Muslim kids get bored like everyone else -- and Muslim parents are often on the hunt for activities that are engaging but also edifying. So, when your kids have watched every episode of "Adam's World" and you can't take another reading of "Hilmy the Hippo," know that there are other activity options that will impart timeless lessons.
Learning Your Alif Baa Taa's
Art projects can reinforce your child's Islamic education and help you boast your child's budding artistry and piety. If your preschooler is learning Arabic, have her practice writing with illustrated alphabet signs. Ask your preschooler to write one Arabic letter and draw a picture of an object beginning with that letter. Add the full name of the object in smaller print. Of course, you should display these "masterpieces" prominently around the house, but try not to point them out too frequently to your visitors.
Tasbeeh for Tykes
Making a tasbeeh can help your preschooler develop fine motor skills. A tasbeeh helps you keep track of the number of repetitions of zikr, phrases recited in remembrance of Allah. Use a plastic yarn needle to thread large wooden or plastic beads onto the string. Explain the purpose of tasbeeh and the importance of zikr. You can quote the sections of the Quran that exhort believers to remembrance of Allah (4:190, 8:45, 13:28, 29:45, 33:35, etc.). If making a tasbeeh with the full 99 beads, give your preschooler a head start with at least 50 beads already strung. Add the final closure bead and tie it off yourself.
If you find yourself having to teach a class the preschoolers at weekend Islamic school, there's hope for you. Teach them short ad'iyaa, which are informal supplication prayers drawn from the Qur'an or ahdith, related to situations they will encounter -- such as eating, using the toilet, or going on a journey. Tell them stories of the prophets in dramatic detail. A quiz game on Islamic rules and etiquette will help children remember what to do when they sneeze and what to say before eating.
Decorate the house for Ramadan to celebrate the blessed month of fasting and additional worship. Decorate for Eid ul-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the completion of Ramadan, and Eid ul-Adha, the holiday that celebrates the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Help your tyke make window and door signs for the holidays. Bake and decorate cookies -- with the help of your spoon-licker-in-chief, of course -- to share with the neighbors. Not only are you sparing yourself the calories, but it's also daw'ah (a sharing of information about Islam) to include your non-Muslim neighbors in this festive time.
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images