Halaqa’s are a great way to bring children together and for them to increase their love and knowledge of Islam! Today, I’m sharing everything you need to know to host your own children’s halaqa!
1. Select an age group
Choose an age group that you want to focus on for the halaqa, this will most likely be the age your child is currently. This is important because you want the halaqa to be suitable for those in attendance, i.e the activities should be age appropriate and the content of the material presented during the halaqa should be easy to understand for all.
2. Send out invites
Now that you have the age group, you need attendees for the halaqa! You can search for and reach out to mothers that attend the same mosque as you, that are a part of a local Muslim mom Facebook group, that have children in the same school as your children, and of course ask your family and friends to bring their children as well.
3. Incorporate different learning styles
Chances are that each child coming to the halaqa will have a different learning style, so keep this in mind while you are planning your get-together. The different learning styles include:
- Visual -spatial, using pictures and images
- Aural -auditory, using sound
- Verbal -linguistic, using words
- Physical -kinesthetic, using your body and hands
- Social -interpersonal, learning in groups
- Solitary -intrapersonal, learning best alone
If you are looking for examples of activities for these different learning styles, do check out this post here.
4. Make it educational and informative
The main goal of a halaqa should be for children to learn something new or beneficial from the halaqa. So, ask yourself, what can I teach that would be helpful and informative and make the attendees better and more knowledgable?
If you are unable to come up with topics, then I suggest using Islamic children books as guides to help you. Our family favourite Islamic books is the Noor Kids series. Not only do these books discuss important life lessons, but there is a parent’s page that helps you explain the life lesson to your children, as well as activities that are related to the topic! These books are great for children 4-8 years old!
5. Focus on one topic at a time
You don’t want to overwhelm children and present too much information at one time to them, therefore, stick to teaching one main topic for each halaqa. Some topic ideas are teaching kindness, gratitude, manners, learning the names and meanings of Allah, learning about the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the sunnah, as well as the importance of the other prophets, and so on!
6. Make it fun
Halaqas can be so much fun and events that your children will want to look forward to! You can have the children do crafts, recite nasheeds, bake, have a pizza party, and so on!
Have quizzes and give prizes to increase attentiveness and excitement in the children attending the halaqa. Another option is to give everyone a small gift for attending the halaqa.
This can be achieved by the children introducing each other during the first halaqa you host; and by putting children in groups so that they have an opportunity to work with each other and get to know each other during the group work. They can work on practising nasheeds together, or putting together Islamic presentations for the halaqas.
9.Take it outside
There are so many activities you can do outside during a halaqa such as going sledding, skating, going on nature walks, hiking, and having picnics are just some examples.
10.Allow children to take the lead
Ask children what they want to do, and ask them to prepare speeches, songs, poems, plays, and crafts for the halaqa that relate to the topic. Allow them to decorate for the halaqa as well, this will help them to get into the spirit of the event!
11.Bring in resources
Examples of resources are Islamic games, puzzles, coloring sheets, and as mentioned above, books!
12. Bring in guests
Bringing in guests is a great way for children to learn something new from an expert and increase their knowledge in a certain area. Guests can include, an Aalim or Aalima to teach about Islam, a therapist to talk about mental health and how to express feelings in a healthy manner, a dentist to talk about dental health, and so on.
My children have attended some halaqas recently (and will be attending more inshAllah) and they had the best time! Here’s what my children did during one of the halaqas that was hosted by a dear friend of ours (may Allah reward her for her efforts):
All of the children went sledding together and then came inside to drink some warm hot chocolate. This was followed by learning about giving to others (which was the topic for this particular halaqa) and how our prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was kind and generous to others. Some of the children prepared poems and recited nasheeds. Afterwards, the children watched a video about why giving is better than getting and there was a Q+A session at the end of the video. Next, the children all got involved in making care packages for those in need; the children were divided into groups and each group had to put an item into the bag. The halaqa finished with pizza and snacks for everyone and the children went home with a goodie bag! Needless to say, my children had a great time and were talking about the halaqa for days afterwards!