Welcome to the “Ramadan for Kids” Series (Part 1)
How To Make Celebrating Ramadan Relevant and Fun For Your Child.
~ Includes Free Ramadan Printables For Kids ~
Ramadan And Your Child.
Making Ramadan exciting for kids and something to look forward to can be a real challenge, for many reasons.
As a Muslim revert, I’ve experienced celebrating Christmas with all the excitement and fanfare before I embraced Islam…
And now I’m raising 3 young children in a non-Muslim country. I can’t deny I 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. Cheerful Christmas songs stream in shopping centres. The dazzle of decorations everywhere you look and the lure of presents delivered in secret as children lay sleeping.
It’s no wonder that kids find Christmas so appealing! Muslim children included.
We both know there’s no need for comparison between Christmas and Ramadan. But in the eyes of children (especially those who aren’t living in a Muslim country) there unfortunately automatically is.
And sadly sometimes the build up to Christmas can seem like a huge party that they’re not invited to!
Although a child may understand the importance of Ramadan, on the outside it doesn’t have the same appeal. When you’re living in a non-muslim country, outside the family home or mosque, life appears to go on as normal.
Children need to not only be told about the importance of Ramadan, they need to see and feel it’s importance.
So as Muslim parents and educators, we need to make an effort to bring a sense of excitement and joy to the celebration of Ramadan and Eid.
Because it’s not enough just to tell children about the importance of Ramadan. They need to see and feel it’s importance as well.
When a child connects with the celebration of Ramadan and Eid on a deeper level, it strengthens their cultural identity. It increases their sense of belonging and self-esteem.
“When children have a strong cultural identity, they are well-placed to make social connections with others and develop a sense of belonging to their community, even if the community’s cultures are different to their family culture.” (www.kidsmatter.edu.au)
So exactly how to do you get your child to connect with Ramadan?
I’ve put together some tips to help you make Ramadan more exciting for your Child…
Why Do We Celebrate Ramadan?
Ramadan is a sacred month that encompasses more than just fasting. As the 4th pillar of Islam it’s important for children to understand the significance of this month and the value it holds.
Explain to your Child that Ramadan was the month that the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). It is a time that focusses on fasting during sunrise and sunset, prayer, reading the Qur’an, refraining from bad behaviour, and doing acts if charity.
Make them aware of the added reward for good deeds performed during this month and why it’s such a unique and valuable time.
You can download my free printable Ramadan Info Sheet as a guide for discussion or handy reminder for children. It’s available to download in colour or black and white.
Children’s picture books can be a great way to help introduce or re-enforce the concept of Ramadan in a visually engaging way.
Start With A Plan.
To create a Ramadan plan, sit with your child and discuss some goals that they can try to achieve during the month. Make sure you guide them towards a goal that they would like to achieve, rather than a goal you are setting for them.
By choosing their own goals, your child is more likely to want to achieve them. They’ll also feel a greater sense of accomplishment when the goal is reached.
Once the goals have been set, work out what tasks are needed to achieve the goal.
Keep in mind that children find challenges much more appealing than tasks they have to do.
Encourage them to get the most out of the month by setting a challenge or two to reach a particular goal. For example, if the goal is to do 1 good deed a day, a challenge could be to perform at least 1 good deed from a list each day. Or another goal may be to learn a new surah. So the challenge could be to practise 1 line from that surah a day.
For younger children set a small challenge each day, such as helping out at home or saying something nice to someone.
Older children can set challenges like learning a new dua, short surah, listening to Quran every night or fasting for short periods (wait until they’re at least school aged and encourage fasting that is appropriate for the age of the child eg. for 1hr or skip a snack).
Write the goals and challenges down so your child can hang them up as a reminder. You can download our Ramadan Goals Chart or help them to create their own goal chart.
Older children can use a journal or scrapbook to record their challenges, thoughts, activities and progress. They can either use written words, drawings, stickers or a collage. The journal can be added to each year or start a collection of journals for every year. It’s great for children to be able to look back and reflect on these and see how far they’ve come.
I should probably also mention that you’ll also get so much more out of Ramadan if you have a plan as well!
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) or The Companions
• Pray Taraweeh/Tahajjud/Witr etc every night
Get your child inspired with these Ramadan planners for kids:
Track Their Progress
Children love feeling a sense of achievement. Hey let’s face it, we all do!
Help your child visualise their progress with a Ramadan tracker or calendar that they can mark off each day.
This also helps them to keep track of how many days left until Eid!
To get the most out of the calendar try to incorporate it with your Child’s goal chart. You can use different stickers to show the days when a challenge was completed and track their progress towards reaching their goal.
If your child is fasting (whether it’s full days or for just 1 snack) you can use a calendar to track how often they fast.
Don’t forget to praise your children for their efforts each day and offer encouragement!
Calendars that have pockets for treats and messages are a great way to reward children for challenges and tasks.
You could also leave a little message of love and motivation in your child’s lunch box when they are fasting!
A variety of handmade calendars or DIY options are available and we’ve also created a Free printable Ramadan Tracker.
A Ramadan Calendar or Tracker is a great way for children to count down the days of Ramadan, keep track of when they’ve fasted and see how many days are left until Eid.
Ramadan advent calendars are a great idea for children:
- Playful Scandi Inspired Ramadan
- Moon Phases Ramadan Calendar
- Mosque Windows Calendar
- Envelope Calendar
- Hanging Treat Bags Calendar
Set The Scene. Let’s Decorate!
Whether you buy them or make them, decorations are a great way to add some Ramadan excitement and atmosphere to your home.
But before you get carried away, set aside 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!
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, the moon and stars and Islamic patterns.
Fragrances are a great way to set the mood! Over time you’ll associate that fragrance with Ramadan and I’m sure it will trigger some beautiful memories. Scented candles like Musk, Oudh, Rose or Fig are a perfect for creating a “signature scent” for Ramadan that you can burn each evening.
Making decorations can be a wonderful way for children to participate in getting ready for Ramadan and add their own personal touch.
Download these printable Ramadan Decorations to make your own Ramadan Mubarak Banner, Decorative Print and Paper Lanterns
Some decoration inspo:
- Paper Lanterns
- Decorative Paper Stars
- Moroccan Lights
- Eid Scented Candle
- Wooden laser Cut Stars
- Ramadan Mubarak Wall Panel
- Honeycomb Lantern
- Mini Moon Pinatas
After working out a plan and setting the scene, it’s time to discuss how to help your child get the most out of Ramadan…