Islamic Game Competition - YOUR Entries!

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Just before Ramadan, Buzz Ideazz held an Islamic Game Competition!

Alhamd the entries were amazing – here they are below! Some you can simply download, print and play. Others can hopefully motivate you and your children to make something similar 🙂

  • Suraiya Abbas Rajabali (8 years old): Fishing for Letters

  • Tathir Abbas Rajabali (11 years old): Guess the Star

  • Raahil Hassan Alarakhia (8 years old): Staffs and Snakes

  • Rayyaan Fatemah Alarakhia: Route of Imam Hussain (as) and Bibi Zainab (as)

  • Ruqayyah Zahra Alarakhia (4 years old): Roots of Religion

  • Fatema Ali: Spot The Hidden Clues

COVID-19 - How to HELP OTHERS with your children at home

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In dark times, our instinct is always to ‘look for the helpers’ (Fred Rogers). An even stronger instinct, is to actually BE a helper. Personally, this is frustrating me right now as we have been told to do the opposite in many ways. We have been told to take our children and stay at home and do nothing, for our safety and that of others.  And yet my heart yearns to the doctors, nurses, cleaners, supermarket stockers and sellers who are on the front line, so to speak. I have no such qualifications, and even if I did, what would I do with my kids?

So that got me thinking… what exactly CAN I do with my kids? I asked them too and together, we came up with quite a few ideas, so I thought I would share these, in case it is helpful to anyone else:

  • DO stay at home:

Time and time again, we have been told to do this. While we may remain asymptomatic or suffer only mildly, we can still carry it to others who are more vulnerable and this may only have an effect weeks after. So cancel your play dates, don’t be tempted to ‘make the most’ of this time off, and Stay. At. Home.

  • Pray:

We all know the power of dua, and dua done by innocent hearts will Inshallah be heard and answered quickly! Age dependent, you can ask your children to recite 5 salawats, pray and extra 2 rakat salaat for hajaat, recite a tasbeeh of Ammayujeebul, or the short dua no 7 in Saheefe Sajjadiya (When Misfortune Descended and at the Time of Distress). Find something that works for you and your family and do it daily, Inshallah.

  • Give charity:

Many of us are supremely fortunate in where we live, the resources we have to stay occupied, and the healthcare system around us. There are millions of others – refugees, those in countries of povery, poor healthcare systems, war-torn countries – who do not have this soft landing to rely on. Many charities are now collecting to help support such people – discuss this with your children (age dependent), and encourage them to give from their own money that they may have. It does not have to be much, but every little helps.

Here are two reputable charities raising for this cause:

www.justgiving.com/coronavirus

http://www.noororphansfund.org/covid-19/

  • Paint something heartwarming and place it on your window/outside:

Many reports from Italy have emerged of people painting these rainbows with the words “Everything will be all right” and then hanging these off balconies and windows. Such a wonderful way to lift the spirits of those who still have to be outside and out and about!

And how about painting inspirational messages on rocks and leaving them outside for people to find?

(Rocks painted by Sarah Rosser – FB)

Or draw fun, inspirational messages on the pavement?

  • Reach out to your neighbours:

Many of us aren’t able to travel far to help people, but what about those in our locality? We may know our neighbours and have a WhatsApp group with them (and if we don’t, then what better time to make one?!), and so we can ask if any on there need any food/groceries, etc.

Becky Wass created this form to hand out to neighbours around her, offering help where needed. These cards can be a good way of getting some exercise in with the kids, and you can select what you can offer in terms of help to make it manageable. Here is the printable pdf: bit.ly/viralkindness

  • Uplift and interact with people around you – from a distance:

Although we may have to stay within our own spaces, there are many ways to interact with others around us. There have been numerous uplifting examples of neighbours in Italy and Spain (who are in lockdown) singing and playing music together from their balconies, doing exercise together and even playing tennis from windows! Necessity is the mother of invention – plant the idea in your children and see what emerges?!

  • Send care packages to hospitals:

A nurse friend suggested this, saying how overwhelmed, overworked and underappreciated they often felt, and how they would love to receive some support. So get baking with your kids (healthy yummy treats would be very appreciated I’m sure!), and drop them off to a hospital with some home-made cards (maybe with some poems that the children have written?) and let’s try and send them love and support in this way!

