Are you looking for a low-key Ramadan activity that requires little prep work and helps keep the kids engaged all month long? Try inviting the family to make a Good Deeds Jar.
The Reward for Good Deeds
Islam encourages each of us to perform good deeds, even to compete in it!
In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah says:
“So compete with one another in doing good. Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together ˹for judgment.˺ Surely Allah is Most Capable of everything.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:148)
When we do good deeds, even small ones, each one is counted as an act of charity for us. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“Every good deed is charity. Verily, it is a good deed to meet your brother with a smiling face, and to pour what is left from your bucket into the vessel of your brother.”
Allah, the Most Merciful, has also promised that if we do good deeds, He will multiply our rewards for them. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, taught:
“Every deed of the son of Adam is multiplied from ten to seven hundred times….”
Setting Up Your Jar
With these beautiful encouragements and rewards in mind, prepping a Good Deeds Jar is a small, easy way for everyone in the family to strive for more good deeds this Ramadan. To get started, you only need to gather three things:
- An empty glass jar
- A pack of popsicle sticks
- A pen or marker to write with
Step 1: Grab a popsicle stick and write one good deed on it. It should only be a few words long and phrased as a simple positive action. For example, you can write “Smile” or “Say SubhanAllah 10 times” or “Read Quran for 15 minutes.”
Step 2: Continue writing one good deed on each popsicle stick until all of your sticks have deeds on them. Additional embellishments on the sticks or jar are completely optional.
Step 3: Place all of the popsicle sticks inside the jar and place the jar in a common area of your house where it can plainly be seen.
Once your jar is filled and ready, you and your family can stop by it every day to blindly draw a stick from the jar and complete whatever deed is written on it. You can choose to do this once a day or multiple times a day, however much you want to compete for good deeds.
Ideas for Good Deeds
The options for good deeds you could write on the sticks are really endless. I encourage you to sit with your children and come up with ideas for good deeds together. They can be deeds related to spirituality, worship, learning, family help, community service, or emotional regulation. If you need a starting point, here are 20 ideas from our own family jar.
- Thank Allah for a blessing in your life.
- Play a game with your siblings.
- Give someone a hug.
- Say Alhamdulilah 10 times.
- Water the plants.
- Give a gift.
- Read Quran for 30 minutes.
- Make wudu.
- Pray two rakat of voluntary salah.
- Make dua for a friend.
- Call your grandparents to say hello.
- Brush your teeth or use miswak.
- Help with the laundry.
- Tell someone you love them.
- Exercise for 15 minutes.
- Help make iftar.
- Learn something new.
- Practice your Arabic.
- Read a book for 20 minutes.
MashaAllah, Allah is so merciful that He has given us many options to earn his rewards and draw near to Him this Ramadan. May Allah bless you and your family to fill your scales with good deeds and come together striving towards all that is good in this life and the next. Ameen.
Melissa Barreto is a home-educating mother of five children and the Co-Founder of Wildflower Homeschool Collective, a homeschool organization based in Northern New Jersey.