Parents have often expressed how hard it is to get their children involved in Ramadan when they are not fasting, and for many children, Ramadan can pass by without them even noticing. We all want our children to feel a part of this holy month and we want to instill that love for their religion from an early age.
Before we begin, we thought it would be good to address a question that is often asked… Should my child be fasting this Ramadan?
Although debates often surround whether children should be fasting during Ramadan, the general opinion is that children must never be forced to fast. However, children can fast even for a few hours if they choose to. This can help them appreciate the significance of this holy month. As they get older, some children choose to fast half a day or even fast full alternative days in preparation for the upcoming years when it becomes obligatory. Surprisingly, many parents can find that their children are excited at the prospect of fasting a full day, as this implies that they are given as much responsibility as an adult. (Remember! If your child does make the choice to fast, make sure to inform their school!)
Now that we have that cleared, here are some fun activities you can do with your children to get them involved in Ramadan:
1. Decorate the House
Welcome Ramadan into your house by putting up banners and bring the spirit of Ramadan into the house. This allows children to feel the festivities and excitement around Ramadan. In months prior to Ramadan, you can get your children to collect their scrap paper and recycle them into paper ring banners.
2. Story Time
This Ramadan, make story time a blast by adding an Islamic twist. Stories of the prophets have morals and lessons that can be used to have an open discussion with your children. You can also think about donating a book about Ramadan to your child’s local library or school.
Better yet, you can introduce your children to writing their own Islamic stories and perhaps even get your child’s writing entered into the Young Muslim Writers Awards competition.
3. Get Them Involved in Charity
From an early age, we want our children to understand the importance of generosity and the concept of giving to those who are less fortunate then they are.
A fun way to get them involved is by collecting money in homemade penny boxes. You can go with your children into local businesses on the walk home from school or on the weekend and get them to ask for donations. At the end of the month, you can count up the money together and let your children decide together what causes they would like to give their donation towards. You can even volunteer along with your children at Muslim Hands street collection.
4. Daily Acts of Kindness Chart
One active way to get your children involved is to get them to document kind actions. We have created a simple chart that you can use with your children to help them track what good deeds they are doing as well as encouraging them to act out daily kindness tasks. Check out the free printable below.
5. Let Them Help You Cook Iftar
Since many children are not fasting, helping out in the kitchen and becoming the official assigned family ‘food taster’ can be a fun way to make them feel needed in Ramadan. We have some fun Ramadan recipes you can try with your children over on our article Sunnah recipes.
6. Learn a Dua
Get your child to learn a dua along with its meaning and let them teach the rest of the family that dua. How about incorporating more of Ramadan by getting them to learn the dua said when breaking the fast?
7. Take the Kids to the Masjid With You
By letting your children stay up an hour or so past their bedtime so that they can go to the masjid, you can help them feel the excitement of Ramadan. By praying in congregation your child will understand the importance of unity as a Muslim. They can also listen to the khutbah and seek knowledge at the mosque as well as mixing with other children their age, who are also learning about their religion.
8. Play Islamic Board Games
After iftar you can bring the family together by quizzing their Islamic knowledge and playing the classic game of Qur’an Challenge.
9. Make Eid Cards
In the run up to Eid, your child can make Eid cards for their class mates. Not only does this bring the family together, it is also an opportunity to do some dawah.
10. Make a Gift for Your Neighbour
Help your children understand the importance of dawah by letting them create a small gift hamper for your non-Muslim neighbours. You can even get you children to write up a card explaining what Ramadan is about.
Ramadan is a time that families can come together to celebrate and learn about their faith. Parents sometimes have a rough time figuring out how to keep children involved during the month long holiday, but with these tips it will be a breeze. What do you do to keep children involved? Leave a comment below with your suggestion.