5 ways to teach your kids about Hajj
Ramadan feels like it was just yesterday no? That could be because I don't know what day it is, what with my brain having gone into lockdown along with the rest of the world. However, the kids know there is a second Eid on the way and are already planning their wish lists. Sweet you say? Yes, Alhamdulillah, but how do you get them to understand what this Eid is celebrating and thus deserve said items from their wish lists?
The likelihood is that this year, you probably won't know anyone who is making Hajj. Unfortunately, the global pandemic that is Covid-19 has restricted Hajj to local residents only this year so there is even less opportunity to hear first hand stories or connect to the journey in anyway. In sha Allah all will return to normal in the time that Allah has planned, so what do we do in the meantime?
We made this Hajj and Kaaba themed craft kit a couple of years back as crafts were, and still are, a great way to engage my trio in learning anything new. In a revised edition, I also included daily notes for the first 12 days taking them through an imaginary experience of Hajj in an easy to understand way. Although we don't stock the kits anymore, I've made the notes available to download for free at the end of this post. Not sure what to do with them? Try one of the ways below...
1. Create a countdown to Hajj calendar
You can get as crafty as you like with this, use black and gold colour materials and theme it like the Kaaba for a striking look. Use envelopes or boxes for each day, add the daily note and of course a little sweet treat and you'll easily keep the interest going.
2. Conversation kickstarters
The best time for us is usually bedtime. After pyjama parades, endless teeth brushing and glasses of water, kids are usually quite keen to discuss anything if it gets them an extra 10 minutes of awake time. Pop a note under the pillow and let them read aloud and ask you any questions.
3. Hide and seek
This worked great when the kids were younger and wouldn't leave any displays alone. Instead of creating a fixed piece, I hid an envelope with the note inside each day and the kids raced to find it. Prize for finding it first? The winner got to read it out to the others and also got to share the treats.
4. Write a Hajj diary
This would work great for older kids or those with a love for story writing. Based on the notes and your discussions, encourage them to write a daily diary as if they were actually making Hajj themselves. They could research by speaking to family or friends who've been in the past, or look up real life accounts online. Putting yourself through the rituals, albeit imaginary, is a great basis for making your own intention one day in sha Allah.
5. Role play the daily rituals of Hajj
One for the young ones to have fun with! Set up all the key areas visited during Hajj around your house and after reading the day's note, role play what a Hajji or Hajja would be doing that day. Get creative with building a mini Kaaba around your dining table, put up a bedsheet tent for Mina, or try camping out in the garden for Muzdalifah. Have fun and bring it to life!
These quick tips are just to get your imagination going, you'll know your own kids best so go with what attracts them and keeps them interested. As I tidy away plastic bricks for what feels like the thousandth time this lockdown, I think we may have a Lego theme coming on. Stay tuned on our Instagram to see!
Feel free to share this printer-friendly download and show us what you get up to with it too. Tag us on Instagram @mylivelovegift for a repost and to inspire others! May Allah make this a means of reward for both you and I. Happy Dhul Hijjah and Eid Mubarak in advance! x