There are many ways to educate your children about Ramadan, the best and most important of which is to set
the good example by fasting properly and behaving according to the Prophetic teachings. This is what your children will take
from you first. When you are fulfilling this you can very easily teach them what you want. Here are few tips that you can
use with your infants and toddlers.
- Read them the Qur’an instead of or
in addition to their baby books. Here is a link for some tips on that. http://soundvision.com/info/quran/family.asp. Before bed recite Al-Fatiha, Al-Ikhlas (3x), Al-Falaq (3x), Al-Nas (3x) and Ayat Al-Kursi and then wipe over their body-
this is from the Sunnah. You will find that in a short time they will be have memorized the last word in each ayah. It is
a very calming routine and gets them to sleep quick.
- Let them pray with you. Give them their
own prayer rug and prayer clothes. Do not scold them if they are not able to stand still for the whole prayer, rather praise
them for any minute that they stood next to you in the prayer. After the prayer make thikr on their fingers instead of yours
and make du3a with them.
- Wake them up for Suhoor (even if they don't
fast) and Fajr prayer
- Let your children help you make the Iftar dinner.
Toddlers can help mom smash garlic, wash rice, sprinkle spices, etc. In the times when they can’t help, they just like
to watch mom cooking so pull up a chair for them to stand on so they can get a good view and help out when possible. Both
infants and toddlers like to play with pots, pans, measuring cups, wooden spoons, etc. give them a different item each day
so they don’t get bored.
- Let them eat Iftar with you and teach them
that you are breaking the fast even if they ate before.
- Teach your children the supplication of breaking
the fast. The Messenger of Allah (S) when he broke his fast used to say: "Bismillah. O Allah,
for You I have fasted and from Your blessings and provisions I break my fast. The thirst has gone and the veins have recovered
and the blessing is established if Allah wills" (Allahumma laka sumna wa ala rizqika aftarna wa bika amanna. dhahaba dhamaa'a
wabtallat al-urooq wa thabatal ajr inshaa'allaah) [Ahmad, Al-Baihaaqee]
- Take your children to the Isha and/or Taraweeh
prayer so that they get used it and know about it from an early age. You could wake them up at suhoor then you both can
sleep together after fajr. then have them take a nap later in the day – that will adjust their bedtime to be later.
Or just do Isha prayer or just do Isha + 4 rak3ah taraweeh and leave early. Remember you don’t have to go everyday,
just one or a few days a week is enough. Try one day and see how it goes.
- Decorate the house for Ramadan and Eid.
Even infants would benefit from this because it would give them something new and colorful to look at. Infants and Toddlers
love playing with balloons too. It is easy to make your own decorations with any type of paper torn into strips and glued
on the ends one into the other to make a chain. For a banner, just trace the letters onto any paper and cut it out, put some
holes and thread them onto yarn or string. Or just buy some streamers and balloons. Toddlers can help in making the decorations
– let them scribble on the paper before you tear it into strips or cut letters out of it.
Spend some time with your children simply telling them stories. You can read from a book,
but often children enjoy it more if you just tell them stories - of your childhood, of the Prophet (peace be upon him), or
of the Sahaba, etc. before bed is a good time – make
one up about a little girl in Ramadan that is reading and listening to Qur’an and praying with her mother and helping
them to give Charity. Ramadan is a time of sacrifice and sympathy for the poor and needy. Help your children decorate
a jar and collect coins in it for the remainder of the month. At the end of the month, they can count the change and
give it to the mosque or another Islamic organization to help those in need. Or, give them some boxes and encourage them
to clean out their closets. Every child can find unwanted clothing or toys to give to children who need them.
your child make a Ramadan calendar, so they can mark off each day and do the Eid countdown themselves. You can create
a calendar on the computer, draw one from scratch, or just use the Ramadan Prayer Schedule. Let your children color and
decorate it, and hang it on the wall where they can see and reach it. Offer stickers for them to mark the days. Tell them
that at the end they will get a gift for Eid.