Depending on their family's level of observance, Islamic children are raised to embody the Sunnah, or habits of the prophet, from an early age. Though rules regarding modesty do not apply to children until they enter puberty, parents are encouraged to raise their children to practice appropriate behaviour young, so they will be more willing to abide by Islamic law when they reach the appropriate age. The games played by Muslim children, therefore, should reinforce Islamic teachings.
In Islam, little is Haraam, or forbidden, for children, which enables them to engage in the same playground games as children of other religions. Most forms of play are permitted for children, except for playing with dogs, which is clearly outlawed in the Hadith, a narration of the words and deeds of the prophet Muhammad. However, parents who wish to raise their children to be observant Muslims may choose to limit their children's playground activity, to reduce exposure to other cultures or behaviour that may have a corrupting influence and discourage observance of Islamic law once children reach the appropriate age.
Activities That Stress Islam
Most playground activities for Muslim children should stress Islamic principles, such as recognition of Allah, respect for elders, the importance of family and the charitable giving. There are many outdoor arts and crafts activities that incorporate these themes and allow children to interact with nature, such as making sand sculptures, drawing pictures in the dirt or making artwork with items found outdoors. Children should be encouraged to play games that incorporate making things for orphans or giving to charity. Swimming, fishing, hiking or playing with playground equipment are all acceptable activities, although Islamic forums, such as muslimmums.co.za, recommend that Muslim children associate predominantly with each other, so that their playground activity reinforces the wisdom found in the Koran.
A Masjid For Children
Building a Masjid, or Mosque, can be a fun and educational indoor or outdoor activity for children. A room in the house, or tents and makeshift structures set up outside, can symbolise a Masjid for children who can then decorate the walls with Islamic art and posters with verses from the Koran. The Masjid should be used just for praying, and a box can be decorated to serve as the Mihrab, a niche in the wall that determines the Qibla, or the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, which should be faced during prayers. Children can keep a schedule for prayers and set up prayer mats and call the family together when it is time to pray.