In line with making gatherings meaningful in Ramadan, here’s another idea! Last Ramadan, my 11 year old daughter and I held a joint sehri!
There were 6 girls and their mums… as they came in, they were given a sheet of questions to fill out – the mother sheet was different to the daughter’s one – and they weren’t allowed to look at each others! Here is a copy of the sheets.
They also filled out a little slip of paper each – for the girls, the question was: What’s one thing you find hard to discuss with your mother? and for the mums, the question was: What’s one thing you wish your daughter would talk to you about? No names were placed on these to allow safety for both parties to put down any topic they wanted! Here is a copy of the sheet.
We then put these aside and got to the fun stuff 🙂
First up was an obstacle course where each mother-daughter pair was tied together (literally), as if in a three-legged race. Each pair then had to complete an obstacle course which was timed, and the mother-daughter pair that did it in the quickest time, won! The course included bouncing a ball each 5 times, maneuvering the ball in and out of the cushions, lifting the hula hoop over and under the pair together and then running back to the start!
Next was a game where the mums were one team against the daughters. It involved a lot of skittles on a plate, a spoon, and no hands! Mums and daughters faced each other across the plate with only a spoon in their mouths, and the task was to use the spoon to lift as many skittles off the plate and on to a bowl in 1 minute. The group that got the most skittles at the end, were the winners. I am proud to say that the mums beat the daughters for this one 😉
The final game played was a lego communications exercise. Each person received an envelope full of lego pieces – each mother-daughter pair had an identical pack. They then had to put their backs against each other so they couldn’t see each other. The daughters then had 1 min to make a lego creation with what they had, then they had a few minutes to explain their creation (using words/description only – no visuals!) so that their mums could recreate their creation. The mother-daughter pair with the closest resembling creation won! Lots of lessons on communication were extracted from this – such as how simple words can be misunderstood, how communication needs to be as clear as possible, and how shouting to make yourself understood doesn’t help!
We then moved on to the highlight – foooood 🙂 – and while we ate we opened up the small chits they anonymously filled out right at the beginning, and started discussing the issues that came up – things like puberty, friendships, school, etc. Alhamd a fruitful and varied discussion was had!
Finally, last on the agenda was using the sheets they had filled out right at the beginning to see how well mothers and daughters knew each other! The aim was just to have fun and be lighthearted while we learnt about each other, as opposed to test the pair! Each mother-daughter pair took a turn sitting on the sofa and being the centre of attention. I then looked through their sheets and asked them random questions based on it – i would ask the daughters from the mum’s sheet, e.g. what’s your mum’s worst chore to do around the house? and vice versa, e.g what’s your daughter’s favourite movie? We only did about 3 questions each before moving on to the next pair. Each mother-daughter used their time on the hot spot well, cudding close and some very sweet photos were taken during this time!
And so ended a lovely evening where mums and daughters enjoyed quality time with each other, learning more about each other, as well as getting to know the other mums and daughters in the group too!
Here are some ways of getting the excitement going:
- Have a Sala-bration!I attended a “sala-bration” party at a friend’s house after her daughter turned 7 (7 is the age that children begin to pray their 5 daily prayers). At the party, there was an amazing salaah quiz, the kids prayed together, and every child received a parting gift of the 30th juz’ and a lovely hijab. In lieu of gifts, all the guests were asked to write a letter to the little girl letting her know why salaah was special to them. (From Ruqaya’s Bookshelf on FB)
(P.S. this is a great idea for buloogh too!)
Hina Khan-Mukhtar said:
“When each of my boys turned 7 years old, I bought them beautiful journals which I gave to my friends and family to fill with inspiring messages about prayer. A few of my more “crafty” friends went all out and used their art supplies to create elaborate 3-D cards complete with embossed ink and sequined beads. My parents and my in-laws each wrote messages to their grandsons, sharing their hopes and wishes for their futures with them. Older cousins wrote about how prayer helps them in good times and in bad; aunties and uncles gave advice on what helps them get through “prayer slumps” which — if we are truly honest — are bound to come in one’s life at some point or another. I remember my husband Zeeshan getting teary-eyed as he read his message aloud to our middle son Ameen. The general theme was one of encouragement and excitement. It’s been almost 10 years since I put together those gifts for my older two sons, and even now, I will sometimes catch them perusing their Prayer Books with smiles on their faces as they read the heartfelt messages to themselves.”
- Have a Salaah Club!
This article is choc-ful of ideas, like having a Salaah cheer, doing some experiments to show the effect of the salaah on us, etc. Check them out here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/growmama/spirituality/salah-club-i/
- Put a prayer pack together for them!
Get them set up with their own prayer mat, compass, etc – and why not make the gifting a special occasion?!
Hina Khan-Mukhtar has said this:
“We make sure to equip each of our cars with what I like to call “a prayer pack” — a small knapsack that contains a clean prayer mat, a bottle of water for wudu (ablutions), a squeeze bottle for istinja (ritual washing of the private parts after using the toilet), a compass for ascertaining the Qibla (direction of the Ka’aba in Makkah for prayer), and a prayer garment that will cover any woman who is in need of one. Before smart phones arrived on the scene, I used to keep a print-out of the month’s prayer timings in the pack as well. This prayer pack ensured that I didn’t need to worry about whether I had the ability to fulfill my prayers properly and on time or not.”
