I’m always trying to find ways to make Muslim holidays exciting for my kids. It’s tough to do when Christmas, more omnipresent in the U.S., is much more glitzy and enticing.
The upside is that Ramadan is free from the commercialization that sends many people into overdrive at Christmas time and makes holiday grouches out of the best of us. With the focus of the celebration on faith through fasting, Ramadan crafting is wide open to imagination.
Last year, I used a beautifully crafted advent-style calendar to leave the girls a little token each day and count the 30 days of Ramadan until Eid. The token was a bead (sometimes with a sticker or chocolate) and on Eid, we made necklaces out of the beads collected over Ramadan.
Unfortunately though, the advent-style calendar didn’t work out so well as each day I had to fill the pocket just before I gave them their treat or they would tear into all the pockets at the same time in a spare moment I left the room, being only three and five at that time. It sort of defeated the purpose of a 30-day calendar filled with treats.
So this year I decided to try something different to help my kids count the days of Ramadan. I had three goals:
- Help my kid count the days of Ramadan until the big celebration of Eid
- Learn some Arabic numbers
- Establish traditions they will remember to make Ramadan fun
We first crafted a big board with 30 star outlines on it. Each day, the kids have to glue a small paper star onto the star outline. As an added bonus, we have written all 30 days in Arabic so they have to practice their Arabic numbers. Once all the stars are filled, we know 30 days of Ramadan have passed.
Here’s the thing about this craft—I know this is not the most pinterest-worthy creation but it’s cause my kids made it rather than trying to do it alone and making it look pretty. Having the kids construct it with me is part of the experience. Maybe next year, if I find it goes well for 30 days, I’ll make it into a more formalized fabric board that I can put up and take down each year.
Here’s the instructions on how I made it.
Cookie cutters of a star and moon
Hand cut or a stamp cut of stars
1. Let the kids dip the cookie cutters in the paint and stamp 30 stars on the posted board. (As an aside note, I always save all those yogurt, butter, etc. container tops for paint!)
2. The top of the board has some moons on it for decoration. My four-year-old wanted some of the moons to face each others “because they are friends.” I love how kids think.
3. As it’s drying, cut out 30 days of stars. I used one of those cutter-puncher thingies (I know they probably have a name). I put the stars in a little pocket I glued at the top with black paper, so they don’t get lost.
4. Put the Arabic numbers 1-30 in each of the stars if you too want to reinforce your kids Arabic.
5. Once dry, find a place to hang it that’s kid accessible. Ours is in their room by their bed.
6. Start counting down the days.
I can’t tell you how excited my kids are by this so far! Let’s see how their enthusiasm keeps up over Ramadan.
I still had the lingering issue of what I would do with their bead that they will get each day. That’s for the next post!!
I hope the kids look forward to Ramadan and Eid each year, just like they do Christmas in our interfaith home. So far they seem to so it looks like we’re doing something right.
Looking for more Ramadan crafting ideas? Then look no further!