Our Duaa Tree
Although the description for this preschool activity is primarily designed for Muslim children, preschoolers of any faith can benefit from it by simply substituting the Arabic word ‘duaa’ for the English word ‘prayer.’
I believe it is important, whatever your faith, to teach your children concern and compassion for others. Some children are naturally inclined to be caring and sympathetic to the needs of others, and some kids need a little encouragement! This preschool activity is designed to nurture and foster compassion and empathy in our young children.
Making a Duaa/Prayer tree
The inspiration for this project came from a wonderful publisher, GreenBirdBooks, who have published a beautiful book called ‘Lets GoDuaa Catching.’ It is the story of a little boy, who every day travels through beautiful scenes, looking for his duaa/prayer, so that he can ‘catch’ it and pray for his little sister too. The illustrations are beautiful. I think that this simple but powerful story would suit a child up to five years-old.
After enjoying this book with my two boys, I looked at the publishers website. The publisher was asking people to make a ‘duaa tree’ and send photos of it to them.
|Published by Green Bird Publishing|
The principle of a duaa tree is; everytime your child makes a duaa/prayer for another person, he/she can add another apple (pom pom) to the tree.
I found that this really encouraged my boys to think about others and what they might need or want, or what they might be worried or scared of.
To make the tree you will need:
1 cardboard toilet roll
1 square piece of cardboard
Paint (for the trunk and grass)
And that’s it!!!
1) Begin by asking your little one to paint the square piece of cardboard, this will be the base of the tree, and the cardboard tube, which will be the tree trunk.
2) Once these have dried, cut long slits (approximately 1 inch / 2cm) into one end of the tube, and smaller slits (approximately 1/2 inch / 1cm) into the other end of the tube.
3) Fold down the longer slits, and glue them to the square cardboard base.
4) Once dried, the tree trunk should be secure and your child can begin slotting the pipecleaners into the smaller slits on the top. You may wish to cut them to different lengths, to give the appearance of different size branches.
5) Further pipe-cleaners can be wound around the existing ones, to create more branches.
6) Once you are happy with your tree, ask your child to pray for someone, and when they do they get a pom pom! My boys liked picking which colour pom pom themselves. They even started to chose the colour according to which colour the person they were praying for liked. The can be secured onto the tree with glue. Younger children may find this tricky, and may need your help.
Choose any colour paint or pom poms your child wants. It is not important that it looks perfect. What is important is that your child enjoys and learns from the experience.
|Dino-boy's Prayer Tree|
This activity can be done once, or you could return to the tree regularly to make duaas /prayers for other people and make it part of your weekly/daily routine. When the tree gets full, just take the pom poms off, and start again!
I hope you and your family enjoy this activity. I would love to hear how you get on, see your pictures (you can tag me on Instagram or Twitter) or hear other ways you encourage your children to think of others.
Please remember me in your duaas.
Peace and Love.