WELCOME TO THE “RAMADAN FOR KIDS” SERIES
Part 1: 5 Tips for Celebrating Ramadan with Kids
As a Muslim revert, I’ve experienced celebrating Christmas with all the excitement and fanfare before I embraced Islam…
And now raising 3 young children while living in a non-Muslim country, I do miss the experience of celebrating a holiday as part of a collective whole. The anticipation and atmosphere is prevalent everywhere you go during the lead up to Christmas.
Movies and T.V shows with Christmas themes feature on every channel. There’s cheerful Christmas songs streaming in shopping centres, the dazzle of decorations everywhere you look and the lure of presents on Christmas day.
It’s no wonder that children find it so appealing! Muslim children included.
While we both know there’s no need for comparison between Christmas and Ramadan, in the eyes of children who aren’t living in a Muslim country, there automatically is.
Unfortunately sometimes Christmas can seem like a huge party that they’re not invited to!
“Children need to not only be told about
the importance of Ramadan, but they need to see and feel it’s importance too.”
Although they may understand the importance of Ramadan, the fact is that on the outside it doesn’t have the same appeal. Because when you’re living in a non-muslim country, outside of the family home or mosque, life appears to go on as normal. Children need to not only be told about the importance of Ramadan, but they need to see and feel it’s importance.
As Muslim parents and educators, we need to make an effort to bring that same sense of excitement and joy to the celebration of Ramadan and Eid.
Ramadan is a month of such beautiful significance and this can easily be presented to children in a way that is fun and visually engaging through the use of decorations and activities to get them involved.
I know for some of you though, crafting is just not your thing. And searching for all the right reference, activities and materials can be time consuming…
So, I’ve created a list of 5 ideas to bring excitement and joy to your Ramadan celebrations, but that’s not all! Each suggestion comes with practical tips, shopping links and templates or printables.
You’ll be able to download the printables mentioned at the end of the post.
So let’s get stuck into it!
1. Start With A Plan!
Ramadan is a special month that encompasses more than just fasting and it’s important to explain to children it’s significance. Make them aware of the added reward for good deeds performed during this month and why it is such a unique and valuable time.
Help them to see Ramadan as a whole month full of opportunity and reward, that is then followed by 3 days of celebration! Then sit with them and create a plan and discuss some goals that they can try to achieve during Ramadan.
This will encourage them to get the most out of the Month and see if they are taking full advantage of the rewards on offer.
For younger children set a couple of small goals, such as helping out at home or fasting for a short periods (wait until they’re at least school aged and encourage fasting only for times that are appropriate for the age of the child, eg. 1 hr, or skip a snack).
Then consider adding 1 larger goal, like learning a new dua, short surah or listening to Quran every night. Write these down on a Ramadan Goals Chart (available in the FREE Ramadan Ready Kids Pack) or help them to create their own.
Older children can use a journal or scrapbook to record their goals, thoughts, activities and progress, either with written words, drawings, stickers or collage. The journal can be added to each year or start a collection of journals.
It’s great for children to be able to look back and reflect on these and see how far they’ve come.
Ideas for goals that you could include:
• Reading Islamic books
• Donating a toy
• Helping someone
• Feeding someone/sharing a snack
• Helping with chores around the home
• Saying something nice to a brother/sister/friend
• Memorise the Arabic alphabet
• Learn about/memorise some or all of the Names/Attributes of Allah
• Learn about/memorise a specific surah, ayaat or hadith.
• Learn about/memorise a duaa
• Read/recite the Quran
• Read or listen to stories about Prophet Muhammad (awas), the companions or other Islamic stories.
• Pray Taraweeh/Tahajjud/Witr etc every night
2. Set The Scene. Let’s Decorate!
Whether you buy them or make them, decorations are a great way to add a sense of excitement and atmosphere.
But before you get carried away, set a side an area to decorate that won’t get in the way of your daily routine because remember, it will need to stay up for the whole month!
Making decorations can be a wonderful way for children to participate in getting ready for Ramadan and it allows them to add their own personal touch.
Paper pom-poms or lanterns are a better alternative to balloons which will deflate after a couple of days and leave your kids feeling a little deflated too after all their hard work.
Work around a theme or colour to co-ordinate your decorations. Popular themes for Ramadan include lanterns, moons, stars and Islamic patterns.
Fragrances are a great way to set the mood and over time you and your kids will associate that fragrance with Ramadan and I’m sure it will trigger some beautiful memories. So choose a special scented candle like Musk, Oudh, Rose or Fig that can become the “signature scent” for Ramadan that you burn each evening.
Some decorations I love are:
3. Use A Ramadan Calendar or Tracker
Children love feeling a sense of achievement, hey let’s face it, we all do!
So help them visualise their progress with a chart or calendar that they can use to mark off each day during Ramadan. It also helps them keep track of how many days left until Eid.
To get the most out of the calendar try to incorporate a lesson, task or activity that can be completed so that even if your child isn’t fasting, they have a goal to accomplish for that day.
You can find a variety of handmade calendars available or DIY options and we’ve included a Free printable Ramadan Tracker (shown below) in the FREE Ramadan Ready Kids Pack.
Don’t forget to praise your children for their efforts each day and offer encouragement.
Some Ramadan calendars I love are:
4. Break Fast Together
Make the occasion of breaking fast an event that involves your children. Have them help out with the preparations such as setting the table, handing out dates, monitoring and announcing the time to break fast, or getting prayer mats ready for Maghrib and watch their excitement and anticipation.
This will also help to distract them if they are eagerly waiting for iftar with the inevitable “is it time yet?”on repeat!
Included in the FREE Ramadan Ready Kids Pack is an 8″x 10″ Print that can be framed and used to show the time for iftar each day.
5. Make Mealtime Special
Giving your children their own special placemat to use for suhoor and iftar is a great way to help teach them duas for breaking fast.
You can easily find the duas online and print them out on a piece of A4 paper. Then have them decorate it and laminate or use clear adhesive contact, like what you use to cover kids school books, to protect it from mess and spills.
Or even better, use the free Printable Placemat template included in the Ramadan Ready Kids Pack. It already has the duas included and is ready to be coloured in and decorated!
Other festive items for the table:
Ramadan is such a special time with so many benefits on offer. It’s also an especially good time to teach Muslim children important Islamic values in relation to one of the pillars of Islam.
I hope you and the kids enjoy the tips and inspiration. As promised, you can access the printables discussed in the link below.
I’ve put together this free printable Ramadan Ready Kids Pack for you and your family to enjoy!
It includes printable items for the topics discussed and you’ll receive the following digital downloads:
• Ramadan Mubarak Flag Banner
• Ramadan Calendar For Kids
• Ramadan Iftar Countdown Print
• Kid’s Ramadan Goals Chart
• Duas for Breaking Fast Table Cards
• Decorative “Ramdan Mubarak” 8″x10″ Print
• Colouring Place Mat
• Decorative lanterns