Alhamd there is so much out there now for our children to help them benefit from the month. Here is a round up – including both those for purchase, and those available as a free download:
- My Ramadan Diary by Seek Perfection (Children aged 4 to 6)
- Ramadan Diary by Seek Perfection (Children aged 7 to 10)
- My Ramadhan Diary – With Duas by Umm Ally
- My Laylatul Qadr Journal by Buzz Ideazz (Children aged 7 to 15)
- Ramadhan Journal by Sh. Azhar Nasser (10 and older)
- Ramadhan Diary by The Qur’an Project (Children ages 14 and older)
- Ramadan Jewels – An interactive Dua and A’maal Companion (based on teachings of Ahlul Bayt)
- Ramadan Activity Book by QFatima
- Salamoji Ramadhan Workbook by Zahra Trust
- Ramadhan Activity Pack by Smart Ark
- Ramadhan Activity Pack 2 by Smart Ark
- Ramadan Activity Book by CraftZilla Oman
- Ramadan Activity Pack (For children under 7) by Homely Hammock
- Learning Roots Ramadan Activity Book
- Kisa Kids have several amazing resources for teaching lessons every Ramadhan. They also have a really nice journal for those fasting for the first time since becoming baaligh. Check them all out here.
- Colouring pages to occupy the little ones by Allah to Z
- A Quran based 30 Day Colouring Book by Darul Arqam
- Ramadan Journal for Kids by A Muslim Homeschool
- 30 Day Shukr Journal by Fatema Meghjee
- Ramadan and Fasting Activity Book by Discover Islam Sticker Activity Book
If you know of anymore, send them to me and will add them on inshallah 🙂
And to finally wrap up the buloogh series (she says!), how about these Buzz cards?
They each have a poem inside 🙂
Here is an example:
“Now that you are finally nine,
Life’s going to get even more divine!
Ready for the journey ahead, shiny and bright?
Responsibilities await but opportunities too…
Fasten your seat belt and hold on tight,
God’s gifts and blessings are waiting for you!”
Just a last thought on Buloogh before I wrap up the topic and we go on to something else…
One interesting thing a mum said was that one thing she didn’t expect was the panic she felt abut a month before her daughter turned 9 Islamically. And she said she now knows that a lot of other mums faced it too…
Inshallah it is our hope and prayer that through the ideas, resources and thoughts shared in this series, an element of that panic will be decreased! And of course, knowing that it is normal to feel that way helps too 🙂
May our daughters embrace turning 9 and this new phase of their lives Inshallah! And may Allah give us the tawfeeq to be able to guide them throught it 🙂
The last idea for the series is the most sentimental 🙂
Make it a special transition by doing something different, just the two of you – going away for the weekend, going for a walk by the beach (on a full moon!), going for a spa day, going for a hike…anything that is out of the norm and that will also allow you the space to talk and share thoughts 🙂
Make the buloogh birthday extra special by adding meaningful gifts!
One family gifted their daughter 9 gifts, one for each year. She started opening one a day each day, leading up to her actual birthday – this made the excitement truly stretch out!
The gifts given from each member of the family, as well as general gifts around buloogh:
- A father-daughter necklace/keychain from the dad
- A mother-daughter journal from the mum
- A personalised cushion from the brother
- A shela hanger
- A pin cushion
- A QFatima Buloogh journal
- A prayer pack, with a musalla, dua book, mohr/tasbih, perfume, prayer book (to write down kazas, etc), travel toilet bottle and a travel musalla (Another idea here is to gift them a Risalah of their Mujtahid!)
- Her buloogh party counted as one gift 😉
- Her birthday ‘card’ counted as a gift as it was a book of meaningful messages by her family and friends 🙂 (https://www.buzzideazz.com/baligha-series-idea-11-gather-messages-from-loved-ones/)
Other ideas include:
- One mum wrote this letter to her daughter: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hi5t8pyspaerljl/lettertomydaughterbaligha.docx?dl=0
- This salaah tracker journal: https://www.buzzideazz.com/shop/journey-to-jannah-my-daily-salaah-record-book/
- An alarm clock!
- A Quran of her own
- A burkini
- An abaya
- And here’s another idea, following on from the last blog post: https://www.buzzideazz.com/baligha-series-idea-12-wisdom-necklace/:
The women that were invited to mark this special moment in the girl’s life were encouraged to give a special sort of gift – something of theirs that was meaningful and significant to them that they were passing on to her, such as a piece of jewellery from when they were younger, a poem that touched them, a book that they loved, a journal to write her thoughts in, a special photograph, etc.
Now that’s what I call a thoughtful gift 🙂
I loved, loved, loved this idea!
So with buloogh parties, the girls celebrated with friends, but what about marking the moment with the loving women in our child’s life?
A friend was telling me how they marked a girl’s ‘coming of age’ by gathering all the important women in the girl’s life, such as the grandmothers, aunts and other close women. Prior to this, the girl was asked to think of questions she would like to ask (could be on anything she wanted to know), and she thought of a number of questions, and who she would like to answer what question.
On the day, each lady went into a room with the young girl and answered the question she had been given. At the end of each question, the girl got a bead to put together as a necklace of beads (or ‘pearls of wisdom’ :)), and the lady too got a bead as a reminder of this day and moment.
Needless to say, the beads are a treasured reminder of all the advice given to the young girl, both for her and the ladies involved!