Ramadan starts in a couple days! Every year Ramadan comes around, it feels like Eid was just yesterday. Although Zidaan is only 15 months old and won't remember much of anything till he's about 4, I want to start creating memories I can capture for him during Ramadan to show him when he's older. Ramadan was always special in our house growing up. For those that don't know, I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia till I was 12. I have fond memories of all the yummy food my mom would make, prayers at the big mosque, the city alive at night (a lot was closed during the day so that people could pray and fast), my parents working odd hours (doctors had a crazy schedule based on prayer times), and how everyone came together once it was time to break the fast during the month of Ramadan.
Last year during Ramadan, Zidaan was 4 months old. I had just started back at work and I was still breastfeeding full time - I regret not being able to do much to make Ramadan special for him. This year, I've teamed up with three other Muslim mama bloggers and we all wanted to share a few ways you can make Ramadan memorable for your kids!
^ This picture makes me laugh. It was his first time in a kurta last year during the first week of Ramadan.
Start by decorating your house to make your children feel the importance of this month and see a physical difference during Ramadan. You can put up Ramadan banners, lanterns, Ramadan books, candles which are now more readily available in stores. Party City is now carrying Ramadan gear! How Awesome. You can also make your own. Add some lights and maybe a special candle or scent that you only light this specific month. This will instill good emotions and memories.
A few places you can buy Ramadan gear are linked here:
Once Zidaan is older, I'm going to have him participate in picking out decorations and choosing colors and scents so that he feels ownership and in turn pride for Ramadan every year.
Make a countdown banner/calendar. This is one of my favorite ideas. Involve your children in the countdown. I had a chalkboard I got made for my in laws when I was pregnant. I put in a picture of my ultrasound and we changed the number of weeks every week. It was a fun way to countdown to my due date. Something similar counting down the days to Eid would be magical for kids!
One of the cutest ones I've seen is linked here.
Eid gifts should always be wrapped! This is actually a tradition my sister started in our family years back. Every person in the family has to get everyone else a wrapped present that we all open as a family on Eid morning after prayers. It's always something to look forward to!
You can also put the gifts in a visible corner of your living room under your Ramadan decorations that the kids can look forward to opening on Eid. This would more likely work better for older elementary and middle school kids. My toddler will probably lose his patience and rip everything apart the first night.
You can also have your younger children write up a wishlist on the eve of Ramadan of what they would like for Eid.
Use Ramadan to teach your kids some valuable moral lessons. Yes, we want Ramadan to be fun for children and we want to give them presents and spoil them. Along with that, let's also remember the core of Ramadan and teach our kids compassion, respect and being a better version of themselves.
Once Zidaan is older, I want him to understand and pinpoint one characteristic about himself that he wants to improve on every year. This could be something as simple as being nicer to siblings, being more generous, not talking back to mama (my favorite) etc.
Charity. Along with teaching your kids moral lessons, we also want our children to understand the importance of generosity and the concept of giving to those who are less fortunate than they are. Once Zidaan is older, I want him to choose a charity every Ramadan and save up throughout the month for it. You can help them come up with creative ideas to raise the money as well.
Ramadan Books and Stories! When we were younger, my mom used to tell us stories of the Prophets and other Islamic stories that have morals and lessons. That's become a fond memory of my childhood when I think of Ramadan as a kid.
Here's link to come great Ramadan books for children --> Books!
I hope to make this month special for my little boy year after year so that he has fond memories of all the traditions he grew up with.
Please do check out Sumaira, Tamania and Nida's posts linked here as well.
Tamania's love for urdu is inspiring. Her blog is already a favorite of mine, but will definitely be a go-to for ideas once Zidaan starts picking up more words. She also has some great ideas for her two little kiddos this Ramadan! Check out her blog and post here: Ramadan for kids
Nida's blog is crazy versatile and oozes positivity! Nida has shared amazing tips not only for children, but also for busy moms who may easily get overwhelmed with everything that comes along with Ramadan. Check out her blog and post here: Ramadan Tips for Busy Moms
Sumaira is a mom of 4! I'm in awe of how she handles all her kids gracefully and manages to be creative putting out amazing content consistently. Check out her blog and post here: A Memorable Ramadan for Kids
Thank you all so much for reading!
I hope you all have a happy, healthy and very blessed Ramadan!