Parents often express how difficult 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 instill a love for Ramadan from a young 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 up, here are some fun activities you can do with your children to get them involved in Ramadan:
1. Decorate the House
Welcome the month of Ramadan into your home by putting up banners and bring the joyous 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.
This Ramadan, make storytime a blast by adding an Islamic twist. Stories of the Prophets have morals and lessons that can be used to spark interesting discussions with your children. You can also think about donating a book about Ramadan to your child’s local library or school.
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 than they are.
A fun way to get them involved is by collecting money in homemade Sadaqah 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.
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 with our Sunnah recipes.
6. Learn a du'a.
Get your child to learn a du'a along with its meaning and let them teach the rest of the family the same du'a. How about incorporating more of Ramadan by getting them to learn the du'a spoken when breaking one's fast?
7. Take your children 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 testing 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 classmates. Not only does this bring the family together, but it is also an opportunity to do 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 your children to write up a card explaining what Ramadan is about.
We hope these suggestions were helpful, insha’Allah.