A question I see a lot in different facebook groups is how to teach our children about Ramadan. So here my view on kids and Ramadan. Of course children are not obligated to fast. However when they are 5-6 years old, you could start with candy fasting. The principal is simple you educate your kids about Ramadan and tell them that this month they will not get any candy or cookies during the day or only one. (Set your own boundaries you know your kids best). Older kids can start by fasting half a day or with these long days a quarter of the day. Every day that they succeed they get a little toy, a special treat, 50cent, a star on the star sheet,… again you know best what will work for them. Sometimes eating with the grown up when it is iftar time or going to the mosque with dad or mom is already a treat for the kids. Make a countdown calendar, if you Google or you go on pinterest you will find some great ideas.
Now that’s the fasting part, but what about the other things the Islamic part, which is in my opinion the most important part. First and for all make it fun. Do an Islamic craft every day with them. I love these at Karima’s craft but you can easy Google some other once. You can make a small gallery for them to present their work or you can make the crafts into presents to give at eid/bayram.
Set some goals that you will work on everyday learning new soerah, reading Arabic, learn some of the names of Allah,.. Don’t set the goals to high and again make them visible put them somewhere so that the child can see which goals they achieved. Make a star chart. Reward them for each achieved goal. I hear you think oh but this will be very expensive 2 children 30 days already 2 rewards no no no no that’s impossible. You can be inventive about it… you could make some sort of thermometer for everything they achieve they can color 1 mark and if they have 10 marks they get a small toy, 20 some special crafts material, 30 a big toy,… full a special trip to a zoo or an amusement park after Ramadan. This way they learn how to work for a goal they want to achieve.
Think about good deeds. Make a list of 30 good deeds (yes some things can be done twice). You can find lists online, but think about things like give water to stray dogs, visit elderly people in the local retirement home, give food to the poor, donate some old (but still good) toys, smile all day (it is sunnah after all),… After you made your list, cut it into smaller papers, you put all the things in a bag and every day your child takes a paper and does what is on the list or you can plan all of the deeds in advance and put them on the calendar.
Reading moment… why not read to your child once a day for a few minutes a story about our prophets, a story about the life of Mohammed pbuh or just a story with a moral (nassretin hoca for example), not only will they learn something, but most children also love listening to stories.
Also decorate the home and make Ramadan into a fun month. Teach your kids this way to love Ramadan.
I hope you like my kids and Ramadan ideas. If you have any other advice please do share.