Your local mosque timetable has dropped through your door, friends and family are gifting each other dates and you’ve even seen the Ramadan aisle pop up in your local supermarket... Which means there’s just over a week to go until Ramadan starts and the excitement is building up. What are you up to in these remaining few days?
Alhamdulilah there is no shortage of ways for kids to get involved in the build up to Ramadan. Our Complete Ramadan Toolkit takes care of that! However, I also need to think practically and use my time wisely so that I get something out of Ramadan too. I want to start it feeling energetic and I want it to boost my faith. I want to make my ibadah more frequent and I want to come out of the month keeping up my new habits.
Sound familiar? So here I’m sharing my easy and practical 7 step to-do list that I’m working through. In sha Allah by the end I will be prepared for a productive Ramadan.
1. Clean while they craft
It’s handy being in the craft business, but even before my Live Love Gift days, we would get most of our crafting and decor activities done before Ramadan started. It kept the kids occupied on the weekends and gave me time to do that deep clean around the house so that quick cleans would be ok throughout the month. We made our Ramadan Craft Calendar last weekend and it kept five kids busy for a good two hours, so if you have one or two kids it will be a great weekend-long activity for them.
We’ve also built up a collection of handmade decorations over the years so it’s all going up over the next couple of days. It gives me time to figure out if Jojo will be able to pull anything down and perhaps look for another spot. Mamas of toddler boys will know what I mean! Having a focal point and something visual that kids will see every day is a great way to build up the anticipation of Ramadan.
2. Print the printables
Although the crafting is lovely (and I rarely say no to crafting), when I’m fasting the last thing I want to do is to supervise the kids while they run riot with scissors and glue and felt tip pens. Lots of printable Ramadan activities for various ages and abilities are already going around my Whatsapp mum groups, so I’m going to print them out ready for those ‘mama I’m bored’ moments. Popped into a folder with some coloured pencils and that’s the job done. In sha Allah it’ll give me some pockets of quiet time during the day for extra ibadah and rest.
3. Write on the wall... planner!
This is a new thing for us this year but it’s already going down a hit. Growing up I loved making wall planners with a drawn on calendar with space for dates, events, reminders and sticky notes. Now, as a busy family of five, it made sense to make a Ramadan Wall Planner that we could all use to plan out our next few weeks.
So I designed an undated 7 week grid to ensure we could use the time before and after Ramadan wisely too. So far on ours, Big Miss has added in the kids’ regular activities like swimming and madrassah and the half term holidays. I’ve added in some work deadlines and appointments too. Once the moon has been sighted we’ll also add in our Ramadan dates so we can see where the fasts will be over May and June. On the sides of the grid there’s some easy to digest information on Ramadan to help kids remember their duas and the highlights of the month. This will help us make the most out of our days by planning in mini fasts for the kids, Islamic workshops, iftar treats etc. It’s taken pride of place in the kitchen so we can all keep coming back to it.
4. Shop in bulk
I do most of my grocery shopping online so it’s easy to re-order my regular weekly shop without too much effort. However I find it always pays off to get some things in bulk before Ramadan starts so I’m not dashing to the supermarket when things run out. To be extra good before I make my bulk buy list, I’ll empty out the fridge and kitchen cupboards to throw out things beyond their use by dates and see what pantry and food cupboard supplies we need. The same goes for the bathroom. And if you're efficient, it’ll be tidied and clean by the end of the task too. Double win!
5. Eid shopping
While we’re talking of shopping, let’s talk about presents. Amazon Prime saves my life time after time but I don’t want to rely on it this Ramadan. Over the next few days I’m going to make my list of recipients (mostly all kids) and a couple of options of presents too before ordering everything online. A few rolls of ribbon and wrapping paper (Paperchase of course), and one evening wrapping everything up followed by figuring out a hiding place!
I’ll also make a list of who we want to send Eid cards to and get enough stamps for sending by post. The kids love to give out mini cards to all their friends and have their own lists readily prepared! Alhamdulilah this is an activity that the kids can do without needing much supervision so I can save it for them to do during Ramadan.
Getting organised with your Eid outfit is also a big tick. I am lucky that my kids get gifted a lot of traditional outfits so they always have something new to wear on Eid. It’s one thing less to worry about in the last 10 days of Ramadan where you’ll be wanting to focus on extra worship, so it’s definitely worth getting your Eid kurtas, abayas, dresses ready. The weather seems to be good to us at the moment, in sha Allah it'll stay that way. I love tropical summer vibes on Eid day!
6. Ramadan favours
With such long fasts in the UK, the kids don’t really currently get a chance to experience Iftar and breaking fasts with the family. I usually want them in bed as soon as it’s 7pm so I can have a bit of a rest before I head to the kitchen. So for the last couple of years we’ve had a baking day where we’ve made biscuits, dates, cakes and various treats and packed them up as food gifts. We used simple foil takeaway containers and loads of our bright Ramadan stickers, tags and ribbon to jazz them up.
The next day we’ll drive around for a couple of hours, popping in to family and friends for a quick hello and to hand them out. For school we once made date pops, simply stoning a date and closing it around a lollipop stick with a little Ramadan Kareem tag. It’s become a little family tradition of ours and we’re roping in aunties and uncles this year to help out too. Keeping in touch with loved ones is such an important part of Islam and this is a great way to do that.
7. Fill up the calendars!
Last task on my list is to fill up the Ramadan Calendar envelopes with a mix of sweets, toys and notes! We did this together with the girls last year and let’s just say the temptation to eat some of the supplies was just too much. This year in sha Allah I’m planning to do it one night after their bedtime, a couple of days before Ramadan starts. And once I’ve bulk bought the sweets of course! There’s three kids worth of things to fit in each pocket this time hence I made sure I included bigger envelopes in the kit.
The notes is also something I get excited about. There are so many lovely sisters and brothers across my Instagram family who have created series of Ramadan reminders or tasks, I am really spoilt for choice. A lot of people ask me why I don’t put notes in my Ramadan Calendar kit, and it’s mainly because I think you should select yours based on your child. Some will work for older ones better, some for youngers. Some for boys, some for girls, some for teens. It really is up to you to choose as you know your child best.
Some of my favourites are listed here, pop over and have a look:
Iman from And Then She Said has a great collection of mini cards with 30 good deeds. She sold out super fast but she is offering them as a printable now. Phew!
The Visual Age has a so many resources that can be used in the calendar, even for adults if you want to pop in a reminder for yourself too. You can find them on her Facebook page or send her a message for a link
Lion Of Allah have some contemporary reminders that would work well for older teens or even for adults. You can find them on this Pinterest page
Brotherhood Arts is what we put in last year, they have cute little illustrations and are perfect for the girl’s ages. Check out their Instagram page for a range of numbered reminders that we used, and also some blue themed ones which would be appealing to boys.
Quote Lovin is a recent discovery and one that I might use for our calendar this year. The classic set of printable Ramadan reminders are free if you sign up to their mailing list, head over to the website and have a peek. Be warned, you may get sidetracked with all the other loveliness there too!
If you know of a resource that would work well with our Ramadan Calendar, please feel free to tag them on any of our posts on social media. The more the merrier!
So that’s my 7 step plan to get ready for Ramadan this year. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Craft and clean, print the printables, set up the wall planner, shop in bulk and shop for Eid, make some Ramadan favours and fill up the calendar. Sorted in sha Allah!
Let me know how you get on with yours and remember me in your prayers. Wishing you a most peaceful and blessed Ramadan, love and duas, S x