Keep your little ones entertained while sharing the spirit of the season
With shorter working and school hours during the holy month, Ramadan means that parents need to be a bit more creative about how to entertain the kids, particularly if you’re fasting yourself.
But if you want to keep their brains active and keep them off the iPad, then help is at hand. Former early years teacher Anisa Ismail set up community platform KidzUnplugged to combat our addiction to tech and get kids inspired.
Here are her top ten tips to helping your kids appreciate and enjoy the holy month in a more creative, technology-free and – most importantly – fun way.
Break it down
Whether you are Muslim or not, Ramadan is a big part of living here in the UAE. Take this chance to explain the story of Ramadan to your child. In the simplest way, Ramadan can be explained as a time to appreciate all the blessings we have, and to give back to those who don’t have as much as we do.
At Christmas, a huge part of the holiday is decorating the tree – and during Ramadan, you can do the same. Rearrange furniture with the children, put up something new and create the ambiance your family loves with accents like lanterns and lights.
Read bedtime stories
There are a few Ramadan children’s books that are available here in the UAE, and they are a great night-time read for your children. Otherwise, you can get creative and start a Ramadan story of your own with your kids and create a quick and easy book. Let your imagination flow.
Start a countdown
Having a visual representation of Ramadan will be helpful for your child’s understanding. This can be a family project where you create a calendar counting down the days until Eid al-Fitr. You can even make it a little more special by deciding what you will do as a family for Eid and putting that on the calendar.
Ramadan is a crucial time for giving. As a family, you can create a charity box, and in it place any toys, clothes and other items you’d like to donate. Perhaps this can grow into something you end up doing year-round.
Learn the greetings
This can be a simple role play game where you practise the Ramadan greetings and simple prayers. Making it fun and creative will make it easier for your child to remember.
Head to the kitchen
It is a good idea to involve your children in the kitchen as it plays a crucial role in Ramadan. Give them simple, easy tasks and recipes for dishes that they can later tell everyone they made.
Embrace the boredom
As much as you plan activities for your children, sometimes they are just not interested. So embrace the boredom and use this time to positively influence the creativity that boredom can bring.
Join evening prayers
There are a lot of mosques in the UAE that are child-friendly. On a weekend, it’s not a bad idea for your child to attend the prayers and gain understanding of this important component of Islam.
Time to celebrate
When it’s Eid, include your children in decisions such as where they’d like to go and what they’d like to wear. They can also get creative and prepare Eid cards for family members.