Acts of kindness and good deeds are the definition of what it means to be a Muslim.
Today, we're talking about the importance of good deeds and how they make our hearts better and bring us closer to Allah. Small acts of kindness, kind words, telling the truth and giving respect are just some of the many points we can touch upon with our children.
But sometimes kids need encouragement and reminders for good behavior, and it helps when these abstract concepts can be made tangible. That's where today's craft comes in.
I found this little nugget on the Muslim Learning Garden blog as a Ramadhaan craft, but it's such a great hands-on approach for teaching about good deeds that it could serve as a regular reminder any time of the year.
I thought it would serve as a good starting point for our Hajj discussions and boy was I right! Both girls went nuts wanting to add their "good deeds" to the tree, thinking of good things they had done as far back as they could remember ("Remember that one time when I was gonna hit you for hiding my doll but I didn't? I think that counts, I'm adding another"). I'm pretty sure there were some shinanigans going on but I was happy to see they understood the basic concept.
- Empty container (I reused a clean candle jar)
- Floral sponge (large enough to fit inside)
- Wooden dowel or chopstick
- Styrofoam ball
- Patterned or construction paper
- Flower cut outs (I used a flower punch on patterned scrapbook paper)
- Or use leaf cut outs that you can easily trim by hand
1. Cut your floral sponge with a knife to fit snugly inside the jar.
2. Push the dowel into one end of the styrofoam ball.
3. Flip it over and push the ball-topped dowel into the jar.
4. Poke a toothpick through a flower cut out and push that into the styrofoam ball. Your child has their first "good deed" for their tree!
5. Everytime your child has done something good (controlled their anger, showed patience, used kind words, said Salaam, etc.) reward them by letting them attach another flower. Keep talking to them about Allah's love for goodness, kindness and generosity is every action.
6. Put the tree, toothpicks and cut outs in an easily accessible location to let children keep track of their own good deeds. Keep adding flowers until every nook and cranny of the the ball is covered with good deeds, then your child can proudly display their tree in a special place for Eid celebrations.