Summer break is here and kids are home. Every year we plan some exciting local trips to keep the little ones happy and busy all summer. This year is different since its Ramadan and our older kids are fasting consecutive days. I know it’s a matter of time before they start the “I’m bored” routine, and I most definitely don’t want them to spend all their days watching cartoons and movies. The only problem is that if I pull the plug on screen time, chaos happens. Just today, there were 3 time-outs, 2 yelling matches, 2 cleaning supplies “science projects” and of course one toilet water bathing [but that’s a daily thing so not a biggie].
Thankfully, this year I have the pleasure of being part of a great network, called the Creative Muslim Women, which is basically an organization of Professional Muslim Women, including entrepreneurs and hobbyists supporting each other through the creative process. It was started by Emma Apple [Author of “How Big is Allah”] and Hafsa Taher [Creative Genius behind HafsaCreates] who are now dear friends. [Yay I know celebrities!]
Anyhow, being part of this network has given me the privilege of discovering a treasure trove of Muslim talent and resources. A lot of suggestions were made and after careful review I have come up with a list of great selection of videos [and one audio] you can enjoy with the kids during summer break. Here they are [in alphabetical order]:
Adam’s World by Sound Vision
Adams World series is the very first set of Islamic learning DVDs we ever bought for our kids. Modelled after Sesame Street, kids learn the letters of the Arabic alphabet, Islamic teachings about kindness, goodness to elders and parents, "visit" different Muslim countries worldwide with Adam and his trusty transvisualizer. In every episode they learn great songs and stories about different aspects of Islam. And now with the newer videos released [ Meem for Muhammad, Qaf for Quran, and Ba for Bismillah] that are more engaging for the kids, these videos are a favorite among teenagers and young’uns alike!
You can buy a complete set of Adams World DVDs from here [Psst! Its on sale!]
Ahkam al Quran [Arabic Cartoon]
Ahkam al Quran is a long-time favorite in our house. It has good quality animation and even though my kids don’t know Arabic, the message in each video is easy to understand and remember. There are 30 short videos covering various tarbiyyah topics like jealousy, backbiting, parent’s rights, etc. Click here to watch all of the 30 short episodes on YouTube.
Alif is for Asad
Another oldie but goodie is Alif is for Asad. Produced in the early 2000s by Suhaib Al-Barzinji, this 30 minute video is focusd on introducing kids to the Arabic Alphabet through Sesame Street style of musical and visual education. There is a light emphasis on Islamic Concepts too. You can buy the dvd from Darussalam here, and watch it on YouTube here
PS: Shout out to my pal Priscilla Martinez of salammama.com who did voice over for the space segment in Alif is for Asad! Told you I knew celebrities! :D
Creative Kids is an amazing series of stories written and narrated by Muslim children. What would it be like to perform the pilgrimage to Meccah? What happens when two hockey teams just can’t get along? These stories capture the innocence of children and their ability to formulate basic moral principles. Creative Kids tells of the joys, struggles and accomplishments of Muslim children today. Episodes like I Hit My Sister, How My Mom Became a Muslim, The Best Eid Ever, My First Fast, Facing My Fears focus on life lessons for kids. You can buy Season 1 DVD here
Hurray for Baba Ali
Well-known Muslim comedian Baba Ali is back in an all-new series for young children! Hurray for Baba Ali will teach your child basic Islamic manners in a fun and refreshing new way. Let your child learn alongside Baba Ali as he is coached by his young friends to be the best Muslim around! Buy Season 1 and Season 2 on DVD here
Audio books are huge in our house. I love books and there's nothing like the feel of a new book in your hands, turning crisp pages or reading aloud to your child. But when you are busy with a million things at a time, audiobooks are a great way of engaging your kids AND fueling their imagination, a perfect two for one! The best way to really enjoy a good audiobook IMO is when we’re all together in the car. I mean I can truly say that car rides have turned from war zones into peaceful sit-ins!
Although Geronimo Stilton audiobooks are a big favorite in our house [crusty cheese chunks anyone?] a very close second favorite are Islamic audiobooks by Miraj Audio. Through the power of storytelling, Miraj Audio has successfully created audiobooks for children with stories about Islam, its history and culture. The stories are narrated in an exciting tone, very professionally delivered with an option of “without music narration” for those who prefer no music. The storylines are easy to follow and I just love the healthy discussions we have in the car after the story is over! Priceless!
For more information about Miraj Audio, check out their website here
Zaky is a character developed by One4kids. He is a positive role model who loves reminding children to be well mannered, respectful and honest. Much like any other cartoon on TV, Zaky and his friends go through various situations where they learn important life lessons. The animation quality is great and easily comparable to any kids tv show. Highly recommended!
So there you have it, a collection of Islamic videos you can watch with your kids during the Summer Break. If you know of any other great videos out there, please do comment in the comment section below!