Written by: Sara Mertaban
Disclaimer: I am no an expert on managing Ramadan with young kids. What I am is a tired and slightly hungry Mom-of-two, trying to manage this new time in my life. It’s also my first time fasting with two kids since I am no longer pregnant or breastfeeding - new territory. And I know there are plenty of Mamas out there who can understand the struggle this month. So let’s take a look at some things I like to do, to help manage the kids while still enjoying this holy month.
First thing I do during Ramadan is to get them involved in decorating the house. Because let’s be honest, we’re still decorating after Ramadan begins. My daughter, the oldest at five years old, loves doing DIY projects with me - from making banners to helping me decide where everything goes. She also loves lighting the lanterns every night, don’t worry the candles are all batteries, and helping to plug in our outside lights and lanterns. I personally believe decorating your house is the first step to get everyone excited for, and enjoy, Ramadan.
Obviously activities are so crucial to keep everyone busy too. Luckily, there are great Ramadan-themed resources out there such as: free Ramadan calendar inserts from Zairzabrplay and fun craft ideas from Hello Holy Days. So far this month we’ve made new Ramadan banners, our own family Sadaqa jar and colored in a ton of Ramadan activity sheets.
I also love reading to the kids because it’s something they can both can enjoy. We have a few wonderful Ramadan books that we try to read everyday to engage the kids, while helping them to learn about Ramadan and being Muslim. We love: It’s Ramadan Curious George, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors, and Bedtime Sunnahs.
But what about my one-year old son? Honestly, he has no idea what Ramadan is, so scheduling playdates, going to the library and the park are so crucial to keep everyone happy. I’m tired a good portion of the day, so any time I can have him crawl around somewhere else and just watch - I’m happy.
It’s also fun to get them both involved while prepping dinner. Plus they can start to learn how to make your family’s traditional dishes. Mine happen to be Ramadan themed sugar cookies and my mother-in-laws traditional side dishes. My five-year old is much better at helping me actually prep food, while my one-year old sits on the counter and chews on the kitchen stuff. Whatever it takes to keep everyone happy!
Lastly, get out as a family. You can still go and do fun things while fasting, just be smart about it. I like to stay away from walking too much. Call me lazy, but I need all the energy I can get to keep up with the kids. So head to a small aquarium and marvel in Allah’s creations. It keeps everyone busy and happy during this blessed month.
I know the days can be trying and long but try and take advantage of the excitement and energy around this month too! It only happens once a year. We all need to remind ourselves that by doing special things with our kids during Ramadan, we’re also creating wonderful memories that, inshallah, they’ll remember forever. Ramadan Mubarak from Sara at Girl Refurbished! A special thank you to our guest blogger, Sara Mertaban, for the article and the photos. You can find her on Instagram on the account @girlrefurbished and her blog at www.girlrefurbished.com.