by Hafsa Taher
Ramadan is the most wonderful time of the year. Too often, we, adults, focus so much on the “work” associated with the month, but we forget that one of the most important things about this amazing month is to inculcate a love for this month and its blessings in our children.
Ramadan should be a special time for your whole family, including the little ones. It should bring you closer to each other as a family and closer to Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
In this article, In sha Allah, we will give 10 tips for a productive and fun Ramadan for your children.
1. Send a note to kids’ school/ your neighbors:
Yvonnne Maffei, popular food writer and home chef, shared the idea of giving homemade goodie bags to your neighbors with an insert explaining what Ramadan is all about. This is a great idea. You can find a suggestion for a printable letter to send to kids’ school here. Not only does this act as a form of dawah, but also it builds goodwill in the community. You can order Eid posts for your child’s public school from Project Eid Awareness.
2. Welcome Ramadan into your homes:
Decorate your homes with “Ramadan Kareem” banners, streamers and lights. You can find DIY instructions here. You can also read the tips made by Ameera Rahim from Traditional Muslimah Homemaker and Habeebee Homeschooling, in a previous ProductiveMuslim article here.
3. Make or buy 30 days calendar (Advent-style):
Last year in my family, we made 30 paper cones using construction paper and taped them to a poster board. The paper cones were numbered. So on day 1, I would place a task / challenge for my niece to complete or a treat for her.
If you are interested in the calendar idea, you may want to check out Jannah Steps as it has compiled a list on how to buy one easily or make it yourself.
4. Read about Ramadan together:
Kids love stories. For parents, this is a great way to illustrate a point. Disney Baby recommends 10 books for your reference.
5. The best lesson is the one experienced:
Let your child experience Ramadan in terms of the physical aspect of waking up for suhoor, making dua with you at iftar and perhaps on weekends attending taraweeh at the masjid. Aysha Samrah Abrar, a fellow author at Productive Muslim, mentions useful tips in her Productive Parenting article.
Wake your child up to have suhoor with you, even if they might be unable to fast. Make sure your child has had enough hours of sleep before suhoor, though, so they don’t start viewing this as a burden.
Take your children with you to the masjid and ask them to relate their experience of praying in jama’ah after returning home. Ask them questions like: “Which surah did the imam read today? What word caught your mind while listening to the imam? Did you make any special dua during ruku’ or sujood?”
While having suhoor, have some dates along with your food. Discuss the scientific benefits of dates, along with Qur’anic references about what our Prophet ﷺ advised on the benefits of dates.
6. Ramadan crafts to keep them learning and entertained:
Arts and crafts are another great learning tool. Download template and activities at MyRamadanFun.com and try this activity out.
7. Make Eid special and give gifts:
Make it about them. Build your own Eid traditions. I remember as a kid, every Eid morning, my mom would make French toast that we’d eat before going for prayers and a massive feast when we returned. To this day, any time I eat French toast, I think of those Eid mornings.
And, of course, there is no festivity for kids without gifts. A tip from Abu Productive every year is to get your shopping done before Ramadan. Have your children help you make shopping lists, shop and pack gifts.
8. Plan an Eid party for their friends:
Kids really look forward to their birthday party. Why not make your Eid party more fun than that? My Halal Kitchen shares 5 tips for a fun and easy Eid Party and, for Ramadan decor and supplies, order up here.
9. Avoid making food the center of your focus in Ramadan:
Check out easy iftar recipes that ensure that you’re not too tired from cooking and have enough energy to do the fun things with the kids. A few suggestions could be found here. Also, check out Ramadan Recipe App from My Halal Kitchen.
10. Agree on one bad habit to quit as a family during Ramadan:
Whether it’s watching TV or any other unhealthy habit that you would like to kick, work on it together. Make it a family thing. This teaches them the barakah of the month and also helps build good habits and growing as a family.
Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end, except for three: A continuous charity, knowledge by which people derive benefit, pious son who prays for him.” [Muslim]
So, may Allah سبحانه و تعالى help us raise children who love His deen, who are God-fearing, who grow to be among the leaders of this ummah and who would remember their productive parents in their prayers!