Count down to Ramadan: 5 ways to get your kids excited

It's only days away, and most kids are too busy with homework, tests, midterms, etc. to really think about Ramadan. But helping kids become excited about the blessed month will help them look forward to fasting and the blessings of the month. Here are some ideas:

1. Make a sign on your fridge for each day left

Have your younger kids make signs saying "Only 6 days left to Ramadan", "just 5 more days!", etc. Have one for each day left. They can do this on the computer too. Make sure they decorate and color it. Then stick it on the fridge as a reminder to everyone.

2. Start sending Ramadan cards early

Don't wait until the day of Ramadan to send your cards. Have your kids start sending theirs now, especially those they intend to send by snail mail. You could buy cards, but grandparents and relatives would probably appreciate handmade stuff more.

3. Plan a BIG Ramadan party

Sit down with your kids and organize an Iftar for kids ONLY. Let them come up with the guest list and what kinds of activities they would like at the party (maybe pin the date on the Hilal?). Discuss what to include in loot bags as gifts for the guests (i.e. crescent-shaped cookies, a cassette of Ramadan songs, etc.).

For teenagers, you can organize a sleepover, complete with pizza, ice cream, overnight worship (Qiyam al Layl), and a late night talk about some aspect of Ramadan (i.e. self-improvement). You could also plan Iftar at a favorite Muslim restaurant.

4. Discuss Ramadan resolutions

Have every family member, including mom and dad, share three things they would like to accomplish this Ramadan. It could include reading the whole Quran, quitting swearing, fasting from computer games, or avoiding backbiting.

Once everyone's decided what they'd like to achieve during the blessed month, post the resolutions on the fridge or some other place everyone can see. Throughout Ramadan, everyone reminds and tries to help each other achieve their goals. The person who succeeds at the end of Ramadan gets a special prize: no chores for a whole week (let's hope mom doesn't win!).

5. Decorate the house

While it's more common for Muslims to decorate their homes for Eid (if they do at all), decorating it for Ramadan can bring a festive feeling to the home and anticipation for the month. Balloons, banners, streamers, lights, etc. are all now easily available.

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May Allah in his infinite mercy reward you aboundantly. May Allah make us and our offsprings firm in his deen. Ameen

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