of the golden domes on the mosques and decided to try to recreate them. To be unusual, we decided to design them from the view of those birds flying in the sky, looking down.
This is a great STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) project because you need to use most of those resources to measure out the sizes of the domes.
Start by laying out your lids on the paper to see what you can fit. Play around with smaller lids. Mosques usually have one major dome, but sometimes several minarets and smaller domes. We went with one large dome and two smaller ones.
Cut your 12×12 paper into strips. Ours had glitter, diagonal images that left glitter all over my floor, so do this outside if your floor is not easy to sweep. We made some wider ones for the larger dome and smaller strips for the smaller domes.
Now you need to figure out long your paper strip needs to be to create a dome, turning your design from 2D to 3D. Start by folding over one end, you’ll need this later for the glue, and decide how high you want your dome to be off the paper. Then fold the other end over, to leave another flap for the glue on the other side. Cut off any access paper.
Add glue to both flaps and place them down on the paper.
Keep adding paper, going around the sides of the dome. You’ll need to measure out each strip since each one will be different size as you build your dome up higher.
This is optional, but we decided to color the rooftop of our mosque brown.
And now our STEAM mosque domes were done and ready to be enjoyed at our dinning table tonight. My daughter will share her findings of how she created a 3D dome by measuring strips of flat paper.
If you enjoyed this mosque craft tutorial, please visit
If you enjoy reading a multicultural book and making a project on that book, please visit
Or be sure to check out the list I’ve compiled of 99 Creative Mosque Projects.
A Crafty Arab on Pinterest has more DIY tutorials on Arab and Islamic children’s books.