As a Muslim mother bringing her children up as second generation Canadians, I place a lot of emphasis on our deen. I’m aware that my children will be growing up in a diverse community with a wide array of celebrations and occasions. It is important to me to make our religious celebrations, Ramadan and Eid, something they look forward to every year. My ultimate goal is to make these occasions the highlight of their year.
Since I have 3 little ones, I thought I’d share 3 ways to make Ramadan & Eid special for your children. These are all ideas that can be implemented with children in any age group, even 1 year olds like mine! They may not understand the full idea or concept behind what you’re doing, but in the name of tradition, it’s always nice to start when they’re young!
- Welcome Ramadan Boxes – I started the tradition of creating welcome Ramadan boxes for my siblings and parents a few years back. I fill each box with fun and useful items that each member of the family can use to welcome Ramadan. A few fun ideas that I included in this year’s boxes for the kids in the family were sidewalk chalk (so my niece and nephews could decorate their driveways for Ramadan), and star shaped glo-sticks. For the adults I included mints (for that post iftar freshness) and a mini notebook for reflections. Everyone’s favorite part of their Ramadan box is always the candy! Ramadan boxes are lots of fun to make with your kids. Have them help you choose what to put inside and take them with you to distribute them!
- Ramadan Events – What better way to welcome the blessed month of Ramadan than with a Ramadan event. Community events are meant to create excitement for everyone, especially children. It’s also a lovely way for our children to feel like they are part of a loving community that comes together on special occasions. There are almost always some type of special activities for kids, like arts and crafts, storytime, and more. It’s also an opportunity for your children to see the diversity of Ramadan in Canada.
- Iftar Parties – Children love having their friends over to play, so why not extend this to an iftar dinner? Involve your children in the meal prep and table prep so they can let their creativity shine. Create a tradition for your child to have 2 friends over for iftar each Ramadan. They can even draw up some invitations and distribute them. If you have more than one child, you can let them each invite 2 children on the same or separate days. Have each child help the other child when their friends are coming over to create a sense of teamwork, as well.
- Buy gifts for those in need – All kids love Eid because of the presents. Why not use this opportunity to teach your children about charity? Head over to a toy store or your child’s favorite store and give them a budget. Half of that budget can be used to purchase a gift for themself, while the other half is to purchase a gift for a child who is not as fortunate. Any denomination works – $10, $20, etc. What I love most about this activity is that the child has so much fun picking out their own present – and then an equal amount of fun deciding what gift another child should have. It’s also something that they will inevitably look forward to – presents!
- Eid Crafts – There is no shortage of Eid crafts on Pinterest and there is no child who doesn’t love crafts. I love crafts that also serve a purpose, either as decor or for gifts. Have your child choose their favorite crafts and let them decide how they will use them. Have a baker on your hands? Make Eid cookies! An artist? Draw Eid cards for the family. A science whiz? Create slime as Eid gifts for cousins and friends.
- Decorate – Involve your children in decorating and preparing your home for Eid. This may include helping you unbox your decorations from years prior, picking out a new color theme, or deciding where to put things. Something that I do with my babies is light up our decorations every night. I choose one child who gets to turn on the lights with me each night, and I love seeing their face light up with excitement. If your children are older, you can have them help you turn the lights on after they’ve submitted their “good deed” for the day.
I am looking forward to my children growing up so we can create even more beautiful traditions together. With a little bit of creativity, you can make Ramadan and Eid so much fun for your kids.