As we get closer to the holy month of Ramadan, many of us are preparing ourselves physically, spiritually and mentally. For those of you who have little ones, it’s also a good idea to start preparing things for them to do or to learn whether they can actually fast or not this year. This way, we as parents can make this a beneficial Ramadan for the whole family inshAllah (God willing).
A child below the age of 7 years is not obligated to fast, but this does not mean that we cannot include them in our activities, instill the importance of Ramadan within them, or begin to teach them the basics. It’s a great idea to use these early years to slowly build their love for the month of Ramadan so that when they are eventually able to fast, they will look forward to the month with happiness and understand some of the fundamental principles. Below are some ideas on how to involve your younger children in Ramadan activities, and get them in the spirit.
Begin Teaching Them Young
A good way to start brainstorming what to teach your children is to ask yourself a few questions. Why do you as an adult look forward to Ramadan? What is it about the holy month that makes you plan in advance and wait in anticipation? What words would you use to describe this blessed month? Try to open up discussions about some of the regular topics associated with Ramadan such as; fasting, reading Qur’an, making dua’a, prayer, charity, the last 10 days, ect.
You can share this knowledge with them in many ways such as youtube clips or through family discussions but a great idea is to use Islamic books and/or magazines catered to your kids age. This will allow them to learn about this blessed month in a fun and engaging way that will in sha Allah (God willing) become a staple in your child’s life when they think about or remember Ramadan. The use of stories with visuals as well as crafts, activities, or anything else hands on is a great approach to use to build positive memories while also allowing the kids to retain the knowledge gained.
myDeen magazine creates and distributes monthly magazines catered to 3 different age groups about various topics. Below is an image of the Ramadan 2017 Editions. [SOLD OUT]
Fun Ramadan Activities
Younger children may not be able to physically fast during Ramadan, but they can still do so much to feel the beauty that comes with this month and learn about it’s importance. The key here is to prepare now and gather ideas, crafts, recipes as well as the needed supplies to create lots of lasting memories this Ramadan. You can have them draw and paint their own Ramadan greeting cards, create a cardboard masjid, or come up with/help write out duas to make at iftar time. The key here isn’t to go overboard and do a million things, so do not overburden yourself. Plan to do only one or two small things every day to help build positive memories associated with Ramadan so in the coming years as they grow it’ll become a special time they wait for.
If you are stuck on craft ideas for Ramadan, here are a few:
- Moon and star-shaped cookies
- Cardboard/paper masjid
- Cut and colour your own Ka’abah
- Make a Ramadan countdown calendar
- Make a good deeds calendar/Chart
- Sadaqah (Charity) jar - Click here for a FREE PRINTABLE by myDeen Club
- Ramadan word games
- Picture story about Ramadan
- Design your own Ramadan and Eid greeting cards
- Create a special corner for salah and tarawih in the home
- Make a ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ banner
Involve the Children in Adult Activities
Apart from the act of fasting itself, many of the activities we as adults engage in during Ramadan can involve children in some way. Younger children are always excited at the thought of doing ‘adult’ stuff and copying our behaviour, so imagine how happy they would be to attend an evening lecture (if they are able to sit quietly) or join the congregational salah at the mosque.
Beyond prayers, Ramadan is a good time to introduce children to what it means to give sadaqah (charity). You can encourage them to donate money on your behalf online or at the local masjid, and they can help as you prepare food items to give away to the less privileged. All of these acts will help re-enforce what Ramadan is all about, and even though they are not fasting, they still get to be active in some parts of this blessed month.
As we prepare to welcome this blessed month, remember that getting younger children involved in Ramadan needs to be fun and engaging for them. This will allow you to help build a strong foundation of faith in them from an early age that you can add to every year.
Written by: Amina Oke
Amina is a full-time freelance writer mum living in Lagos, Nigeria. She loves to write about parenting, Islam and the Islamic Economy.
Edited by: Sanaa Izreig
Sanaa is the Editor-in-Chief for myDeen Magazines.