Ramadan is a very special time of year for Muslims all around the world. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, where Muslims fast during day light hours.
Children are not required to fast until they reach their time of puberty. However, as you can imagine there will be many children who witness their family members fasting and also want to join in. I recall my mum saying that I could do a ‘mini fast’ when I was at junior school, only because I pleaded with her stating that I too wanted to fast.
Now I am a mother and soon this blessed month will be upon us, infact it really is just days away. (Due to start on or after May 26th). Last year my eldest daughter was one years old during Ramadan and I wanted to make sure that she began to understand that this really was a special time.
To mark the end of Ramadan there is a big celebration called Eid ul Fitr (the festival of the breaking of the fast), normally just referred to as Eid. I wanted my daughter to really get excited about this festival.
One of the first things I did was to purchase more books about Ramadan and Eid.
To get Little One excited about Eid coming I also made a thirty day countdown for her.
The boxes you can see in the photo are wedding favour boxes that I bought online. Instead of boxes you could use small envelopes, paper cups, cones, you could even get really creative and sew a pocket calendar with 30 pouches. I had seen one online but I thought it was too expensive and would rather have that money go towards books about Islam. I also made a banner and the box was filled with various books about Islam, Ramadan, Eid and healthy eating.
Each box was numbered and the last ten boxes were numbered in a different colour as one of these odd nights could be a particularly blessed night as it is associated with the sending down of the Quran to Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him).
In each box I placed a treat. The treats I used included:
Dates-which is what Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) would eat when his fast for the day was complete.
Sweets/chocolate/box of raisins/hairclips/toys/mini notepads/mini pens/stamps/lego pieces/stickers/Arabic stickers
Money– to encourage to give to charity
Eid balloons (bought from eBay)-to begin decorating the house
Foam letters-to use for Eid cards
My daughter was absolutely delighted with what I had done. She called these “Happy Ramadan boxes” and each morning after breakfast she would open a box. To practise her number skills (come on you should know me by now) we would always count the previous boxes opened and I would ask what would be next. This was also a great reminder for hubby and I on how many fasts had been and how many were left.
Some books I kept packaged, which my daughter had not seen, giving it a little bit more of a wow factor.
The books in the photo are:
Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B Robert.
Mummy Says: A Muslimah’s guide to fun healthy eating by Sherifah Baharudin
This year my eldest daughter is approaching three years old, God willing. I will also have baby, God willing enjoying Ramadan with us. I have kept all the boxes from last year but in addition to treats, I also aim to, God willing, put in statements encouraging learning for that day, craft ideas, or questions, encouraging discussion rather then the correct answer. I also hope to look at Quran Stories for children (I have the copy, My First Quran Storybook by Saniyasnain Khan) and discuss the meanings behind these stories. Although this book is aimed at older children, 6 and above I can still use this as a starting point and read ahead, cutting out bits and using age appropriate language.
You may like to use Ramadan Prompts I have made for my boxes. I have typed these up on Microsoft Word.
If you are completing Ramadan, I hope you have a positive, happy, blessed month, God willing.
How do you embrace Ramadan with you me young ones? Do you have any ideas or comments to share? I would love to know.