Ramadan is fast approaching and parents everywhere are getting ready to juggle everything they do with this month of fasting, prayer and spirituality.
Below are a few handy tips to get organised, prepare, and make the most of this special month.
Start listening to the Qur’an with your kids regularly
You might already do this regularly, but if not, now’s a good time to start! There are loads of recitations available from Youtube or iTunes. Download your favourite, and make this a habit. This site, LoveforQuran, has a wonderful recitation of the last few Surahs by an 8 year old girl, masha Allah. Its lovely for kids to listen to and learn.
Start giving extra charity and involve the kids
Another thing you might already to regularly, but in the lead up to Ramadan it would be great to get the kids involved, and understand the importance of this too. Some facts about Zakaat, and its importance can be found here. Either get a charity tin from your local Islamic charity, or make it an activity for the children to make their own. Find some tutorials here and here.
Emphasise the importance of good deeds
Good deeds are an important part of the foundation of being a Muslim. Encouraging our kids to do good deeds, and noticing when they do, will help them form a habit of doing so. Making a point of talking to them about doing good deeds, helping them to do good deeds that they might not know of of be able to do themselves, will also encourage them. As a family you could pack food boxes to give to a local charity, donate some dates and water to your local masjid so people to break their fast with or start a collection for Ramadan or Eid gifts for children who may not be as fortunate as you. Take a look at this activity and this activity for some fantastic ideas.
Get your hands on some Ramadan books
We are so fortunate to have a fantastic range of Ramadan books this year! There are so many new ones that have just been released, as well as some old-time favourites! Books are an amazing resource for kids, and this list is a great place to get started in building your Ramadan book collection. There are lots more so keep searching, and ask at your local bookstores.
Some useful videos and apps
We all need some time when the kids just leave us alone! What better way to keep them occupied than with some Ramadan videos and apps. Zaky is always a popular option, available as both DVD and apps. For other great apps for Muslim kids, take a look here. Some other video options are Abdullah the Puppet and of course Muslim Kids TV.
Plan your Iftaar
Plan, plan, plan. Planning now, or planning weekly… whatever way works best for you – do some planning. You can download this cute free meal planner, to make things a little easier. You can also find some tasty and easy recipes here.
Plan for Suhoor
Having an energy packed Suhoor (one that’s preferably easy to make) will make all the difference to a long day of fasting. Stock up on your family’s essentials and make sure to include some dates, nuts and low GI foods and remind your family to hydrate well! For some great Suhoor ideas, get this free ebook.
Start your decorating early
Everyone loves some decorative fun! Get your family into the Ramadan spirit with some decorating. You can easily buy some ready made decorations (these here look amazing!) , buy some digital printables (my favourite Etsy store is here) and assemble them yourself, or make your own!
Prepare activities for the kids in advance
If you plan ahead, and keep some activities for the kids handy, then you can pull them out at the last minute when you need some time you yourself. The e-book has some great crafts and activities to keep kids occupied for a long time! There’s also this book which contains lots of fun games and you can also find many printable activity pages and colouring pages here. A quick Google search should also give you lots of other ideas.
Plan (and perhaps buy) what you’ll need for Eid
Just to make things easier in the last 10 days of Ramadan, when all you want to do is focus on your prayers, start planning Eid shopping, gifts and kid’s stuff.
This handy checklist is for you as parents. Sometimes we forget, sometimes we get distracted, so it’s handy to have this as a check list for the extra Ibaadah that you want to incorporate into your days. Use this one as is, or use it as a guide to make your own. Every little extra will count insha Allah.