10 Simple Tips for a Kids-Friendly Joyful Ramadan
The Holy month of Ramadan provides a great opportunity to the adult Muslims to ameliorate their spirituality as they get to recharge their faith by engaging themselves in dawn to dusk fasting, refraining from immoral needs and performing deeds which help them seek the pleasure of their Mighty Benevolent Creator (SWT) while offering extended prayers. But what about kids? Of course children are exempted from fasting in Ramadan but what we normally observe in our families is that they are eager to emulate their elders in everything they do. It is this eagerness that we can employ in ensuring that our children enjoy the blessed month to the extent that they look forward to it every year, waiting for it anxiously, with excitement and exuberance. The question that comes to the fore for many of us parents is how we can make our kids feel the joy of Ramadan and how we can get them involved in it? Involvement essentially means that our children feel themselves a part of all the celebrations, prayers and routines that happen to be major or minor constituents of Ramadan. It is important that our children can feel pride in celebrating Ramadan and for that we need to instill in them the love and reverence for this Holy Month. Here are a few simple yet very effective tips to make this Ramadan real fun for your kids.
1 – Get Your Kids to Decorate Your Home
This is something that kids in any part of the world would love to do. We all know kids take a fancy to indulging in creative and artistic activities. So get your kids together and start putting up Ramadan greeting cards and lanterns. Add nice, classy and calm lights along with candles. Introducing some sort of fragrance such as musk can also go a long way in developing strong emotional bonds in their sensitive minds. Engage them in creating cards, banners, bunting and other hanging items. Let your kids take the lead in choosing the decoration materials, lights, fragrance and take up the ownership of the entire exercise.
2 – Get Your Kids to Participate in Suhoor and Iftar
As mentioned earlier, kids like to imitate their elders. So, it’s always a good idea to fast together as a family. Let your children lay down the table for suhoor or iftar. If it’s too early for them to wake, then let them have their suhoor meal at breakfast. Try and arrange everything as you would at suhoor so that they can experience it. It might be hard for your kids to get used to the rigors of fasting, so make them fast sporadically. For example, you can urge them to fast from lunch till iftar and then have them participate in it. Appreciate them and congratulate them; it will encourage them to fast when they become older.
3 – Reward Your Kids for Fasting
When your children come of age to be able to fast without suffering any physical harm, raise their levels of motivation by giving them prizes and compliments. A sense of competition among cousins and siblings to accumulate the most prizes for keeping fast can be very helpful in developing in them a formidable habit of fasting in the years to come. You can promise them a certain gift on Eid for keeping a certain number of fasts.
4 – Take Your Kids to the Mosque
At iftar, take your kids to the mosque so that they get an experience of how people break fast in community. If they are up and can manage, take them to the Taraweeh prayers for one night. Participating in all these community activities can make them feel elated and give them a feeling that they are a significant part of all this.
5 – Make Ramadan Specific Culinary Delights
Cook and prepare foods for iftar and salary that become the staple food of Ramadan in your family and are loved by the kids and adults alike. Even when they grow up, whenever they’ll be served with those food items, they’ll be escorted to the Ramadan memory lane. You can also ask your kids to help you out in the kitchen work. If you have some special recipes, ask them to help you out in their preparation. Your kids will definitely enjoy the time spent with you in the kitchen.
6 – Encourage Love for Salah and Quran
Offer rewards to your kids for completing salah. Try and make your kids learn Surahs along with their meaning. Also make a habit of playing the recitation of Holy Quran in your home. Do not forget to play the Surahs that your kids have memorized or are familiar with.
7 – Increase Your Knowledge of Ramadan with Your Kids
Read Ramadan story books with your kids. Go for the books that your children can relate to in their daily lives. To make it interesting, either take turns to read the book or adopt a certain character of preference while reading. Increase your knowledge about Ramadan together by watching child appropriate lectures and videos on YouTube or put on an Islamic Children’s DVD.
8 – Arrange a Kids Iftar Party
Kids take a fancy to gathering with other children. Have your kid’s friends come over to your place for iftar party. Make sure that the party is well planned and everything goes through smoothly without any hiccup. Hold games and competitions in the party and give away gifts to the participating children. If you happen to live in a Muslim community, try and have iftar parties among your relatives and other acquaintances on weekends. However, do not forget to let your children comprehend that there are huge rewards for feeding a fasting person and helping the needy, orphans and the destitute.
9 – Teach Your Kids the Virtues of Doing Good Deeds in Ramadan
The kids should get a moral lesson out of Ramadan. Encourage them to do good deeds and let them know the rewards associated with them. Let your kids take a critical look at them and pick out the bad habits and characteristics that are in contradiction to the spirit of Ramadan. Tell them to be nicer to their siblings, be respectful to their elders and parents, not to tell a lie etc.
10 – Finish Off the Month with Eid Preparations
Within the blink of an eye, the glorious month of Ramadan is nearing its end and it’s Eid time! Get your kids to choose the clothes for Eid themselves. Again, ask your kids to decorate their home in accordance with the Eid. Ask them to help you out in baking special Eid treats for your friends, relatives and neighbors. Make them wrap Eid gifts well in advance.