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Games for Teaching Equality and Diversity.

Byline: Ruhaifa Adil - Educational consultant, remedial specialist and freelance writer

1- Let's be Fair

(To teach that opportunities and equality should not be gender-specific.)

Materials: A bag of candy.

Bring a bag of candy containing less than the total number of children you are working with. Pass the bag around and tell everyone to take one. When the children discover the unfair situation and that there is not enough candy for everyone, discuss the following questions:

* How did those that did not get the candy feel? How about those that did?

* What would be the fair solution to the problem?

* Can you think of another situation, in which people might feel left out or rejected?

Talk to children about how we should not discriminate because of gender. Boys and girls deserve the same opportunities, the same respect, and the same consideration.

2- Money Woes

(To teach that girls and boys are equal and can only be better than the other, based on their Taqwa.)

Materials: Two five-Rupees coins, five two-Rupees coins, and ten one-Rupee coins.

Place the stack of five-Rupees coins next to the stacks of two-Rupees coins and one-Rupee coins. Begin by discussing the fact that although each set of coins looks different, they all have the same value. Explain that it is the same with people: girls and boys may look different on the outside and have different qualities on the inside, but we are all of equal value in the sight of Allah (swt) and deserve to be treated fairly. The only thing that can change anyone in the sight of Allah (swt) is their Taqwa (piety).

3- Rules or Not - That is the Question

(To teach that Allah's [swt] rules are paramount. You cannot change them on your whims. You do not have to agree with them to know that you have to follow them.)

Materials: Any favourite board game.

Have the children play a board game, such as checkers or Monopoly. Let one child play the game according to the rules, while the other makes up his own rules, as he plays. What happens? Are rules important?

Talk to children about how in order for the world to function without confusion, Allah (swt) has laid down certain rules. They may seem strict or difficult but they are as imperative as game rules to help this world function. According to the age of the children, you may discuss the difference in inheritance laws, the insistence for boys to perform Salah in congregation and the command of veiling for women. Explain to the kids that these are the rules particular to the game called Life, and once we win this game, Jannah will not have these restrictions.

4- All Different

(A game to teach diversity and to make children understand the importance of gender roles.)

Ask each child to suggest an activity they are good at, such as painting, racing or knitting. Pick one activity at a time, conduct it for five minutes in class for all children and then compare the results. Did the child who was good at a given activity perform better than the others? Did the others enjoy it as much as the child, who had suggested the activity? Once all the activities are done, sit and discuss with the children about how Allah (swt) has made each of us different. He has given each of us unique talents, and we should celebrate our differences. We should not feel sad if we are not as fast in running as we are good in painting. No activity/ talent is below the other. It is our uniqueness that needs to be celebrated.

Tell them how Allah (swt) has made women as nurturers and made it easy for women to multi-task, run the house, look after kids, and have hobbies and careers on the side as well. Men, on the other hand, are physically stronger, are able to work longer hours and take on more physical exertion. Teach the children that Allah (swt) has made men responsible as providers and women - as caregivers. We should not let others embarrass us into thinking it is beneath us to do what we are good at doing.

5- Cooperative Musical Chairs

(To teach children that we must help each other and be kind.)

Materials: Chairs and a way to make sound.

Set up chairs as you would for musical chairs, with there being chair for each child. After the first round, remove a chair or two. Here is how this game is different: when the drumming or clapping stops, the children must figure out a way for everyone to have a chair. They may push chairs together to make bigger chairs, sit in each other's laps and so on. Every round, remove more chairs and see how far children can go in helping each other.

Discuss the following with the children: Even though girls and boys have their own roles, being there for each other, giving a helping hand, doing work for each other without being asked, being compassionate and kind are all part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa) and part of our lovely religion. Don't be too rigid in your ways and always let kindness lead you in your dealings with others.

6- Pretzel Pass

(To teach children how to be part of a team.)

Materials: Sticks/ straws/ chopsticks and pretzels.

Invite children to stand or sit in a circle. Give each child a stick/ straw/ chopstick and place a large pretzel on every other stick. Challenge the children to pass the pretzel to each other without touching it till it goes around the circle.

Discuss with the children what it means to be a team. Teach them that in order to win the game of this world, women and men need to cooperate and help each other. We all have the same goal of getting to Jannah and it will be much more fun, if we help each other along the way.
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Author:Ruhaifa Adil - Educational consultant, remedial specialist and freelance writer
Date:Dec 25, 2019
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