With Ramadan and lockdown in full swing, we are trying to prioritise time as a family. One way we can do this is by having Daily Family Circle Time. This is where we sit in a circle for about 10-15 minutes every day and we either do an activity together or a little discussion.
Considering it’s just a short amount of time each day, Family Circle Time has had a really positive impact. The kids look forward to it because they know it’s guaranteed focus time with their parents. We don’t have to force them to sit with us yet! We’ve had some amazingly insightful discussions which is an added bonus!
You can do so many things as part of you Family Circle Time. It’s important to pick something that works for your family and engages your children. There’s no right answer! Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Wait, what about the little ones?
If you have tiny people wriggling around or slightly bigger people with lower attention spans, provide a little activity to engage them whilst you talk. They can still participate whilst doing their activity; in fact, sometimes they engage even more! Here are some activities which are perfect for circle time:
- Playdough mats
- Wooden blocks
- Threading beads onto pipe cleaners (This one depends on the disposition of your little one. This can be quite frustrating for some!)
So, now the tiny hands are taken care of, what can the big people do?
1. Hadith a day
With it being Ramadan, our Family Time focus is centred around Qur’an and hadith. Reading just one hadith each day, we follow it with a discussion, answering any questions the children may have and make sure they understand the Hadith’s message. We then discuss how the children can apply the hadith to their own lives. The key is to let the children participate as much as possible – this is a discussion, not a lecture! Let them share their ideas.
2. Qur’an time with Learning Roots
I am super impressed with the Read & Rise and Juz Amma books from Learning Roots. Whilst my kids have been independently practicing their Qur’an reading with the Kiitab Pen, we sometimes use Family Time to check their progress and see how they’re doing. This only takes about 5 minutes; Layla (4) will go over her alphabet, Khalid (7) will read a few lines from Read & Rise, and Umar (9) will recite the Surah he is trying to memorise from Juz Amma.
Family Circle Time is a great opportunity to briefly check everyone’s progress, regardless of which resources you choose to use!
3. Story time
A tradition as ancient as the earth itself, telling stories goes back generations and across every culture on the planet. Use Family Circle Time to tell stories to each other. This activity is perfect for children, because they LOVE telling stories! Giving them focused attention to tell a story is both positive and memorable!
Here are different types of stories you can all share:
- Qur’an stories/stories of the prophets
- Stories of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions
- When I was little… (Because your child will feel very grown-up, no matter what age they are, AND they will love hearing stories from your childhood!)
- If I could do anything… (How could you make the whole world a better place? Tell it in a story!)
- My best friend… (Let the children share funny or happy stories about themselves and their best friend, then the adults can share as well!)
- It was amazing when… (Have everyone reflect on a time their prayer was answered or something happened that made them feel extremely grateful.)