Ramadan is a special time of the year for Muslims all over the world. During Ramadan with kids, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. My children are too young to fast. However, there are a number of things we do as a family to make it a special time.
The children each have a Ramadan calendar, which they use to count down the days of Ramadan until Eid. This is similar to an Advent calendar that Christians use leading up to Christmas. Each day they look inside the pockets of the calendar to find a sweet or chocolate and a good deed card. The good deed cards contain written notes such as ‘water the plants,’ ‘do something kind for your parents’ or ‘give away a toy to charity.’ We made our own Ramadan calendars and you can check out the tutorial HERE.
Eating Iftar and Suhoor
Iftar is the meal in the evening when you break your fast. You should break your fast by eating a few dates and drinking a glass of water, as this is what the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) used to do. After that, we eat the iftar meal. Many Muslims enjoy quite an extravagant meal for iftar, which can take a few hours to prepare. However, we prefer to eat simpler meals at this time as it is hard to eat much when you break your fast. We will then eat once or twice more before the fasting begins again the next day. The last meal before fasting begins in the morning is called suhoor. For suhoor, we normally eat breakfast-type foods, such as pancakes or scrambled eggs and toast.
Ramadan with Kids: Islamic Studies
We are a homeschooling family and adapt our studies during Ramadan with kids. We focus on Islamic studies during this holy month. There are many resources available online for children to learn about Islam and Ramadan. We normally use printables. We also have a Ramadan activity book called ‘My 30 Days of Ramadan’ by Solmaz Parveen which we use to learn about Ramadan.
The Quran is our holy book. Muslims believe there is an extra reward for reading the Quran during Ramadan because all good deeds are multiplied during this special month. We often play the Quran in the background while the children play and sometimes we will sit together and try to learn verses from it.
Celebrating Laylat al-Qadr
Laylat al-Qadr is a special night during the last 10 days of Ramadan. The exact night is unknown but it is said to be one of the odd-numbered nights during the last 10 days (either 21st, 23rd, 25th or 29th). Laylat al-Qadr means ‘the night of power’ and is said to be worth 1000 nights. It is the night in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). This is a very special night for Muslims eager to gain the extra rewards, so generally, we carry out more acts of worship during this time. Things we may do are pray, read the Quran, and make dua. Dua is a kind of prayer where we ask Allah for things, thank Allah for what He has given us or praise Him.
As I was not brought up a Muslim, I do not have any special traditions surrounding Laylat al-Qadr. However, I decided last year to create our own traditions for the children. Therefore, last year we celebrated it as a family for the first time. The children learned about Laylat al-Qadr using books and worksheets. Then we did some crafts and baked some treats for the evening. We learned about the moon and its significance during Ramadan. Finally, we set up a tent outside to represent the Cave of Hirra. This is where the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) received the first revelations of the Quran. We spent the evening in our ‘cave’ carrying out acts of worship and enjoying some family time. You can read more about how we celebrated Laylat al-Qadr and Ramadan with kids last year HERE.
Preparing for Eid
Finally, the last few days of Ramadan are spent preparing for Eid. Muslims all over the world celebrate two Eids. The first one, Eid al-Fitra, celebrates the end of Ramadan. The second, Eid al-Adha, take place two months later.
My children love to do crafts so we usually make a banner saying ‘Eid Mubarak’ (Happy Eid). This is the one we made last year using colored doilies and sequins. We will often have a small party and invite friends over to celebrate with us. You can check out the crafts we made last year for Eid HERE.
Despite the difficulties of fasting, particularly while looking after young children, we look forward to Ramadan with kids each year. There is such a good atmosphere in the Muslim community and it makes the blessed month feel special. There is a certain sadness when the month is over and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of next year’s Ramadan moon which will mark the arrival of next Ramadan.
Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to be hosting its fourth annual Ramadan & Eid for Kids blog hop, where bloggers come together to share ideas for teaching kids about and honoring Ramadan & Eid. Don’t forget to check out our blog hops from last year, 2016 and 2015. Be sure to follow our Ramadan & Eid boards on Pinterest for even more ideas and link up your own posts below!
A Crafty Arab: Ramadan Food Word Search Printable
Jeddah Mom: Ramadan Fasting for Children Who Are Going to Fast for the First Time
AlizehmySoul: 6 Ways to Celebrate Eid with Your Toddlers
Multicultural Motherhood: Reasons for Fasting – Activities for Kids and Free Printables
Sand In My Toes: Our Favorite Eid Traditions
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