One advantage of growing up in a country like India is that you’re subject to so many festivals and cultures right from childhood. It’s actually a beautiful thing, and a great way to learn about accepting differences and enjoying diversity. It works even better when we teach our kids about the reasons behind the celebration of various holidays, so that they don’t see it as just another school holiday!
Since it’s the month of Ramadan now, and Eid is coming up later this week, we’ve put the focus on this festival. You can get kids involved along with other kids in their neighbourhood or apartment building and have a little celebration of your own, complete with a feast!
What is Ramadan?
Muslims across the world follow the lunar calendar for religious purposes, and the ninth month in this calendar is Ramadan or Ramzan. It starts with the sighting of the crescent and ends with the same. Due to this, the month isn’t a fixed 30 days; it can also be 29 days based on the moon sighting.
During this month, people stay away from food and water from sunrise to sunset. The purpose is to feel the pangs of a starving man, which should incite us to help such a person as well as to feel gratitude for our blessings. It also strengthens one’s resolve and develops sacrifice, self control and will power.
The end of the fasting month is celebrated as Eid-ul-Fitr. On this day, all family members wear new clothes, exchange gifts and cards, enjoy a grand feast and visit relatives and friends. Now, even if you can’t do all these, we’ve got a bunch of activities lined up for your toddler to do, so that he can also participate in the spirit of the festival!!
7 Ramadan Activities for Toddlers
The crescent moon has a lot of significance in Ramadan, so this Paper Plate Moon Craft from Nurture Store is a perfect craft for this season! Even toddlers can help with this craft, although adult assistance is required. Make the craft and hang it high, so he can look at it and be proud of his handiwork.
Collages are ideal first crafts for little kids, and foam is easier to handle than paper for tiny fingers. This mosque craft from Karimas Crafts also has a template which you can use to cut out foam shapes in different colors. Hand your toddler some glue and just guide him as he goes stick-stick-stick to create a masterpiece.
For kids who are just learning about Ramadan, this book by Karen Katz is a great pick and it’s especially suitable for toddlers. It explains the basic concepts of the month in very simple language, in typical Katz style!
Besides abstaining from food and drink, Ramadan is also a time to do as many good deeds as possible. Help your toddler create this Good Deeds Calendar from Crayola, and mark a good deed for him to do every day. It could be something very simple, like offering the gardener a drink when he’s working, or helping you to clear the table. Toddlers love to help, so make the most of this behaviour!
This is a really simple card from Artsy Craftsy Mom that even young kids can make for their grandparents, neighbours, teachers or friends. With very basic supplies, all your toddler needs to do is stick on the moon and stars – and your card is ready!
This craft from Nurture Store is perfect if you have a toddler and an older kid. First get your toddler to scribble on paper with crayons to his heart’s content. Then get your older kid to paint over it with watercolours. Now, Mom or Dad can cut out slits and fold it into lantern shape. A complete family activity!
With moon and star-shaped cookie cutters, you and your toddler can go crazy making shapes from all kinds of foods!! As seen on Karimas Crafts, you can cut crescent and star shapes out of watermelon, or bread, cheese or any other soft food that your toddler likes to eat.
All these are very simple activities, the aim being that a toddler should be able to actively participate, rather than just make a mess with supplies! Pick a few crafts that’ll appeal to your toddler, gather the supplies and get started!! Don’t forget to spread lots of newspaper below to contain the mess. Eid Mubarak!!