10 Ways to Get Your Children Excited for Ramadan by Rana from Eid Creations
Posted on Jun 05, 2014
Rana from Eid Creations is an experienced party planner and a mother of three. She was the board chair for fundraisers in her children's Islamic private school and organized all their events. She felt frustrated planning Islamic events such as Ramadan, Eid, Islamic new year, etc. and always had to improvise with what she could find. She tried to import items from the middle east but they were not modern and paled in comparison to what was out there for other holidays. That's when Eid Creations was born as she created party supplies for Islamic holidays that are both modern and appealing, so that children and adults can feel pride in celebrate their holidays. Her goal is to get Islamic party supplies in mainstream stores so that we as Muslims are officially part of our society's make up.
Ramadan is a special time for adults to recharge their faith. Muslims wait for it annually to try to improve on their spirituality through extended prayers and duaas; but what about children? How can they also enjoy it to the point of looking forward to it every year? What can parents do to make their children feel the joy of this blessed month? It is important to instill the love of Ramadan in children from an early age, so here are some tips to help plant the seed of love for Ramadan!
1) 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, and window clings, which are now more readily available in stores. You can also make your own. Add lights and maybe a special candle or scent such as musk or orange blossom that will instill good emotions and will leave a good mark on them well into their adult lives. These good emotions will intensify as they get older and will make them anticipate that month every year. We wrote about the association of scent and emotions in a blog post back in 2012. It is important to have children participate in picking out decorations and choosing colors and scents so that they feel ownership and in turn pride for that holiday.
2) Make a countdown banner with paper hoops. Have children take out one hoop every day after iftar to give them a sense of anticipation for Eid, which is the culmination of the best yet to come for them; the cherry on the top.
3) Buy them gifts and wrap them in beautiful giftwrap. Put the gifts in a visible corner of your living room for kids to look forward to opening on Eid. This tip works well for older elementary and middle school kids but not toddlers who will get impatient after a few minutes of staring at the gifts. If you have younger children have them write on the eve of Ramadan a list of what they would like for Eid. If they cannot write, you can help them with the list.
4) Give money or healthy candies as rewards for fasting when they are of age to fast without physical harm. That worked well in our family and with friends. We would compete with cousins and friends as to who would accumulate the most prizes during Ramadan. You can coordinate with other Muslim families you know to do the same which makes fasting more exciting. Make sure you all agree on the same sum to make the competition fair :)
5) Make special food items that are specific to Ramadan. In my household lentil soup, fried bourek and fruit salad were the mark of Ramadan and every time I have them until now, they bring me back to Ramadan memory lane.
6) Make iftar a family and friends event. The more the merrier!! Kids love the feeling of big gatherings with other children. I was fortunate enough to put my children in an Islamic school and therefore we took turns with other parents on weekends to host iftars. The children are older now but they still remember those days and beg us to have friends over for iftars. Guests could also be friends from public school, neighbors who have kids, anyone who they cherish and make the house feel full! The louder the better (for the kids that is)!
7) Slumber party anybody? Since Ramadan will be in summer in the next few years and kids love staying up and having a different routine; have their friends or cousins come over and make Suhur a fun affair.
8) Ramadan is about community and gatherings. Let your children feel they are part of a bigger community by visiting the Masjid for iftar and taraweeh. Many masjids have programs for children such as Quran Competitions, which motivate and always come with a gift bonus! Kids are like sponges and absorb a lot at this stage, so what better time to have them learn Quran than during Ramadan.
9) Ramadan should be fun for kids but they should also get a moral lesson out of it. Children are more philosophical then we give them credit for. The stories they read or hear always have lessons to be learned, so why not use this month to make resolutions? Let them take a critical look at themselves and pinpoint characteristics that they would like to improve about themselves such as being nicer to their siblings, being more respectful to adults, be more generous, not talk back to their parents (my personal favorite), etc.
10) Finish off the month by baking with your children special Eid treats to be given out to family, neighbors and friends. The pleasant baking aroma that will fill your house will forever be ingrained in their memory. Make your children look forward to Ramadan by filling their hearts with sensory emotions that they can taste through food, smell through special scents, touch through gifts and feel through gatherings.
From the Eid Creations family to yours, have a blessed Ramadan! We Create. You Celebrate! Find us at www.eidcreations.com. Like us on Facebook, get inspired by following us on Pinterest and be sure check out our blog!
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