By Eman Bukhari
Experience Ramadan through the eyes of a parent.
Adults might not remember the first time they fasted Ramadan, but parents certainly remember the worry over their little one’s health and wellbeing, hoping it’ll be an enjoyable and beneficial experience for them. This experience can be full of reward for parents and children by encouraging healthy habits and fun activities.
The foundation to having a smooth experience is the child’s health. Feeding them foods high in fiber and avoiding sugary and salty snacks is the key to sustainable energy throughout the day. Overeating can be controlled by dividing meals into small portions throughout the evening.
Making the experience fun for the children can distract them from their rumbling tummies and teach them the value of the holy month too.
Parents can create a Ramadan calendar with pockets that children open up each day to mark it off the calendar and at the same time find treats, positive messages or prayers they can recite, depending on the age.
Families can set up zakat boxes at home and children can encourage family and friends that visit and donate items in the box. At the end of the month, when parents give away their own zakat, children can give away the content of the box as zakat as well.
In the days leading up to Ramadan, children can take part in arts and craft activities, such as making and decorating Fawanees, lanterns, or hilals, crescent moons, with different materials or colors, to be hung around the house.
To explain the concept of i’tikaf, parents can set up i’tikaf tents, where children are encouraged to spend time there reading Qura’n or stories from there.
Children can get involved in the kitchen to learn about nutrition and the health benefits of fasting.
There’s no shortage of children’s books on Ramadan that parents can read with their kids to inspire them, such as: “Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr” – National Geographic series.