Parenting

5 Easy Ramadan Activities for Children

Easy Ramadan Activities Toy Rotation

Ramadan is coming! Mothers everywhere are trying to find a way to create a meaningful and worthwhile Ramadan experience for their children. But honestly, it can be a little overwhelming! I’m here to tell you that you can create lasting and beautiful memories of Ramadan for your children with these easy and simple activities!

This blog post is sponsored by the Miraj Stories App, who allowed my family full access to the app and compensated me for my time.

Easy children activities for Ramadan

For many mothers, the lead up to Ramadan can be a little stressful. Whilst we are excited at the prospect of entering this blessed month, it can also be a time of worry and anxiety: Will I be able to fast? Will I have enough energy to take care of my children? Will I be able to cope?

On top of all of this, we are bombarded with images of Ramadan preparation on social media; amazing women who have hand-crafted beautiful decorations, Ramadan calendars, purchased baskets full of new books and toys for the month, cleaned their home top-to-bottom and already bought their Eid gifts!

For women, like me, who have not done many (or any) of these things it can be a little demoralizing. Before Ramadan even begins, you are left feeling like you’ve failed already.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you haven’t. Although this type of Ramadan preparation is useful and/or beautiful, it is not essential. You do not need to do any of those things to create a meaningful and worthwhile Ramadan experience for your children.

WATCH THIS VIDEO, to find out more! 

All you really need, is to be happy and present with your children during this coming month. Yes, you heard me! You only need to be happy and present with your children!

When you are joyful, and your fill your home with your positive energy, you are creating a joyful atmosphere within your home. When you are happy, they are happy.

Instead of over-exerting yourself with complicated crafts and children’s activities, I want you to instead start a new tradition. This Ramadan, I want your children to remember that joyful atmosphere; when mummy is always there, with us, smiling;  a time when she sat with us more, listened to us more, told us stories and played with us. These are the things that will leave them with a positive experience of Ramadan.

That is a happy Ramadan. That is the Ramadan tradition you want to create in your home.

And that is what its blog post is all about – Simple, easy activities that you can do with your children during Ramadan. These activities will not tire you whilst you’re fasting, they’re free (or cheap), and they can easily be done with things you already have in your home.

Instead of focusing on the final product, as most children’s activities seem to, these activities are centered around building connections with your children; creating deeper bonds and greater meaning to your family’s inner life.

Easy and Free Ramadan Activities

Quran Games

Ramadan is a perfect time for children to learn more about the Quran, memorise it and read it. But I want you to step away from the preconceived ideas you hold about what the study of Quran should look like. I want you, this Ramadan, to make it fun!

By playing simple games as a family, your child will want to read and memorise more Quran than ever before!

An example of such a game would have all players sitting in a circle, reading the same Surah. Each person takes a turn to read one ayat. When you the person reading says a certain word, or letter, or tajweed rule, the other players have to stand up! Alternatively, if its appropriate, you children could act out action when they hear in in a Surah, like “read” or “say”.

These kinds of games will have you children excited by the Quran, learning more Arabic, Tajweed and memorising as they play. To see how we play these games, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Easy Ramadan Activities Quran Games

Be Household Partners

Fasting can take it toll on parents physically, making household tasks difficult at times. During Ramadan, encourage your children take on certain roles within the household. Instead of telling them that they “Have to do something now because you’re tired”, tell them that you are going to “let them help this month now that they older and more responsible.” The language we use is so powerful.

Although some children might complain a little (or a lot) at first, if presented to them well, these new roles will have them feeling valued and respected. Although they may not seem like much fun, these roles actually help to create feelings of belonging and validation in a child’s psyche.

If you can, chose activities that you will do together, such as cooking or cleaning up after a meal. By working together to prepare the food or tidy up, children will learn that they are an important part of the team. However tasks that they do completely independently are also valuable as they will help to boost their confidence.

Why not allow them to chose the menu for iftar from your cookery books, or have them make the rice or bread everyday. Although learning these skills is valuable, what is even more worthwhile, is the lesson that they’re learning: that you trust them with this task, and that you value them and their contribution.

Examples of household task could include:

  • Preparing, serving or clean up after meals
  • Washing, folding, or putting away laundry
  • Tidying up toys at the end of the day, hoovering or dusting

They’ll remember that Ramadan is a time when the family all pulls together and helps one another. Isn’t that such a perfect lesson for this blessed month?

You can watch how we implement a household partnership in THIS VIDEO.

Ramadan Toy Rotation

Although it can be lovely to buy new toys and books for Ramadan, to present to your children on the first day, many people are not in a situation where they can do that.

