NoRamadan seems to come quicker ever year. It really is a very special time for my family. As a mum of 4, it can be a challenging month too, not just because I can’t eat. I have two younger kids and need to keep them busy in this holy month.
So, over the years I have found a few easy ways to keep them busy. Also, to help them understand and appreciate this beautiful month.
Before the month even starts, I usually print out activities related to Ramadan and fasting. This usually includes easy and fun worksheets that are all about Ramadan and Islam. I put together a pack for each child, my younger two, both under 10. We usually will spend an hour per day completing sheets. It’s all really simple things that remind them about Islam and fasting. Pinterest is a great start if you are looking for ideas.
A day or two before Ramadan starts, we get all our Ramadan decorations out. We also have plates that are special for this month. This really gets the kids excited for the upcoming month. Also, once Ramadan starts, I tell them that they are responsible for keeping track of Iftar time and date. I hang the Ramadan calendar on the wall and they tick off each day that passes. Ramadan calendars are great to have and are available from eBay, Amazon and some supermarkets.
We also bring out a special sadaqah jar. I encourage the kids to put something in it every day to remind them about giving to charity. This usually means the kids negotiating loose change from their dad daily, but it’s a great way for them to remember the less fortunate. At the end of the month, the kids count it and give it to charity.
As I start to plan my shopping for the holy month, I get the kids to write a list of their favourite foods that they would like to eat during the month. As it’s a special month, I let them have treats and foods they wouldn’t normally have.
When I start to prepare iftar, I let the kids take turns to be food tasters, which is always fun for them and makes them feel important.
I find that giving kids responsibility, for various things, really helps them feel involved. With that in mind, I always put one of the kids in charge of the salah(adhan) time. Close to the adhan time, they get any device, like my phone or tablet and switching on the adhan that’s recorded. Last year, there was a live stream of the adhan on YouTube, which was fantastic. Hearing the sound throughout the house at iftar time is so peaceful.
We all pray before eating and the kids stand with me or their dad to follow us while we pray. They may not be old enough yet to pray but it still helps them to respect prayers. The kids are also in charge of setting the table and making sure those of us who are fasting have water and dates to break our fast. `
After iftar, we read a short dua together and every year we have a fun competition to see who can learn the dua by the end of the month. The one that does, gets to have extra Eid money. Somehow, I always end up giving extra to both kids! Either way it’s all a bit of fun while learning the dua. During the last week of Ramadan, I usually take the kids to the supermarket to buy small gifts for our neighbours in order to give it to them on Eid. Ramadan is all about sharing and this is a perfect way for the kids to learn that.
The last week before Eid, we take out all our fairy lights and put them up around the house as we start the countdown to Eid. These are the things that make Ramadan special for our family, especially the kids. I hope my ideas can help yours too.
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