This month, all over the world, Muslims are celebrating Ramadan. If you are not a Muslim, you might know very little about this holy month. In today’s blog we share some resources and activities to help you and your family to find out more about Ramadan.
Why find out about Ramadan?
Encouraging children to learn about other cultures is very important. It helps them to build empathy and respect for others. At the same time, we need to treat people as individuals rather than generalising because everybody has their own character, mindset and experiences.
What are the benefits of understanding different cultures? written by Les Elfes International is a fantastic and quick read for anybody who would like to learn more.
What is Ramadan?
Find out what Ramadan is and how it is celebrated with this animated film by Adam and Ayan.
We also recommend What is Ramadan? from the Australian public broadcasting service (ABC). In this short film, older children explain how Ramadan is important to them and what fasting is like.
Share Ramadan stories
For young children, Hassan and Anneesa Love Ramadanby Yasmeen Rahim and Omar Burgess is a lovely picture book to share. The story follows two characters on the first day of Ramadan. Through the characters children find out about Ramadan traditions and discover that thinking about others is at the heart of Ramadan. Your child might also enjoy Rameena’s Ramadan from Twinkl which is about empathising with others and sharing what you have with them.
Older children may like to read A Party in Ramadanby Asma Mobin-Uddin and Laura Jacobsen. Leena, the main character, faces dilemmas and challenges as she fasts for Ramadan. When her friends enjoy chocolate cake at a birthday party, what will she do? This book explores the universal themes of making difficult choices and resisting temptation. It is also about sharing and empathy, and what it is like to be Muslim in a multicultural society.
Learn about the Moon
Ramadan starts when the new Moon appears in the sky. Your child could learn about the phases of the Moon by watching this Free School film about the phases of the Moon. Can your child look at the Moon tonight and identify the phase?
Young children might like to make this Puffy Paint Moon or Phases of the Moon mobile. Older children might enjoy these Moon activities from NASA. The NASA activities are quite challenging and they encourage problem solving and creativity.
Make an Eid dish
At the end of Ramadan Muslim people celebrate the festival of Eid, which is a big party. Your child could make an Eid dish in the shape of their hand to hold sweets and treats at a party.
To make the dish, they need to roll out a piece of air-dry modelling clay. They place their hand on the clay with their fingers and thumb together and cut around the shape of their hand (not in between their fingers though).
They then decorate their clay hand by drawing in lines for their fingers, thumb and nails. The hand could be decorated with little dots, dashes and wiggly lines to look like henna patterns. Use tools you have around the house to imprint designs – the end of a paint brush, a chopstick, a blunt knife, a fork etc. Older children could take inspiration from henna designs on the internet.
Once the design is finished, curve the edges of the hand inwards a bit to make a concave dish shape. Then leave the dish to dry.
Once dry, the dish can be painted with acrylic paint. When the paint is dry, the dish can be sealed with a layer of Mod Podge.
Make healthy Ramadan food
Muslims fast during Ramadan but they do eat before sunrise and after sunset. These are generally healthy meals, as puddings and sugary snacks can make fasting during the day much harder.
Here’s a vitamin-packed fruit salad your child might like to make. All you need to do is stir the following ingredients together and then serve:
4 tbsp. lemon juice
5 tbsp honey
2 tsp. chopped mint
1 peeled and diced apple
Handful each of diced strawberries, grapes and blueberries (or any fruit your child loves).
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