We all know that we should be generous, but what does being generous actually look like? How can we remind ourselves to practice generosity in our daily lives? Here’s a simple activity that might help!
The goal of this activity is to: (a) show kids practical ways that they can be generous, and (b) create a tangible reminder to be generous for the sake of Allah (SWT).
Note to parents: For this activity, we recommend that parents also create their own sadqa box such that they can role model generosity for their children.
- Recommended for children ages 4-8
- Activity will take 1 hour
Part One: Story + Qur’an [20 Minutes]
Read the story, “Giving in Goodness,” from the book Being Big-Hearted. If you aren’t currently a Noor Kids member, you can sign up and get this title for free by clicking here.
After reading the story, focus on the following question: What does generosity mean, and what are some examples of being generous?
Use Qur’anic ayah 28:77 (Be generous as Allah (SWT) is generous to you) and ayah 3:92 (You will not attain goodness until you give from that which you love; and whatever thing you spend, God knows of it) to discuss the numerous blessings from Allah (SWT) and the importance of giving of those blessings to help others.
When discussing these verses, actually take out the physical Holy Qur’an and read these verses along with the translation to help children build a culture for this practice.
Part Two: How can I be generous? [10 Minutes]
One of the most common ways to be generous is by giving money. If your children have their own savings or receive an allowance, they can donate a portion of their money. The best way to cultivate this habit in your children is by putting money into your own sadqa box in front of them and explaining your intention. For example, “Today I am giving sadqa to help the hungry or the poor.” When kids link the money they give to helping others, they will understand the reason for parting with their money.
If your children do not have their own money, set aside some of your sadqa for them to put into their sadqa boxes. Remind them to make their intention and choose a cause to donate to. When the box fills up with money, have them make the contribution themselves.
But giving money is not the only way to show generosity, especially for young children. Instead, they can fill up their sadqa boxes with acts of generosity. Each time your child does a good deed, giving up something “qurbatan ila Allah,” for God’s sake, write it on a slip of paper and then have them put it in their sadqa box. Acts of kindness can include:
- Doing du’a for others
- Helping parents with chores
- Sharing with friends/siblings
- Collecting items to donate to a homeless shelter or to a refugee donation drive
- Visiting elders
- Collecting food for a food bank
- Making/collecting toys, games, crafts, or cards for kids at a children’s hospital
Discuss the answer to the question “How can I be generous?” with your children and make sure they understand the various ways they can fill up their sadqa boxes.
Part Three: Making your Kaaba sadqa box [30 Minutes]
Materials you will need:
- an empty square cardboard tissue box
- black and yellow construction paper
- acrylic paint or gold trim/glitter/creative materials (optional)
Make sure to involve your kids in creating and designing their Kaaba sadqa box so that they will feel more ownership of the project and be more likely to participate in the activity!
Measure the height and width of one of the sides of the tissue box as well as the top and bottom of the box. Using the black construction paper, you will want to cut out 4 squares that are equal to dimensions of one of the sides of the box and 2 squares equal to the dimensions of the top and bottom of the box. We suggest that the width of the box is slightly longer than the side of the box so that the construction paper wraps around the corner of the box so that it hides any visibility of the box when wrapped around the box.
Wrap the black construction paper around the tissue box using scotch tape to hold the pieces of construction paper together.
Take the top square and cut a slit in the center of the box. Make sure it is large enough for money to be slipped through it. Place it so that the slit sits on top of the opening on the tissue box. Afterward, tape the 2 squares on the top and bottom of the box so that the entire tissue box is covered with black construction paper.
To replicate the Kaaba design on your sadqa box, use yellow construction paper to cut out two long strips of paper, six small strips, and six small circles. The two long strips will be taped together to create one single strip that is long enough to wrap around the top of the box. Use glue to hold the strip of the construction paper. Take the smaller strips and the circles and glue them underneath the single strip, alternating them to form the design around the entire box.
Lastly, using the yellow paper, cut out a small piece in the shape of a mihrab that will serve as the door. Congratulations, you just completed your Sadqa Box!
This activity is an important one, because it helps children, at a young age, appreciate the various ways they can practice generosity. It also reminds them that the motivation for our acts of kindness should always be to please Allah (SWT).
How did the activity go for you? Share your thoughts below!