This is a post about Ramadan. If you’re not a Muslim and you don’t know what Ramadan is but are curious to know, check out this video that explains everything. Even if you are a Muslim but aren’t practicing or want to know more about this month, check it out.
So Ramadan is in a week, and I’m anxious excited. I have been mentally prepping myself for Ramadan for the past 2 weeks. I downloaded Ramadan plannars, printed out a checklist, created my own checklist, saved a lot of pins to my Ramadan pinterest board (click here to see them), but there is one thing bothering me:
We’re in quarantine!
Even for me, the introvert, i feel more spiritual when I go to the mosque for fajr and taraweeh prayer. I haven’t been able to go since i delivered my son, but I was hoping this year, I would be able to at least go to fajr prayer. It’s such a bummer that we will be at home instead of having iftar at each other’s houses, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pray together as a family 👪
Maybe this is what we needed to bond. Maybe this Ramadan can still be spiritual, even with kids at home testing our patience. Maybe we can instill the love of Ramadan in our kids this year by making them feel a part of it! Christians involve their kids in Halloween and Christmas and Easter activities (all of which are celebrations that should not be celebrated by Muslims), so why not us Muslim moms involve our kids with Ramadan?
If you don’t have kids, you can still make the most of Ramadan by decorating your house and reading more quraan and praying together with your family. The pinterest board has ideas for kids and for adults. You can also read more about Ramadan and about the story of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and do your own lanterns if you’re into arts and crafts.
Normally,I’m too lazy to include my son in activities that don’t interest him, but this Ramadan, I’m going to try to pull him in gently through the two things he loves: Animals! And junk food!
Some kids have a natural tendency to get excited about Ramadan and will try to immitate you in the acts of worship. If your kids are like that, God bless your soul and protect your kids from the evil eye. However, some kids need further encouragement. I, as a mom, definitely need the further encouragement to get up and make fun Ramadan-related activities for my son while still making time for my ibada (worship) with the limited energy I have (we all have different levels of energy, and I, for one, get tired easily, especially when I’m fasting).
So without further ado, here are my top tens ideas to make Ramadan fun and memorable with my son (let’s hope we do each one of them at least once):
1. Get him to pray with me. How? I printed out worksheets where he gets to color a part of a flower for every prayer he does. If he prays all 5,he colors the whole flower pot. If he doesn’t, it gets colored black. My son is just 5 and has never prayed with me before, so i feel if he prays 1 prayer with me a day, I’ll call it a win. The age of teaching kids how to pray is 7, so i won’t focus on this point. I just want to encourage him to love prayer. I will try to explain to him why we pray (to thank God for everything he gave us) if he resists, and if it comes down to it, I’ll offer a weekly reward of sweets.
2. Get him to memorize short verses from the quraan. Different kids have different memorization abilities, and some are more resistant than others, but i will try to put on videos for him where they say the Quraan and he repeats after. I will offer a reward for each surah he memorizes. This is the playlist i will depend on (because trying to teach him myself didn’t work as I lack patience and consistency).
3. Do Ramadan related activities with him. I printed out worksheets from pinterest (word search, connect the dots, mazes, and such) and I’m hoping we do them all during Ramadan.
4. Get him to do charitable acts. I have a worksheet for that. I will introduce the concept of doing good deeds for the sake of God and how they are rewarded in heaven (he already knows this but I’ll emphasize) and I’ll explain that good deeds are multiplied 70 fold during the month of Ramadan.
5. Make a lantern with him. I’ve been begging him to do a lantern with me for 2 weeks. I even printed out a template a week ago but he says he won’t do it until Ramadan begins.
6. Read him Islamic stories about Muslim children around the world (we already started this one). I bought this book a year ago and he wasn’t interested because it had no animals in it, but a week ago when i told him it was my book and I wanted to read it by myself, he got jealous and claimed it and every other day i read him a story from it (the key with kids is to not do the same type of activity everyday or they’ll get bored easily). You can download storybooks for free as pdfs or you can buy from Amazon. There is an abundance of books available online in english (not sure about the Arabic).
7. Tell him Ramadan related stories (example: how the quraan was revealed or maybe a personal story that happened to you in Ramadan)
8. Read quraan aloud next to him to get his attention and when he seems interested, explain the meanings of the ayat to him (if you don’t know the explanation, you can search online and watch cartoon explanations together).
9. Baking cookies shaped like a crescent moon, mosque, stars, and such. You can either involve your child in baking and have them make shapes with their hands or, if you’re anything like me, just let him make the shapes with cookie cutters. I plan to do this the day before Ramadan only.
10. Explain to him about Ramadan in a fun way (why we fast, do’s and don’ts of fasting). Kids are curious, and it takes a keen eye to notice when a kid is willing to learn and some patience to answers their questions.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you have any questions or more ideas on how to make the most of this Ramadan in quarantine, comment below.