Ramadan, also known as Ramazan, is one of the most special months of the Islamic year when Muslims pray, fast and help those in need. Learning and being a part of different cultures and beliefs from an early age is incredibly important. The introduction of new people, traditions and cultures allows children to learn about diversity and being a part of a celebration observed by other groups.
Here are a few ideas on how to teach, engage, help understand and be a part of the Ramadan celebration:
Children’s books are a powerful resource to help your child develop an understanding of Ramadan:
- “Ramadan (Celebrate the World)” By Hannah Eliot and Illustrations by Rashin Kheiriyeh
- “Lailah’s Lunchbox” by Reem Faruqi and Illustrations by Lea Lyon
- “R Is for Ramadan” by Greg Paprocki Author and Illustrator
- “It’s Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr!” by Richard Sebra
- “The Gift of Ramadan” by Rabiah York Lumbard and Illustrations by Laura K. Horton
While children’s books open their eyes to a different world, real-world experiences have the most profound influence on what children think and believe. Doing a more hands-on activity can get your child more engaged. Here are a few ways to get involved:
- Storytime: Attending or hosting a storytime that talks about the celebration can help your child get more involved in the celebration.
- If you and your children have the opportunity to celebrate Ramadan with a family who practices it, accept the invitation.
- Attend Chand Raat Mela, which translates to ‘Night of the Moon’ is an event that celebrates the auspicious time of Ramadan. You and your family can enjoy delicious food, shopping and much more.
Children spend a lot of time watching cartoons and many educational cartoons help children retain important lessons and information. So let their favorite cartoon characters teach them about Ramadan!
- “Peg + Cat”: Eid-Al-Adha Adventure
- “Jalebi Street”: Eid Mubarak – Eid Celebration & Facts for Kids
- “Mark the Shark”: Ramadan Song for Kids
Be a Role Model
No activity is as potent as the role model of a child’s parent because children learn from adults. A child becomes culturally sensitive and respectful when they see their parents and family being responsive and respectful of other cultures. Learning cultures is one of the best ways to help children empathize with the people around them. Children who learn about other cultures understand that people’s opinions, beliefs and actions may differ from them—but that differences should be embraced rather than being a source of conflict. Children who can empathize with others are more likely to make friends and built conflict-resolution skills that are necessary both in childhood and in adulthood.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the ability to better connect with others and with the world as a whole. This greater connection with the world will help your children make more friends, make better interpersonal connections, and, as they grow up, have a strong grasp of what it means to be an individual in our multicultural society.