You may have heard of Story Boxes – where boxes are converted into story telling opportunities with the right props and decor.
Here are some examples of Islamic Story Boxes sent in by a mum!
One to note for today in particular is the one on Imam Ali (as) – Khushali Mubarak to all of you, btw! There’s also one on Hadith-ul-Kisa, the narration of Thaqalayn at the Prophet’s death and the House of Grief of Bibi Fatima (as) after the Prophet died.
What a great way to convert plain boxes into valuable and fun teaching moments!
“Play with them for the first seven years (of their life); then teach them for the next seven years; then advise them for the next seven years (and after that).
First Seven Years
In the first seven years, your goal is to build a strong connection to your child. This is the foundation, the base from which your relationship with them grows. If this is rock solid, the remaining years will be much easier. If this foundation forms poorly, the next years will be more challenging.
If you have young children, this (first seven years) is the time to roll up your sleeves and invest, heavily, in your and their future. In fact, you will be rewarded for all the righteous progeny that survives you, not just children, until the Day of Judgement.”
Aaaand again! Alhamd it is an honour to share FZ’s latest activity on Imam Ali (as):
“FZ and I made a luminarium (paper lantern) using waxed paper that we normally use for baking, crayon shavings, oil pastels and sharpies, to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Believers, Imam Ali as! We used a candle in a glass holder on the inside to ‘light’ it up, and the overall effect was pretty awesome
Luminarium tutorial here:
Over the past week, we had discussed various aspects of Imam Ali’s life and teachings through stories and activities…his miraculous birth, devotion to Rasulullah and Islam, steadfastness in belief, compassion and charity towards those less fortunate, love of children, and his bravery, strength and courage…
To culminate our activities, we talked about Sermon 187 from Nahjul Balagha, where Imam Ali as says:
‘Amongst you, I am like a lamp in the darkness. Make your way through Life by my Light…’
(paraphrased to make it easier for FZ to understand)
FZ used sharpies and oil pastels to draw her designs onto the front and back of the luminarium. She wrote ‘Ya Ali’ on the front and the drawing on the back is ‘a beautiful palace in Jannah for the Shia of Ali as’
Insha’Allah we shall be lighting up our luminarium often as a visual reminder to always hold on to the Rope of Allah swt (Qur’an 3:103) through His Chosen Ones. May our lives and the lives of our children forever be illuminated by their Light and Guidance. Ameen.”
It’s the birthday of Imam Ali (pbuh)!
Below is a compilation of some ideas by amazing mums from around the world, on how you can mark it with your children/classes:
- Have younger children research and present one hadith by Imam Ali (as)
- Older children can do a short skit/play on his birth/life
- Have a gameshow with questions on Imam Ali (as)
- Have a poem writing competition with the subject being Imam Ali (as)
- Make Father’s Day cards with a hadith inside
- Make bookmarks and write Ali on top and decorate them
- Try this craft: https://www.buzzideazz.com/craft-on-imam-ali-as/
- This Nahjul Balagha Mini-Book by Towards Jannah is great to do
- Read ‘The Secret Jar’ (By Kisa Kids) and then have a honey tasting session
- Read this jellybean poem on Imam Ali (as) and have the children colour it in, and then finish off with some jellybeans for them to eat as a wiladat treat! Alternatively, one mum used M&M’s instead:
- Create Imam Ali (AS) bags for the less fortunate: “We first explained how Imam Ali always helped people. We then went to the store and she picked items she thought everyone would need on a daily basis – comb, toothbrush, snacks. We came home and she packed everything into ziplock bags and asked the grandparents to come home to help write Hadith from Imam Ali (as) on the hearts which we put in the bags. Inshallah we will be distributing them to the people we came across on the street.”
- Or why not follow in his footsteps and take some food with your children to a food bank near you. Imam used to make every effort to feed those who had no food, often giving away the little he and his family had!
- This is a simple rhyme that goes to the tune of Barney’s I Love You song. These posters (Allah loves Imam Ali!_Rhyme) can be used alongside the relevant lines:
- Here are some more rhymes:
Props like laminated picture of number “1”, a small cube painted like Kaaba, a toy lion from a dollar store, a ring, and the picture of a sword or a toy sword can be used when singing the rhymes, to help visual learning.
- Mystery box: Usually used during circle time, you (or ask a child to) pull out items one by one that related to the theme or special person. As you take them out you explain the meaning or significance, and help deepen and broaden the children’s understanding of the theme or special person by attaching a visual and/tangible object to represent the different attributes of said theme/person. To make it more exciting, even with very young kids (2-5), you can put all items back in box and at the end of your session you can ask them to remember what items were in box. It’s a good way of seeing how much they picked up as well 🙂
The items mentioned above and others below can be used for the mystery box idea:
- No. 1 – to represent him being the first Imam
- A small Kaaba – to represent where he was born
- A toy lion – he was known as Asad-ullah
- A ring – for when he gave charity while in ruku
- A sword – to represent his sword of Zulfiqar
- A door – to represent Khaybar/city of knowledge
- A prayer mat, bread/rice – as he used to feed the poor at night
- A bed – as he slept in the Prophet’s bed on the night of Hijra)
- A spool of thread – to show how he used to mend his own clothes
- A pen – because he transcribed/compiled the Quran
- Scales – for his sense of justice
- A small book – to symbolise Nahjul Balagha/Dua Kumail
- A picture of his shrine in Najaf
- The letter ‘ayn’ for his name
- This short document on Imam Ali (as) might be useful:
- Read ‘Isa Climbs Mt Mushkil’ and watch the corresponding nasheed:
A craft to go with this is making a shield with Naade Ali on it:
- Here are some video resources on Imam Ali (as)
- Here are some more nasheeds reflecting his qualities:
- And here’s a movie on Imam Ali (as):