Pin It
Friday, July 4th, 2014

Homemade Art Books for Ramadan

By
Homemade DIY art book

In the past I have struggled to keep pace with my newly created Ramadan traditions. For the last three years, my girls and I have done a Ramadan countdown calendar. But the calendar often fell victim to forgetful Mama syndrome…suddenly it was time for lights out but “Waaaait, the calendar!” my girls would wail. Or other times three days had passed and we had forgotten about it. I just wasn’t very good about staying on top of it daily. So this year, I intended to skip the calendar and develop a more manageable ritual instead. But the girls had other plans for me as they asked where the calendar was on the first day of Ramadan. We’ll just have to play catch up now!

 

The greatest challenge for me with Ramadan and Eid is that Christmas, which we also celebrate, Valentine’s Day and Halloween all figure so prominently in the minds of my kids. Every year I brainstorm and google new traditions to add to our Ramadan rituals, so the holiday becomes just as special for my children. This is new ground for me as I didn’t grow up celebrating Ramadan as a child–I don’t have a pool of ideas to draw from, but luckily there is so much inspiration out there.

 

I came across this adorable idea for a Ramadan gift basket for kids on Little Life of Mine. While I loved every item she had in her basket, we already owned a bunch of Ramadan books, as well as special cookie cutters and a countdown calendar. I also struggled with the idea of giving them a gift as it contributes to the overpowering sense of materialism that surrounds us in the U.S. and accompanies every mainstream holiday. While the essence and beauty of Ramadan is its intense focus on spirituality, quite the opposite of the material world, it’s also a reality that gifts and sweets are the things that get my kids most excited about holidays, no matter how much I dislike that fact.

 

So taking my inspiration from Little Life of Mine‘s gift baskets, I sought to do something similar, while making the gifts as unmaterialistic as possible but still exciting. Does that sound like the impossible? No toys I decided and nothing they can’t use in some way. Here’s what I came up with: homemade art books.

 

Every year at Christmas my children’s favorite present is not a toy but an art book with blank pages that I create for them. So I decided to shift the art book ritual from Christmas to Ramadan and give them art books and new markers for the first day of Ramadan. And excited they were! I also included some star-shaped Ikea string lights, one for each child, so they could decorate their room how they would like for Ramadan, as well as a few chocolates.

 

art book 4

 

Every night at bedtime they have been drawing in their books, and insist they have to draw even while we read. My older daughter (who is seven) prefers to write in hers while my younger daughter (almost six) prefers to sketch.

 

art book2           art book lila

 

To make your own homemade art books, it’s simple. The quickest and easiest way is to select a piece of your child’s art that’s been stuffed away somewhere as you haven’t figured out what to do with it yet. This is your cover. Of course, you can also let them draw and craft something new as well! I love that my older daughter drew an angel (or perhaps it was a fairy) as we have been reading about angels this Ramadan. On a separate sheet of paper, write the name of your child on the cover as well as the date. You can get creative and cut out letters from magazines but if you’re short on time as I was this year, skip this step and just type up the label on the computer or write it by hand. Don’t forget to date it so in years to come you can know how old your child was then. Grab a bunch of blank white paper and head over to the nearest copy shop to laminate the cover and bind the book. That’s it! And when friends arrive for iftar (the meal to break the fast), my girls can’t wait to show them their art books.

© 2014, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Many Languages, One America: 25 Proud Bilingual Children

These kids make clear what language the U.S. speaks.

6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

Our top picks for Muslim and non-Muslim kids alike

9 Things You Should Never Say to Adoptive Parents

Have you made any of these mistakes?

How Bilingualism Can Fail in Multilingual Families

It’s easy to raise bilingual kids when you speak a second language, right? Wrong.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

1 Comment
  1. CommentsAlex Thompson   |  Saturday, 05 July 2014 at 12:41 am

    Its nice to read your article Stephanie. I liked the idea for gifting art book for children. Its a great idea for gifting them the art books. It would somewhere be different than gifting toys. And amazing to read that your children got excited for the gifts.









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
Unfortunately, the school and community are no longer there. The farm is being sold and there are tentative plans for a new iteration to be set up in Costa Ric...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
HI! I love your website! Just read your review of books that teach about culture and food! I can't wait to try some of the recipes you've share...
From Armenian Recipe: Apricot Tart
Please, refrain from using "western /western society" for anglosaxon countries. Western can be Mexico and Spain as well, anything on the west side of the world is western ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
We've tried to make use of, but It doesn't works by any mean...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
I'm back. Sorry, I stopped caring for this magazine for a while and forgot to discuss the meat of the matter. This article, as well as the linked article from 2011, fails to discuss cultural norms ...
From What Confused Me Most about Brits
Fascinating. I have been to Germany and met this guy who was soo rude! This article explains everything!! Since all Germans are so terribly rude it should come as no surprise that I should have met ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@ Josep. How could you possibly comment on how Germans treat people if you have never even been there? A three-day stay in Berlin and a one day stop-over in Frankfurt was enough for me to see the ut...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I am trying to find a Sikh triangular Nishan Sahib flag and haven't found one. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag
I have tried to buy a Sikh triagular Nishan Sahib flag and had no luck. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag

More Crafts