1. Sports

This varies from simple skipping to more emotional cricket matches. We enjoy football, racing, and anything that gets the blood rushing and giggles going. Just for dads to be there rolling in the grass or competing like kids builds treasured memories for children. My 14-year-old son very proudly shared with his teacher at school: “My dad and I try to outplay each other on Sundays. I let him win. You should see his face.”

  1. Brain teasers

Board games, verbal math word problems, spellathons, Dua contests, Abacus, riddles, general knowledge trivia, science or geography quizzes, and so on. These are great when you are either on the road or cooped up at home with little to do. This is a parent’s smart way of teaching stuff without teaching it. And kids love to be able to prove their mastery over their favourite areas of knowledge and expertise. It is a big deal for them to teach their mom and dad. Our six-year-old has been giving me and my husband Qaidah lessons and enjoys it tremendously.

  1. Masterchef

We generally pair up and decide the course we want to select: appetizer, main course, or dessert. At times, we choose just a smoothie or a fruit cocktail. It’s great fun to be able to work together. That doesn’t mean there are no arguments or disagreements, especially when the dish prepared turns out to be a disaster. But there are no penalties, no blame, and no judgments. We simply respect the ruin and order our next meal from the family’s favourite snack joint.

  1. Nature exploration

If you are an adventurous soul, take the family for trekking the hills, swimming the deep oceans, or exploring the sandy terrains. But if you are boring buffs like us, you can even go to the nearby park, pack a little picnic, and do bird gazing or bug collecting. This opens a great line of observation and reflection, when we converse about the perfection and design in Allah’s (swt) creation.

  1. Interpersonal skills

Every Sunday, we share presentations on various topics: content that we have read and found useful to be shared or skills that have been learnt at school, workplace or at a workshop. We discuss and debate about it, allowing each member to express his or her opinion regarding it. It’s a great opportunity for parents to track their kids’ thought pattern and get insight into their belief system.