40 summer ideas for kids under 10

Make summer magnificent and memorable for the under-10 set with these ideas:

  1. Kick off the summer by planting a tree in the backyard or a new plant. Choose one that produces something edible and discuss how this is an example of charity, as explained by  Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
  2. Organize trips to area Masjids and teach the kids mosque etiquette. Learn the Duas for entering and leaving the mosque, how to pray the Sunnah prayers upon entering, as well as how to use "inside voices" and be on their best behavior, in addition to keeping the House of Allah clean. While you're at it, try to learn about the mosque's history, services and activities.
  3. Take up a “Save Water” challenge for the whole summer. Discuss and implement at least five ways to reduce water use at home.
  4. Organize a puppet show for the kids in the basement that teaches the value of charity, patience, forgiveness and other Islamic values.
  5. During a rainstorm, organize a collective Dua session in the balcony/patio/deck. When it rains the Heavens are open and it's considered a good time to supplicate to God.
  6. Memorize eight new Surahs, one for every week of summer. Learn their translation as well. This is a good activity for long car rides. Keep playing the CD/cassette of the Surah being memorized and recite it together.
  7. Pray Fajr at the beach.
  8. Learn how to roller blade/skate.
  9. Learn how to swim.
  10. Hold a family reunion barbecue and throw in a good deed while you're at it. Have attendees bring canned food or cash to give to a food bank near you.
  11. At the reunion, watch and discuss an Islamic video/DVD. One good topic is Hajj, since you may have family or friends making the pilgrimage this year.
  12. If you're having a hard time prying your child away from the computer, tie their obsession to a condition: they can have X amount of hours in front of the screen if they develop a nice flyer for the local Masjid's upcoming fundraising dinner or write an article for a non-profit organization's website.
  13. Paint a masterpiece of Islamic art. How will you know you're not the next Muslim Picasso if you don't try? If you've always loved painting or any other form of art, try to develop something in the summer break with an Islamic theme.
  14. Complete a 500 or 1,000 piece puzzle.
  15. Talk about Ramadan in July as the month of fasting approaches. Visit a local planetarium to learn about the phases of the moon and discuss how the Islamic calendar relies on the moon to determine dates.
  16. Visit and support local museums, especially those that present the history of your city, town or suburb as well as children's museums.
  17. Every family member cleans out their room. The unwanted items are sold at a garage sale. Proceeds are sent to a charity of the family's choice.
  18. The fifteen - minute dessert discussion: Every night after dinner, over ice cold lemonade, cookies  or ice cream and dimmed lights, choose a topic to discuss. Some that would be relevant include: the purpose of life, 3 easy ways to be thankful to Allah, 5 duties we owe our family, 5 qualities of a good Muslim leader; 7 things our family can do about the global food crisis; a Muslim's duty to the planet.
  19. Organize a display about Ramadan at the local library.
  20. Teach kids how to make Wudu using the lawn sprinkler, but using a minimal amount of water.
  21. Collect clothes, toys and canned goods for a local charity for needy children.
  22. Build a treehouse Masjid in the backyard. Don't forget to take a picture of it when you're done.
  23. Teach kids the art of the thank you card. Have them make homemade ones in preparation for the Eid gifts they'll probably be getting.
  24. Make cookies and lemonade and give them to your mail or newspaper carrier on an especially hot day.
  25. Hold a pizza party to discuss the successes and disasters of the last school year. Be fair to yourself or your child and plan how next year can build on the good and learn from the bad.
  26. Make the Prophet come alive for your kids with these tips.
  27. Learn about trees and the role they play in the environment. Count how often trees are mentioned in the Quran and in what context.
  28. Teach your kids the Dewey Decimal system, so they have an easier time finding books on their own at the library.
  29. Celebrate the Fourth of July by submitting a letter to the editor or op-ed piece about why you are proud to be an American Muslim.
  30. Visit a cave near you and participate in a tour about them. If you can't find a real one, check out a virtual one. Then learn/talk about the cave of Hira and how it was where the Prophet received the first revelation from God.
  31. Participate in your local library's summer reading program.
  32. Visit the zoo and learn in detail about a couple of the animals there, marveling at the diversity of Allah's creation.
  33. Visit farmer's markets in your area and buy locally grown produce and talk to the sellers about how they grew their fruits and vegetables. If they have time, have them explain to your kids how what they're selling differs from what's at the local grocery store.
  34. Keep a garbage bag and a few pairs of disposable gloves in your glove compartment. At every park you visit, pick up litter before you leave.
  35. Put together a family photo album.
  36. Learn/teach Duas for rain and thunderstorms.
  37. Try using public transportation to get around if you already don't for just one day.
  38. Hold a back to Ramadan theme party. Decorate your home with Ramadan balloons, plates, cups, napkins, etc. Make sure all guests leave having learned about the upcoming blessed month and a goody bag.
  39. Revive the Sunnah of the afternoon nap. Have everyone take some down time after Zuhr and lunch to rest as the Prophet did to refresh himself.
  40. Renew relations with long lost, or even close relatives who live far away by arranging a call schedule and planning a visit. Keeping in touch with relatives is not only fun, it’s an Islamic duty. 

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