Children

Good Deed Jar

My 4 year old finally got round to completing his Ramadhan Good Deed Jar.

We upcycled an old jar and used the print-out below. My son decorated the jar with some gold ribbon and golden crescents. He did all the cutting himself (with some tidying up by Mummy!).

This was supposed to be part of a playgroup activity but it had to be cancelled so we decided to do it together at home.

We have used pompoms at the bottom of the jar and he gets one if he completes a good deed. Five pompoms will give him treat such as feeding the ducks in the park.

 

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Click on this link to download the worksheet 30daysramadangooddeeds

 

Good Deed of the Day

Day 1: Kindness to Animals  

For each day of Ramadhan, the children have a deed of the day. Today, it was kindness to animals and Suhayla pipped the post with helping to clean the goldfish tank. “Fish” is her favourite word at the moment and she kept saying it over and over again. She was particularly happy to see the fish eating in the clean water and smiled at me saying “Hmmmmm” (delicious).

 

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“There is reward in kindness to every living thing.”

Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Ramadhan Calendar

With a fortnight or so left to the start of Ramadhan, some of our preparations are already underway.

We made our own Ramadhan calendar this year. The cutting and sticking was done by my 8 year old but my 4 year old found this activity particularly exciting. We talked about what the month of Ramadhan is and how we look forward to celebrating Eid. We also talked about how the sighting of the moon marks the beginning of Ramadhan. I was impressed that he remembered one of his favourite nasheeds “Ramadhan Moon.” This activity helped with his number skills too. The pockets contain “Deed of the Day” which are simple acts such as “Be kind to a friend.” Our own calendar is different to the conventional ones as it is actioning a good deed which is rewarded with a treat, not just the passing of the day. So, the children will read the deed first thing in the morning and then in the evening we will discuss how they actioned it and then get a treat (or not). Some of the days contain no treats to help teach the children that the simple act of giving and being nice is the treat itself.

All materials were purchased from the Range. The calendar cost under £5 to make (treats not included!).

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Home-made Picture Book

My 13 month old is starting to imitate speech very well and is able to copy-cat sounds. She also takes an interest in books and particularly enjoys looking at animals pictures and listening to animal sounds. Her favourite word this week is “tiger” and she loves making a growling sound. It is lovely to see her emerging sense of humour when she creeps up behind her brothers and growls like a tiger.

I decided to make our own picture book that we can add to as she grows up. For example, as she gets older we can add the first letter of the animal names to help with phonics such as “T” for tiger. I have used a basic black and white theme and a great selection of wooden animals. I also added a beaded elastic animal string at the front of the book for an added sensory experience. Because I have used a photo album we can take the picture out (the duct tape keeps them secure whilst using but can be peeled off)  let her feel the 3D wooden animal. It is therefore not just a great sensory experience but interactive too.

She is currently napping and I can’t wait for her to wake up and have a look at her new book!

All materials were purchased from The Range. It took less than an hour to make.

 

The Real Superheroes – Day 2

Today was markedly calmer and it felt as though we had synchronised with each other. I do feel it takes time for a teacher to know his or her students but it also takes time for students regardless of their age, to align their learning to their teacher’s way of thinking.

We started the morning by talking about what we had done for New Years Eve. I found it incredible that all the children had stayed awake for the countdown to midnight, including my own who had in fact been tucked up in bed at 10pm. As adults, we never like to feel as though we have missed out on something special, and children are no different. The reality is that most were probably fast asleep well before midnight!

The children enjoyed the presentation on Yusuf (as). The older children were able to grasp the repetitive imagery in the story such as the shirt. The younger children liked sharing their most recent dream and enjoyed listening to one of the most beautiful stories in the Qur’an. We then made shape poems. Many of the boys chose to draw wells and write their poems around it whilst the girls chose the moon and stars. The children who finished were then directed to paint their clay pots. Unfortunately, some of the pots did not survive for a variety of reasons: some were broken accidentally by younger children, some had fallen off the radiator on which they had been drying and others simply didn’t survive the drying out process. Though the feeling of disappointment would be obvious and in these circumstances, perfectly acceptable, the children were very understandable and simply accepted the fate of their pot. It was “pot luck” if it had survived.

 

We then had lunch and a break for Duhr salah. The older boys prayed with the men downstairs and after lunch played with their Match Attax cards.