  • Donate to food banks:

With most religious organisations turning to live streaming, many of the popular sources of food donations to food banks have therefore been shut. One of our neighbours offered to collect food bank items from our street and go once a week to donate them to a food bank, and I thought it was such a lovely idea! So why not have a basket of donations that kids gather over the week, which you can then drop off?

  • Send cards to elderly:

As we all know, the group most vulnerable are the elderly. This means that visits to them – whether in their homes or in nursing homes – have been cut dramatically, probably adding more loneliness to their lives. One of the things we could do to help them know they are not alone and they are being thought of, is to send them cards.

Children can make and decorate these cards, write messages inside,, and then these can either be posted or popped into their letter boxes. Imagine their surprise at receiving these hand-made messages!

  • Facetime family and friends:

With the elderly that you know amongst family and friends, a great way to cheer spirits is to call regularly. I loved this idea of playing games with them online too – although there are plenty of online games to play together (like Psych), who’s to say you can’t play the traditional games like Scrabble?!

(Jennifer Williams Barnes – FB)

  • Adopt-a-Grandparent:

On a similar vein, check out this program to link the elderly with children to create lifelong friendships? Love the initiative – they are looking for both child volunteers (over 7) as well as elderly people who would love some company. Sign up on www.umojaoutreach.org/care

Ramadhan Idea 25: Ramadan Lessons for Schools (and libraries)

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A few people have asked about any sort of lesson plans for Ramadhan, to be able to do a presentation at school.

Here are a few options…

A. Ramadhan talk at school (put together by a mum):

1. Play the months of the year song and child can show her calendar

2. Ramadhan – why is it one of the most special months of the year? Because…

• The Holy Qur’an was sent down through angels – R can show the Qur’an and read a short chapter, with the meaning

• It is a chance for us to think about ourselves, about all the things we have said and done in the past year, whether we have been kind to people or not and to make promises about how we can try our best to even better next year.

• In fact Muslims love the month of Ramadhan so much that we all look out for the moon of Ramadhan on the first night – R can show her poster on the phases of the moon

3. Play ‘Ramadhan Moon’ (4:05)

4. In the month of Ramadhan, Muslims do lots of things:
• We spend lots of praying, reading the Qur’an and thinking
• We try our best not to say anything or do anything that might make others feel sad..so we try our best to use our bodies in a good way
• Don’t eat anything during the day and when we eat at night, start with milk and dates to give you energy and give thanks for all the wonderful food that you have to eat everyday

5. Use interactive whiteboard to talk about how our bodies are very special and it is nice to use them to do good things and to do things that make people happy. This is what Muslims try especially hard to do in the Month of Ramadhan. Group discussion and annotate diagram on the white board-how can we use our hands, eyes, ears, mouths, tummies, legs, heads in a good way?

6. Read a Ramadan storybook

7. Activity: Make a new moon poster

B. A Ramadan play/assembly for all of primary:

Here is a play/assembly that one school did with all the Muslim children in their school and it was very well received!

C. Ramadan talk at pre-schools and Key Stage 1:

Here is a lesson plan for teaching about Ramadan in Early Years

Here is a powerpoint on Ramadan – with a focus on the moon

D. Ramadan Activity Day in Primary Schools:

Here is an example of an activity day in school, teaching about Ramadan through hands-on activities!

E. One mum sent this in, from her time in at her child’s school:

“I thought I’d share these pictures. I went into my daughter’s school and we did a few Ramadhan activities.This is a British School in Bahrain – a lot of the kids (and teachers) really didn’t know much about Ramadhan so it was really nice spending time with them.

We made a telescope to spot the hilal (after we talked about the moon and watched a nasheed) – the teacher was so excited about the mobiles she told all the rest of the infant classes to make them too! We also made a moon and star mobile which was hung up in the school, and a good deed jar. With the good deed jar for every good thing the child would get a coin. At the end of each week the jar will be emptied and money given to charity. The kids were very enthusiastic!

We also drew around a few children and they labelled how the would fast with different parts of their body. Lots of fun! We finished off with Ramadhan goody bags for all the kids!”

image image1 (2) image5 (2) telescope

F. Here is what another mum shared:

“Since Christmas my son Mahdi has been asking me to come to his school and talk about Ramadan! He had to be a bit patient but i finally went to my sons KG class and did a Ramadan class! The kids and teacher were super happy, but best of all was how excited my son was to share his holiday and be represented in the classroom!

