Getting Our Kids Involved During Ramadan
Posted on 13 May 2019
Looking for new ways to get the kids involved this Ramadan? While fasting may not be obligatory for our youngest munchkins, there are still countless ways to make our kids feel included during the month of mercy. Today on Zeena Uncovered, we asked real moms to share their tips on how to create family traditions that encourage children to experience the joy of Ramadan, year after year.
The Power of Giving
"I have a lot of good memories helping my mother cook dinner during Ramadan. Now that I'm a mom, I teach my daughter about the numerous rewards you earn for feeding a fasting person or someone less fortunate. Every time we go grocery shopping, we try to pick up a few extra items to donate to charity and set them aside in a cardboard 'Zakat Box' she gets to decorate," --- C.B., Nurse Practitioner, Montgomery Medstar
"In my home, we set up a Sadaqah corner. It's basically a donation area with canned food, coin jars and other things. At the end of Ramadan, we take whatever we have collected to the Goodwill center and the kids get to give it away themselves," -- Maryamm A.
“Begin the day together at the breakfast table and let younger children fast too, even if it’s only for half the day. This not only gets them in the habit of fasting, but it’s a great opportunity to teach them the duas. Also, try to limit screen time and take short walks before iftar. Look for ways to spend quality time with your children...distraction-free!” --- J. Hasan, IB Director & Middle School Teacher
Make Iftar Special
“In our home, we spend time decorating the dining room with string lights, banners, and homemade paper lanterns. The kids love to make their own lantern and write a short dua across the handle, or I’ll have them fill in the blank: ‘May this Ramadan bring _________ or 'May Allah bless_______.’ They love seeing their artwork hanging around the dinner table, especially when the lights come on at night!” --- Jamillah A., Zeena Marketing Assistant
"As a mother of five, giving each child a responsibility helps them learn to work together during iftar. My youngest is in charge of getting the dates and water for everyone who fasts, so she has to pay attention to when Maghrib prayer comes in. My other girls help with cooking dinner, but my oldest has a designated dinner night. On Lailat al’Qadr, we make it a tradition to have fresh-baked cinnamon rolls with our coffee as a late-night treat,” --- Nurah R., Homeschool mom
Memorable Taraweeh Nights
“As a kid, I loved being with my friends at the masjid. We would combine all our sweet goodies for iftar, and loved praying beside each other, not to mention we may have goofed around during taraweeh! My kids have been coming with us to taraweeh at the masjid since they were about 5-6 years old. They only come on the weekends because of school, but it's a treat for them after fasting a long day. They text their friends to meet them there and we hit up Silver Diner together for an early suhoor. This year we've added a weekly family halaqa. Adults and kids included, we have a Ramadan lesson before Iftar and family potluck afterwards,” -- Zeena CEO, Bayan Jondy
"After iftar, reading is so essential to helping my kids understand Ramadan better -- what it means and why it is an important pillar of our faith. We love collecting new books and setting out old ones, including hadith, to keep them engaged in learning. This year we made our own 'All About Ramadan' coloring books and set out floor pillows so the kids can read after salat," --- Rabiah A., D.C. Attorney
Lead by Example
Children's minds are like sponges. They learn just as easily by reading as watching and imitating what we do. As parents, it's easy to fall into the Ramadan routine of waking up early, focusing on our fasting day and prepping for iftar, so much so that we might overlook the importance of making our children feel included.
Here are a few more great tips from our Zeena moms on how to build wonderful memories for our children and inspire a love for Ramadan at any age:
- Craft a Ramadan countdown calendar leading up to Eid al'Fitr.
- Fill baskets with special books, activities, coloring pages and treats to keep your child busy while they fast.
- Give your children encouraging words after each fasting day or reward them with a special gift.
- Volunteer together at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter or masjid.
- Organize a park clean-up with your child's schoolmates and other parents.
- Sew new prayer clothes together or string tasbeeh beads to give to family or friends.
- Assemble giving bags filled with essentials for the homeless: socks, toothbrushes, Kleenex, water bottles, soap, shampoo and a personalized not about Ramadan.
Do you have a special Ramadan tradition in your family? Share your ideas in the comments below!