Parents of younger kids (ages below puberty) know that it can be challenging to keep kids engaged during Ramadan, whether the kids are fasting or not.
Fasting kids get tired, bored, and cranky easily and the only thing on their mind is breaking their fast. Kids who are not fasting still have a need for nurturing and companionship. Adults have the extra acts of worship that they have planned for this period, and it can become easy to let the kids run free and do their thing while you try to maximise every minute of the month.
If you find yourself in need of ideas to keep the kids engaged during Ramadan, here are five activities that you can plan for them to do, especially if they are fasting.
Attend an Islamic Studies Class (Online or Offline)
One of the most beneficial activities to keep kids engaged during Ramadan is an Islamic studies class that teaches kids different aspects of faith.
These classes are an incredibly good way for kids to learn about Islam in a simplified form, and from a knowledgeable person. They help the kids understand different aspects of our faith, and they answer all those questions that young kids usually come up with about worshipping Allah (SWT).
An Islamic studies class at your local masjid (mosque/Islamic center) is a great place to start, but if you are unable to attend a physical class, try for an online class. Here is a class that we have been listening to on and off.
Because I know that kids get bored easily and they most likely won’t sit through a whole class, I like to do some activity that expands upon the class without us sitting through the whole class.
If your child becomes restless during the class, you can switch it off (if you are streaming online) and have a family discussion about what you just watched. Pick a concept from the class, ask the child questions about what they understood from it, and explain further if possible. You can also tell stories from the Qur’an or read books that relate to that topic.
Here is an example: If we attend a class that talked about the Prophet (SAW)’s childhood, I may expand on the class, after watching, by reading a book called “Tell Me About the Prophet” (pictured above), or by bringing up a story that I know about something from the Prophet’s life. Here is a great book that you can read about the Prophet (SAW).
Do Ibaadah Together
Ibaadah is act of worship like praying reading the Qur’an, fasting, making the dhikr of Allah (SWT), etc. During the month of Ramadan (and outside of it, really), doing these acts of ibaadah with your kids is a good way to keep them engaged.
It is common for parents to do their worship in private, either because we don’t want to be interrupted or because we think the kids are too young to join in. but it’s a better idea to involve the kids in your acts of worship as much as you can.
They will learn how to do acts of worship by watching, and their childhood memories will be filled with seeing their parents worshipping Allah (SWT).
You can invite them to listen while you read the Qur’an or recite dhikr/dua (supplications) with you. This keeps them engaged for a while, and it also gets them used to worship.
Create A Family Circle Time
Family circle times are a great way to keep kids engaged during Ramadan and to teach them about Islam. Circle times are times when a parent/teacher sits with the child to do some learning/play activities with them.
During your circle time in Ramadan, you can read books together and talk about what you’ve read. You can read a children’s book or a book for adults. With the adult book, the parent reads to the child and then explains what the book is about.
We often read a book called “Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women” and discuss it with the kids in a simpler language.
An activity like this gives the child more knowledge about Islam while giving you something to occupy them with during fasting.
Listen to the Recitation of the Qur’an
Many nights, whenever we don’t attend the Taraweeh prayer at our local masjid or we are waiting to break our fast, I play a Livestream of the Haramain – the two holy masjids in Makkah and Madinah on YouTube. We just sit there watching people do tawaf around the Ka’bah and listen to the recitation of the Qur’an being played.
I find that the same way that the sight of people worshipping at the two masjids is a motivation for adult Muslims, so also is it for kids. It gets them excited about worship and gets them asking questions. You will often get questions like “why are people walking around the Ka’bah?”, “What’s the Ka’bah?”, “How did the Ka’bah get there?”, “what are they going to do next?”, etc.
All these questions give you an opportunity to teach the kids more about the deen. They also give you something to do to pass away the time, especially if the kids are fasting and it’s not yet time to eat.
Make Islam-Related Craft
There are a lot of Ramadan and Islam-related craft ideas online, especially on Pinterest. And since kids love crafting, this is almost always a winner activity with them. Bring down your craft supplies stash whenever kids who are fasting get impatient and tempted to break their fast, especially close to maghrib salah, and pick an activity to do.
You can pick activities that they can do alone or ones that you do with them. Or they do it around the kitchen table while you get iftar ready or do your own ibaadah.
If the child will need to be supervised during craft times or need your involvement, schedule the craft time to when you can give them at least ten minutes of your time without hurrying them because you want to do something else.
Finding the Time to Keep Kids Engaged During Ramadan
We are already trying to fit in so many activities into our limited Ramadan hours, so I understand if planning these activities feel like extra stuff that eats into your time. But I’ve found that properly planning for the kids during Ramadan gives you room to relax and do your own ibadah without guilt or without feeling rushed. If planning is something you struggle with, here are a few suggestions:
- Take a few minutes to select which of these activities (and others that you already have) you will do with the kids. All the activities do not need to happen daily. Only pick enough that a day can accommodate.
- Decide which times are most feasible for you to do the activities that you selected. Mornings after Fajr? Evenings before iftar? Afternoons? Whatever works for your current schedule, or the times that you’ve noticed your child getting tired of fasting or wanting companionship.
- Plan each activity to the times available. For example, I always plan live streams to evenings and crafting to times when I’m prepping the meals. Those are the best times for us for those two activities.
Keeping kids engaged with beneficial activities in the month of Ramadan is something that is good for us as parents, and good for the kids as well. It is an opportunity for us to teach them about the deen, involve them in acts of worship, and keep them occupied so that we can do our ibaadah too.
If you’d like to learn about helping your young child fast in these remaining days of Ramadan, without it turning to a stressful experience for you both, learn more about, and sign up for the Ramadan class below.
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