In the afternoon we learnt about the Prophet Muhammad (saw).   We focused on the mercy of the Prophet (saw). The children learn about how the Prophet (saw) was kind to all f creation and he himself (saw) was the best of creation. We then began our craft activity after Asr salah. We made snow domes with the masjid Nabi inside. Whenever you shook the dome, it reminded the children of the mercy of the Prophet (saw).

We then prepared the hall for the arrival of the parent. After maghrib salah we had a quiz called “Beat the Parents”. The parents and myself were all incredibly inspired by the children’s enthusiasm and passion. They had picked up a lot from the course but even if they had learnt nothing except that the masjid is a nice place to be in, that in itself was a valuable lesson. The children won the quiz, although it was a close call. The most memorable moment was when a young boy explained what a wet-nurse was after correctly identifying Haleema-Sadia as the wet nurse of the Prophet (saw).

The certificates were presented and the children said their farewell to new friends and old. A few of the asked if they would be seeing me again next weekend as they wished they could do these courses every weekend.

Thank you to my volunteers: Shafeena, Masarat, Rasheeda, Nasreen, Hannah and Asma. Thank you also to the parents and the children for making this a truly wonderful way to end 2016 and start 2017.

The Real Superheroes – Day 1

We started the morning with an ice-breaker. Whilst many of the children already know each other, there were a few unfamiliar faces. It was especially nice to welcome some children from Derby to Burton upon Trent.

 

The children were divided into groups: Sirius, Polaris, Vega, Hamal and Betelgeuse. They are yet to discover what their group names represent. They correctly identified that the words are proper nouns. Each group has a Captain. The children chose their own captains. We then discussed why we need rules and each group contributed a rule to form our Golden Rules. They were as follows:

The Real Superheroes Golden Rules

  1. Respect your elders and peer 
  2. No shouting
  3. Be smart
  4. Be patient; sabr
  5. Have a Superhero attitude

 

We then began our first workshop on the story of Adam (as). The children were very impressed with the power point presentation. They paid attention and sat well. When we discussed how Adam (as) was made from clay the children were handed some clay for a sensory experience. They used their senses to describe what they could see, hear, smell and touch. One of them hazarded at a guess at what it could taste like, but nobody tasted it of course!

After the first workshop, the children were ready for a break. After cookies, fruit and drinks the children returned to their groups and began working on their clay pots. We discussed how the pot is a vessel for carrying something more important. This reminded them of how Allah (swt) created Adam (as) from clay to carry his soul. Some of the younger children didn’t understand what a soul was but they understood there is something special inside us that we can’t see.

The children really struggled with fashioning the pots with their hands. Some of the older ones were surprised by how difficult pottery is. It was nice to see that those who were unhappy with their work simply added water and remoulded, no being afraid to start again.

The pottery activity was rather messy and everyone helped clean up washing the benches and hoovering so we could enjoy lunch in a clean environment.

After lunch and duhr salah, we started the story of Isa (as). For this story, the focus was on the miracles. The children talked about what a miracle was. The younger ones found it difficult to understand the difference between magic and miracles but by the end of the workshop they had learnt some of the basic miracles of Isa (as) which is sufficient for children of their age. The older children were able to grasp the more subtle differences and knew more of the miracles.

After a break for Asr salah, we continued with the theme of miracles and made miracle sand bottles. I read out a statement and the children decided whether it was a Prophetic miracle or a magic trick. Again the younger children found this a little challenging but were reminded to draw on their knowledge of the miracles of Isa (as). The older children enjoyed this activity and demonstrates independent learning initiative and required no help from an adult in making their sand bottles.

So, as the day drew to a close and the group got ready to leave, I glanced at the sand bottles perched on the table, I smiled as my eyes fell on the clay pots the children struggled over which were left to dry ready to be painted and cherished by their rightful owners and my heart was warmed to see the children playing having bonded throughout the day. With each activity, the learning of the children has been enhanced and cemented. The children are not walking away with an encyclopaedia of information. Rather, they have left this evening with some new information, some old information and some clarified information but all taught to them in what can be described as a fun-filled day in the awesome company of their elders and peers.

Thank you to my volunteers: Shafina, Saima, Farzana, Rasheeda and Sehmina. As the children remarked, you all have a Superhero attitude.