We’ve collated a list of activities to help your children connect to the month of Ramadhan this year.
Whether you’re a first time parent to a child under one or a seasoned parent of multiples, the month of Ramadhan always hits differently from the ‘pre-kid’ era of your life.
This holy month is one of the most exciting times of the year, blessings are literally raining down constantly and the doors of heaven are open.
And yet.. the children’s energy doesn’t seem to change! They still wake up multiple times throughout the night; even during the precious hours of Layali al-Qadr. They seem to sense our tiredness and meet it with multiple demands or the inevitable tantrums.
In our haze of tiredness, it still pops up that we should probably have organised some way for our child to connect this month. Worry not! We’ve collated some information and jotted down a selection of ideas for you, so let’s take away that stress from your mind. Below you’ll find a list of activities to help your children connect to the month of Ramadhan this year.
I am quite a laid back parent, so I tend to prefer activities with minimal mess and prep-time. However, I have included a couple more complex options for those who are braver or more experienced!
A big reminder to us all though, the key is to keep it simple and flexible.
Avoid the temptation to aim for Instagram-worthy pictures; remind yourself that it’s more important to focus on how engaged your child is with the activity. You want them to have fun connecting with this blessed month. They don’t care how complex or pretty the game is! Keep this goal in mind always, write it down if necessary; you’ll especially need the reminder when your child wants to do things differently!
- Here come the Toys!
If you have a few toys kept higher up on the shelves that haven’t been dusted off in a while, now’s the time to bring them out! Choose a ’new’ toy once a week that they can play with. You can even keep them engaged with new, simple sticker books for the first few days of the month. Simply letting them play with ‘seemingly new’ toys because it’s the Mahe Ramadhan can go a long way to building excitement around the month for your kids.
2. Bring the Quran into their Lives
There are a few different ways to do this. Have Qur’an playing during bedtime routine. Practise a Surah on the way to school. Play Surah Rahman and have the kids stand up or change places with someone every time they hear the ‘Fa bi ayyi a’laa’ verse! You could even laminate a few pages of the Quran for the younger ones to ‘pretend’ to recite without you worrying if they’ll tear it, or get a laminated 30th Juz here!
3. Make a Mosque!
Once you have a couple of big cardboard boxes, this is a lot simpler than it seems! Feel free to skip steps and adjust as necessary for your family. The kids can ‘pray’ inside and keep some of their books to read too! Here are full step-by-step instructions. If you feel that you don’t have the space for a box in the room, how about drawing a mosque on a large sheet of paper that they can colour in. Then, together you can stick the mosque on the wall and the kids can place prayer mats and cushions in front of the drawing.
4. Make a big deal of Birthday of The Prophet’s Grandson- Imam Hasan ibn Ali
Put up some fairy lights or balloons and tell stories of the Imam. Here’s a link to a free e-book for the kids too!
5. Remind them to Think of Others
On your next grocery shop, let them choose (from a selection) a few things to donate to those who are in need. The size and price is not important, it is the fact that you are reinforcing that when they buy one of their favourite cereals/ snacks, they would want to give that happiness to someone else too, who may have less than them. There are multiple places to donate- many grocery stores have a donation box near the exit of the store, or you can donate to a food-collection charity such as Sufra (if you’re in London). A similar concept with a different method is a month of Ramadhan toy overhaul. They can go through their toys and choose some to share with the less fortunate.
6. Make their Own Dua Book
Using some sheets of coloured card, come up with some Duas together. This could include things they want for their community, neighbours, family, friends and themselves, or it can be an ‘Alhamdulillah’ book of all the things they’re grateful for. You can write them down and with your help, they can draw or glue pictures to make their Duas book come to life! Then when you sit in this blessed month with your Qur’an or your own Dua book, they could even bring some colour pencils or stickers and recite from their Dua book or decorate it.
7. Plan an Iftar for Someone
Whether it’s going to a restaurant and ordering some extra food for other busy parents, or making a delicious home-cooked meal, let your child be a part of the experience. Have them mix the ingredients, or hand over the money or card to pay at the restaurant. Remind them that the spirit of the month of Ramadhan is to share what we have with others, even if we are tired or we don’t seem to have much ourselves.
8. Good Deeds Sticker Chart
Make a chart with your child, drawing pictures they can recognise for each box. Examples include hugging their sibling, sharing, making Iftar, visiting the graveyard, reading Quran, or helping mum and dad. Then spend the rest of the month finding ways to tick them off with stickers!
9. Arabic Game
This one’s simple and a great hit with my daughter. Grab a stack of A4 papers or card, and a massive marker. Write the arabic alphabets (large) on each sheet, sounding it out with your child as you go. Then, stick them onto the floor or on a rug with some tape and you’re ready to go. Tell your child to start on Alif, then jump, hop, crawl or spin to each letter you call out. Or play Arabic Twister with your letters! For older children, add harakat (vowels- fatha, dhamma, kasra) to make it more challenging.
10. Find the Letters!
This is another great alternative to the above, a game I love to help them get familiar with the Quranic Arabic letters. Write the same Arabic letter on 5-10 small pieces of paper. Each day hide this bunch of Arabic letters around the house that the kids will race to go find. Then, repeat on another day with a fresh letter. For example, if the chosen letter for that day in Ramadhan is Jeem, then they would have to find all the Jeems you’ve hidden in the house.
11. Find the Eid Moon!
Decorate and make an ‘Eid Moon’ with your kids one day in Shahr Ramadhan, before the Eid day sets in and then hide it away. When it’s Eid hang it up somewhere and when they wake up have them try to find it!
12. Eid Cards
This one is self-explanatory. Build up the hype around Eid by getting them to make Eid cards to give to close family and their friends. Card, markers and stickers will keep them busy. Alternatively, you can paint large A3 cards one day and then once dry cut them into rectangles to make ‘personalised’ cards.
And finally for the days when activities are too much, here are some of our family’s favourite Shahr Ramadhan-related books and Nasheeds for young children.
The Ahmad Family and the Ramadhan Moon
Musa And The Ramadan Moon – Lift The Flap Book