The holy month of Ramadan will begin next week. Hence, it is about time to quickly get the Ramadan calendar ready for the kids. Every year I plan to be better organized and start on it earlier, however, this year it remains again just wishful thinking. Filling up 30 small packages differently each and every year, without overwhelming the children with impressions, is not an easy task. Today I would like to give you a couple of inspirations and insights into the kind of Ramadan calendars that we used these past years. This way you can receive helpful tips and ideas for filling up your Ramadan calendar, insha allah.
Tips and Ideas to Fill Up a Ramadan Calendar
Our Ramadan calendar has been the same for the past 3 years. My sister-in-law generously sewed it for Mr. Milkbeard. It consists of 30 small sacks. Each small sack has a sewed-on number on it. Additionally, the small sack that gets opened on The Night of Power, has a special color that stands out from all the others. Of course, it is possible to make a Ramadan calendar without numbers. By making a Ramadan calendar without numbers, I can change and determine the content of the surprise myself that Mr. Milkbeard receives. Since we open one small sack before going to bed and this happens close to the time of breaking the fast, sweets & candy are just counterproductive. On the weekends we do make an exception every now and then. In case you still need an idea for crafting a Ramadan calendar, you can find them here, here and here.
Idea: From Small to Big
A good way to give the daily small presents a more general sense, is to use it to prepare them for what they would lget as the bigger feast holiday present for Eid. Because who does not know that feeling? You choose 30 small items that end up lying aroudn in the corner an hour after they get unpacked. In order to avoid this from happening, last year’s Ramadan calendar had a new accessory each day that coul;d be added to Mr. Milkbeard’s children’s shop. You can find especially nice items made of fabric and wood by the companies Haba and Erzi. On the big Ramadan feast holiday, the children’s shop was already set up in the kitchen and had all the accessories with it that were in the Ramadan calendar. To this day, as a matter of fact, the children’s shop is actively used and played with.
Sometimes it is not easy to combine the Ramadan calendar with the feast holiday present. This is why you need ideas for small gimmicks that are still somewhat appropriate. In our house, the must-have’s are: sneaky animals and wooden figures from Ostheimeror Holztiger. They not only promote the free play for children and are unbelievably versatile but also last many many years.
Moreover, other good ideas are: bathing items from Tinti, Pixie books, stamp sets, small card games, radio plays, templates for ironed pearls and children clay dough. But also a piece of clothing that will get used anyhow is a good option. If you want to give your Ramadan calendar its own theme, you can easily use the parts from a big Playmobil or Lego set and put each piece into a small little package.
Idea: Questions & Quizes
It makes sense, especially for older children, to also provide an efficient learning effect aside from the small surprises and incorporate it into the Ramadan calendar. I did this last year for my husband’s cousin who is 10 years old by hiding a question about islam in each small sack. In order to answer the question, she needed to use the Quran: „How many Surahs does the Holy Quran have?” „Which Prophet is mentioned and the center of attention in Surah 37?” „Which Prophet built the ark as a command from Allah?”. „How often does Prophet Muhammaed saw get mentioned by name in the Quran?” She had to note all the answers on a piece of paper. On the day of the Ramadan feast holida, we got together, answered and compared all the questions again. Afterwards, the big present was given as a reward.
One possibility that can be considered is a puzzle. I have used the puzzle and crafted it as an idea several times. Especially in our consumption-driven society, I can understand if parents decide to not fill up the Ramadan calendar with toys. I used the photoshop to pick out the motif for a puzzle and distributed the parts in the 30 small sacks. In this case, it is important that you pick a puzzle that you have already done at least once so that only parts that really match can be placed into the small sacks. This is how your child can expand the puzzle with an experience of success every evening. Instead of the finishd version, you can easily use any regular puzzle from the toys departments.
Snacks and Sweets:
Of course, treats are also in our Ramadan calendars. However, I don’t like to shower them with sweets which is why there are only some sweets scattered among the small sacks of the Ramadan calendar. A good alternative that Mr. Milkbeard looks forward to every year, is having small packages with raisins or cranberries. Dried mango slices, fruit squeezies or fruit bars. And don’t forget – of course, dates. Because a Ramadan calendar would not be authentic without dates, right?
This falls under the same category as the quizes that are more appropriate for older children: learning verses and memorizing them. Of course, it’s best to distribute parts of it so that by the end of Ramadan the whole Surah gets revealed and can be presented on Eid, the Ramadan feast holiday. The best reward for it is a bigger present.
Some More Tips and Ideas
Mr. Spitty is 6 months now and, of course, he is too small to enjoy a Ramadan calendar but Mr. Milkbeard will receive one this year which, for the first time, will include small toys. Since his Eid present will be a dome-shaped climbing frame for the garden, there is nothing I can add into the calendar that could give a hint to what he will be getting/. I still found many little items that can perfectly be integrated into his playtime and stimulate his play behavior.
I hope that this helps you to find helpful tips and ideas to fill up a Ramadan calendar. I wish you much fun with crafting and filling up your Ramadan calendar. In case you have some more tips, please write them in the comments section below so that we can expand the repertoire and everyone can benefit from it.
Warm regards and Selam