It should be noted that a majority of the activities listed in "Summer Ideas" section teach various aspects of Islamic knowledge and wisdom including awareness of Allah, the importance of giving one's time and wealth in charity, respect for elders, importance of family time and how to take responsibility for one's actions. The following are some tips on how to implement a stronger application of more specific Islamic knowledge within the home. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that Allah loves consistency. Keep Islamic activities simple yet consistent – make them a part of daily life. Most importantly, parents should adhere to the following list themselves. If we, as adults, make exceptions for ourselves, how can we expect our children to learn from these activities?
Peace Be Upon You
- During summer months, children will likely be around the house more often. Get into the habit of saying "Assalamu Alaikum" to them whenever you enter a room and urge them politely to do the same. (Sahaba would make this greeting even if a tree separated them while walking! It is a small effort but really helps to set the tone of a room and a relationship).
Come Fast To Success
- Designate a child to make the Adhan before prayer for the summer months or rotate a schedule for many siblings to take on the responsibility.
Around The World In A Summer
- Have kids do different creative projects on Islam. Example: Prepare a study each week on a country with a predominantly Muslim population. Have children learn about the culture and people by visiting the library or speaking with members of a local community who may have immigrated from the country of study. Conclude the effort by having a special meal in your house where the family joins together in cooking a meal from the chosen country. Invite the individuals who were interviewed! Make a night of it!
It Is Related....
- Have a daily Hadith study circle within the family. Keep it simple (5 minutes). Each day, one family member should read a Hadith out loud, then explain it in their own words.
Are You Wudued?
- Kids love to get dirty – especially while playing outside in the summer. Have younger kids make up a Wudu chart for the bathroom. This way they can keep track of how many times a day they washed and brushed their teeth.
Build A Masjid
- Set up a room in the house as a Summer Masjid, used only for worship and UTILIZE IT! Move all the furniture out or push it all aside. Kids can have fun decorating the Masjid by drawing posters with the word 'Allah' or practicing their Arabic writing skills to copy short verses from the Quran onto poster paper. Get hold of a large box (appliance boxes work great!) that can be cut, painted and set upright to form a niche in the direction of the Qibla. Keep a timetable on the wall and let the kids be responsible for setting up prayer mats and calling the family to pray at the appropriate times. When they call, respect their effort and pray with them!
Tahajud / Fajr In The Yard
- Hold a special Tahajud night for older kids (9 –13). Get a hold of a small tent and camp out in the yard with the intention to wake up – or stay up late to pray a few Rakas of Tahajud (late night prayer) outside under the stars. If you live in a city core, make it a special family night where everyone agrees to wake up late for ice cream and night prayers – do the prayers first and follow it up with a midnight snack of Neapolitan and whip cream. This will unite the family and make night prayers seem much more approachable. Wherever you live, see if you can include Fajr and watch the sunrise as a family.
Photo Attribution - James Gordon - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bronze_doors,_The_Great_Umayyed_Mosque_of_Damascus,_Syria.jpg