As Ramadan approaches, the anticipation of the coming month starts to build. We pray that our fasts will be accepted, and that this year will be better than the last.
Many of our children are in schools where Ramadan is only briefly mentioned in the curriculum, if at all! They may miss out on the buzz and excitement that comes from waiting for Ramadan to arrive! However, there are things you can do at home to create that buzz about the coming of Ramadan.
Here are 5 great ways that you can build excitement for Ramadan in your home.
1. Read Aloud
Instead of the usual bedtime stories, start to incorporate more Islamic children’s books before bed. There are so many to chose from, many of which are themed around Ramadan itself.
One of our favourites for young children is “It’s Ramadan Curious George!”.
In the typical cheeky way, Curious George, the charismatic monkey visited his friend Kareem during Ramadan. He helps Kareem to fast, eats the tasty iftar, makes gift baskets for the poor and enjoys Eid celebrations with the family. This fun book is suitable for children aged 2+.
2. Ramadan Baskets
On the first day of Ramadan many people chose to give their children some small gifts to help them make the most of the coming month. When your children see the basket of gifts on Ramadan morning, they will not be able to hide their excitement for the coming month.
You could put some Islamic children’s magazines, such as Little Explorers, in their gift basket. They would also enjoy some Islamic dvds, like Zaky’s Ramadan.
Create a festive atmosphere in your home with decorations! If you would like to make them with your children you can find hundreds of tutorials online.
Alternatively, you could use this cute Ramadan Mubarak Bunting to welcome in the new month.
You could also hang one of our beautiful Ramadan calendars, filling each of the pockets with a special sweet treat. Alternatively, you could fill the pockets with a good deed that the child must do each day, or a new Arabic word to memorise.
4. Get the Children Involved in Preparations
In the lead up to Ramadan, many of us prepare food ahead of time and fill our kitchen cupboards with groceries. This year, why not get your children involved in the cooking and bring them along with you when you shop. Have you children help you deep-clean the house or tidy the garden before Ramadan arrives. Not only will they learn valuable life skills from this experience, but it will also heighten their anticipation for the coming of Ramadan.
5. Goal Planning
Children love to set targets for themselves, and compete with one another. Before Ramadan arrives, sit together a talk about what you all hope to achieve this month. Some children have the tendency to be over ambitious, whilst others might be reluctant to commit to anything! Help them to set realistic targets and talk about how you are going to reach them. Write them all down and come back to this list throughout the month.