We read Ramadan by Hannah Elliot and Curios George Celebrates Ramadan by Hena Khan. I used my flannel board to show the stages of the moon and how we follow the Lunar Calendar. I also had images of things relating to Ramadan: Quran, no eating, prayer, etc.

After learning about all the Ramadan terms we sang the Ramadan song from Elizabeth Lymers ‘Ramadan Rhymes’ book.

We then did our paper lantern crafts using white crayons to draw moon ? and stars ⭐️ that we would later watercolor paint on cardstock! I had ramadan nasheeds playing on a speaker while we crafted! ?

I ended the session by giving each kid a goody bag with a fruit snack and a paint it your self coin bank in the hopes that it would be used to collect for those less fortunate! (I had given this a lot of thought and went to dollar store to see what i could get for his 26 classmates. But in the end I realized I couldn’t stand the little dollar store trinkets that we all end up throwing away the next day so spent a little bit more on these great paint yourself banks that are $1 a piece at your local DT!)”

F. Here is what another mum shared:

“Last week we visited my daughters class for a Ramadan presentation. We started by introducing Ramadan, why and how we fast. Then I spoke to the kids about how they can fast with their bodies.

Kids were encouraged to come up and label the card board cut out of a girl. Mouth – tell the truth, hands, share etc…

Next all the kids made a good deed spinner – each section had one good deed. The idea was to spin each morning and see what deed they will concentrate on that day.

Finally we played a what’s behind the squares game. Here the kids had to try and figure out what was behind the squares. Kajoor, a mosque, someone visiting the sick etc. Each time the picture was revealed we talked about the significance. The final picture was one of their class which made them laugh!

Then we handed out moon shaped biscuits and Ramadhan party bags.”

P.S. This is what one mum gave out when she went into school!

G: Ramadan sessions at the library

One mum takes it one step further and goes to the local library to share Ramadan there! Working with the librarian, they came up with a lesson plan and voila! It’s now a yearly tradition and all the local library users join in. What a wonderful way of truly sharing Ramadan with the local communities around us!

For some reason, I couldn't share this video with the other pics so here it is as a standalone…A wonderful video showing the engagement of the children at the library event led by Sabera Husain and Al-Hadi Learning Organization that I posted about earlier!

Posted by Buzz Ideazz on Saturday, 7 March 2020

Islamic Rhymes for Little Ones!

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Here are some amazing rhymes talking about Allah and Islam, that have been set to common nursery rhyme tunes – enjoy singing these with your little ones!

P.S. If you have anymore to add to the list, please do send them in!

 

 

 

Children in the Masjid: Making space for our future

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A lovely article which concludes with some great pratical tips at the end!

“Imagine a Masjid where the Imam pauses during Salah and the entire congregation waits so a toddler can finish his game. Imagine a Masjid where an Imam leads Salah while he holds a child in his arms. Imagine a Masjid where the cry of a baby changes the Imam’s intention and shortens the prayer for the entire congregation…”

Read the whole article here: http://www.soundvision.com/article/children-in-the-masjid-making-space-for-our-future

Willowbrook Farm - Halal Organic Farm

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Just got home a little while ago from visiting England’s first halal organic farm – Willowbrook Farm, and I just really wanted to share this with you!

It was a Madressa trip for older kids, to learn about halal organic farming, but it was open to all so we tagged along too – and are so glad we did!

We ended up learning a lot more than that:

– About Islam and the environment, and how to respect the land and how we should interact with the land and the animals that graze it.
– how all our great Prophets interacted with the land and were great shepherds
– Animal rights in Islam – how our need is not greater than their rights
– a reminder that ‘Halal’ is not only the slaughter but the love and respect given to the animal through out it’s life until its death – halal is not just a flashing sign at our local butcher!

Dr Lutfi and his wife Ruby, the founders, were very inspirational to say the least! It was amazing to meet his 3 boys Ali, Khalil and Adam who looked after us well, and to see how they were all at peace with the beautiful 33 acres of land, which was not only their home, but their life and livelihood.

The delicious fresh organic burger lunch prepared by the team was the icing on the cake!

Thank you Willowbrook Farm for an amazing spiritual and uplifting experience connecting with nature, the lands and the fresh animals, and HED SIM madressa for organising the trip!

P.S. Check out their website for upcoming events – would be a wonderful family day out. 🙂

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