Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”
The month of Ramadan is approaching. We stay focused on performing every kind of ibadah during Ramadan, but for children, it is unique. They get to taste the tenderness in the harshness, a unique kind of joy and peace which they don’t feel otherwise, the impatience stirring up inside, the determination making it easy along with realizing how slow each second is, how tasty each food is, and sometimes they feel like water is the tastiest drink in this world!
While we get busy with the preparation for the blessed month, we must keep in mind that children want fun and want to enjoy every moment in this blessed month as well. They are excited, at the same time they get tired. In this article we will discuss how we can help them and make this Ramadan fun and productive for the whole family?
Tip 1: Decorate your house to welcome Ramadan
Kids love decorations. Gather family members before Ramadan and brainstorm about decorating the house to welcome Ramadan. Plan the activities and schedules for the month of Ramadan. This is not only fun but also will help spend quality time together and strengthen your bonds. You can buy or make Ramadan bunting to decorate your house, add some lantern or glittery moon and so on.
Tip 2: Make and send hand-made Ramadan cards
If your neighborhood is non-Muslim, it is a great time for dawah and to send a card which tells them about Ramadan. If your neighborhood is Muslim, it is the time to send your warm wishes on welcoming Ramadan with love and sincerity. Your kids will be really happy to do art and craft projects starting from simple Ramadan letters to more sophisticated cards. Using the computer will make your task easier. Please, bear in mind that everything you do should be for the sake of Allah and help the children to be so. (Quick tip: Help and remind them to say ‘bismillah‘ before each task they do.)
Tip 3: Sighting the moon together
The month of Ramadan will start upon sighting the new moon. If it is not difficult for you and your family to make a family trip for sighting the moon together, please do it. Most of the kids like to feel that they are involved in every activity. So let them get involved from the start. Moreover, you can teach your kids du’a or supplication which Prophet Muhammad urged us to recite upon sighting the new moon. An additional benefit is that the younger kids will learn about the phases of the moon by observing the shape of the moon they see in the sky. Recommended to mothers who do homeschooling.
Tip 4: Ramadan art and craft projects
Kids always like to do arts and crafts. Let them do what they like but remember to keep all the projects related to the month of Ramadan so the kids will feel involved and understand Ramadan, in sha’ Allah. For example, Ramadan is the month of Qur’an, as the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet for the first time in Ramadan. Make them learn about such facts and do some art and crafts together. Last year, my child and I did an art project based on the story of the revelation of the Qur’an. We used sandpaper to make a cave and glitter to indicate the light upon Qur’an. Alhamdulillah!
Tip 5: Let your kid fast, even the quarter of the day and celebrate
If your children have not reached the age at which they have to fast, do not force them, and if they are really interested in fasting, do not prevent them from fasting as well. Make their interest the starting point and encourage them by recognizing how long they have fasted. Point out to them how their strength to remain patient will keep them closer to Allah and let them learn the spiritual aspect of Ramadan through self-observation. For young children, even though they can fast only 4 hours, do not hesitate to compliment them and make dua for them to get beneficial and pleasant rewards from Allah . (Let them hear your ʾadʿiyah (duas) so that they get encouraged and try to put more effort to do this kind of ibadah, in sha’ Allah.)
Tip 6: Bedtime Stories = Ramadan Stories
What can be the better than bedtime stories to instill the spirit of the month of Ramadan in your children’s heart. Choose a book with Ramadan stories and read it to them. You can narrate your childhood Ramadan stories as well. It will help in planting the seeds of faith and understanding of Ramadan in your children’s life and they will also correlate the time of bedtime happiness and calm with the sense of happiness of Ramadan, in sha’ Allah.
Tip 7: Go to the Masjid Together and Perform Taraweeh Prayer
Let them learn about the special prayer that they can perform only in Ramadan – Taraweeh prayer. Bring them to your nearby masjid and spend quality times there by reciting the Qur’an and remembering Allah and pray together. This is recommended for all boys and girls but especially for the boys and their daddy to spend more time in the masjid and ingrain in them the duty of a man to perform prayers at the masjid and in congregation.
Tip 8: A Ramadan Calendar packed with activities
Last year I made Ramadan Calendar with 30 pockets on it. Every day I would fill it with some jelly beans or snacks and a word from the Qur’an for him to ponder over and we did the activities based on the word we got from the pocket. Kids love surprises and they always look forward to learning from such activities, alhamdulillah!
Tip 9: The Family Qur’an Competition
For the family with more than one child, you have an advantage for organizing plenty of activities.
For the family with more than one child, you can organize a Qur’an memorizing competition among your children according to their age. For the family with only one child, you can be their competitors in good deeds and gaining Allah’s pleasure. Children love to compete and win and you can take advantage of this fitrah of children. This competition leads them to learn and memorize more surah and make their relationship with the Qur’an closer than ever, in sha’ Allah.
Tip 10: The Sharing and Caring Campaign
The month of Ramadan is not just about abstaining from food and drink rather its true spirit is to care for others and share your blessings with people around. As parents, we can instill and plant sharing and caring for others into our children’s heart by being their example. This month is great to start for the family who do not know how to start. Here are some ideas from my own experiences. I created a sadaqah box out of reused box and wrapped it with some scrap paper. Everyone in the house had to put some coins in it and every week we would give all the money to the masjid.
Another idea is throwing an orphanage caring campaign. In this kind of activity you can also ask your neighborhood to join your family and go to an orphanage in your area. Not only those little angels in the orphanage will enjoy spending time with you all, but your children will also the importance of being a helping hand and the giver. This feeling will make them happy and really instill in them the love to share from what they have with others. We can teach them the true meaning of “Alhamdulillah” for everything we have.
These are 10 tips to make the month of Ramadan not a month of exhaustion but a month full of energy to play and learn, share and give and a lovable time for the whole family. I pray Allah helps, guides and reward you and your family with the greatest of blessings both in this life and Hereafter. Ameen Ya Rabb.
Authored by Metinee Adam
Edited by Meher