A Simple and Giving Ramadan With Kids
I really think us mothers can get complicated at times. When Ramadan comes, we feel the urge to make it so special for our children that it becomes stressful and time-consuming. The aim of Ramadan is not to cause undue hardship, but for our children to enjoy a few special activities, learn more about their deen, remember Allah more often, and it's about performing good deeds and giving!
So lose the complicated arts and crafts and the "I have to do this or make that" attitude, and actually enjoy Ramadan with your kids and teach them to give more than they receive! Here a few ideas:
1. Find Easy Ramadan Printables
This is even more easy for you as it is all available to download on Muslimommy! Try to print activities for your kids that do not take too much time and they can do most of it on their own. Also, do not worry about perfection, let them just enjoy the printable. After they are done, they can mail it to family members or print a new one and give it to a friend or a random Muslim child. Some readers mentioned that they print a few downloads out and hand it to kids at the masjid, alhumdulillah what an awesome idea!
2. Make Crafts That are Useful
Making Ramadan crafts just for your kids to do something is okay, but make it even more special by letting them make crafts that they can actually use and keep. Besides not being wasteful, they can also make crafts that has a purpose, which they can give to others as gifts to make them smile or have something beneficial or spiritual to hold. Some ideas could include making prayer beads, no-sew Quran covers made with fabric glue, friendship bracelets with letters spelling a pillar of Islam etc. to name a few.
4. Read and Listen to Stories
You can play audiobooks from Maryam Sinclair Collection, Miraj Audio Collection, and others can be found on Youtube (they can listen without watching), or poems and songs from Elizabeth Lymer, Zain Bhika, Yusuf Islam, Dawud Wharnsby etc. They can learn about Islam, learn something about their Deen, or to remind them of Allah. I usually also focus on them memorizing the duas they don't know, learning the 99 Names of Allah, memorizing new short suras of Quran, some Hadith and adding new dhikr.
5. Watch Islamic Videos
My children love watching the lectures of Nouman Ali Khan and Mufti Menk. They learn about the stories of the Prophets (may peace be upon them all), and about Seerah. There are many videos that have now been illustrated from these lectures as well. A few of our favorite YouTube playlists are:
6. Form a Quran Club
Try to get together as a family everyday, or form a small group with friends a few times, to make a khatum of Quranic recitation for an hour or so. Kids who can't read can be taught by kids or parents who know how to read Arabic. Make it a habit and a special time. Offer a treat for motivation when the kids complete their recitation, if it helps.
7. Write Letters of Thank You
I made a printable for the purpose of prompting children to write thank you letters to those who help them in their lives. You will find the download in our Ramadan section, or take some paper and pens, and write or draw your own letters. Then mail it, or give it out to the ones who make our lives a little easier each day.
8. Do Copywork of Quran and Hadith
Let your kids copy verses of the Quran, or short Hadith, on paper or cardboard, and even make it into a scrapbook. Draw designs around the page with colorful gel pens (one of my kids favorite activities). Children pick up so much from this. They can frame it for their room or give it as gifts to others. You can also let them do this as a form of practice for handwriting, learning letter formation or writing in cursive.
9. Help out at the Masjid
The masjid should be our second home. Take your kids there in Ramadan, even if you do not stay for iftaar, you can go an hour early and keep other mothers' kids busy with your own kids, with simple, noiseless toys, by printing out coloring books and handing it out to them, bringing them treat bags, or reading them a Ramadan story. There are simple little crafts you could do as well, but be careful not to make this too burdensome. It is best not to promise to do it everyday, but do it on weekends or when you can.
10. Send Email and Text Messages
Send emails or text messages with cute icons, images or designs to family and friends, not only to wish them for Ramadan, but to inspire them throughout Ramadan. You can send messages with a short Quranic verse or a Hadith, or even an inspiring quote. This will brighten their day and make them feel good that someone was thinking of them that day.
As you can see, some of these tips are much easier than what I have seen out there. Do what you can, with the means that you have, and you will have a much simpler Ramadan with your kids, and maybe inshAllah more time for some personal ibadah too!