Instead, I would encourage you to implement a toy/book rotation system in your home. Before Ramadan begins, put some of the children’s toys out of sight (we hide ours in the attic). Then, when you bring them back out again on the first day of Ramadan, the children will be so excited. If you have enough toys, you could do a weekly rotation, putting away and bringing out “new” toys from your attic every week.

I would also recommend a basket of toys that is only allowed to be used during “quiet time”, and you’ll need to be quite strict about that! In my home, I hope to establish a “quiet time” in the late afternoon, when I start to feel tired and get headaches. Then I know, with this special basket of toys to entertain them, I’ll get some time to rest.

The great thing about restricting access to toys, and creating rotations, is that you do not need to buy anything, rather you are just making the most of what you already have.

Easy Ramadan Activities Toy Rotation

Children’s Prayer Corner

Once again, show your children that you respect them and their spiritual nature, by giving them their own prayer corner.

Turn a corner of your home into an inviting space for them to prayer. You can do this without the need to purchase anything. Use existing prayer mats or rugs in the corner. If you have it, use something to partially partition the space off, like a short bookcase, screen, or large basket, to physical separate the prayer space from the rest of the room.

Once again, as we talked about a household partnership, within their prayer corner the children should have roles. Let them decide who will be the Imam, who will call the Athaan, and who will keep the space tidy. Perhaps you will want to rotate the roles between them. Depending on the age of your children, they probably wont pray all the prayers, but aim for at least one each day for younger children. And I encourage you to join them in that space sometimes, but make sure you ask their permission first!

A similar idea that you may have seen online is setting up an itikaaf tent for the last ten days of Ramadan. In a simple play-tent, put out the children’s Islamic books, tasbeehs and anything else they may need, and give them the freedom to use that space as they see fit.

Easy Ramadan Activities for Children Prayer Corner

Use Digital Resources

There are an abundance of online resources and apps that are available on the market today. Many of them are free, or very inexpensive. I am of the opinion, that in moderation and supervision, screen-time can provide great benefits to your children.

My favourite is the Miraj Islamic Stories App. I have never seen anything like this app before…it’s amazing!

The app primarily aims to teach children Arabic, Quranic stories and Islamic morals.

A Free version of the app is available, but for all the features you would need to purchase it. It is available on for Apple and Android users. When you first launch the app, you are given the option of using it “Music-free” or “With music.”

It’s difficult to put an age range on this app, because it has something for children of every age!

Easy Ramadan Activities Miraj Stories App

Children of all ages will enjoy listening to the audiobooks, which are what made Miraj Stories (also called Miraj Audio) famous many years ago, and you can see why! They are undoubtedly the best producer of Islamic audiobooks on the market. The stories themselves are beautifully written, but the narration itself makes them captivating! We are currently listening to the story of “Ibrahim and the Fire” and it’s quickly becoming a family favourite!

Younger children will love the interactive books, where children take part in the story as it unfolds, and learn Arabic along the way! We are using the Arabic letter books with my 3 year-old daughter. Firstly the child traces over the letter, and then watches a short animated story centred around that letter. It’s adorable! There are also interactive books that teach children about the prayer and some of the 99 Names of Allah.

The video stories are delightful, the characters utterly charming, and they will have your kids laughing and learning so much as the go. These short videos are a great halal alternative to YouTube and similar apps.

The Miraj Stories app also gives you access to a range of picture books called the “Stories from the Quran.” These stories are narrated for you with lovely sound effects, but personally I prefer to turn the sound off and read them aloud to my children on the sofa or cuddled up in bed! In fact, your older children could even read the stories themselves. Either way, there as so much ways you could use these picture books in your home.

Easy Ramadan Activities Miraj Stories App

It is clear that the people behind the Miraj Islamic Stories app value children, and respect them, so much so that they have produced an incredibly high quality product for them. There’s nothing cheesy or tacky about this product!

It’s all about providing children with the best there is to offer. The illustrations and animations are beautifully hand-drawn, the interactive element is cleverly thought out, and the audio books are exceptionally well written and narrated.

Easy Ramadan Activities Miraj Stories App
Listening to an Audio-book over lunch

The whole app has been considered extremely well, and it is obvious from using it, that no expense has been spared in its development. It truly is the best of its kind.

I cannot recommend the Miraj Islamic Stories app enough! It’s phenomenal!

To find out more about the Miraj Islamic Stories app, CLICK HERE to visit the WEBSITE.

Do you have EASY Ramadan Activities that you do with your children?

Please share them with us in the comments below.

Wishing you all, and your family, a beautiful and blessed Ramadan.

Peace and Love,

EASY Ramadan Activities for children

My Journey Towards Slow-Living | Homeschool Reflections

slow living homeschool reflections

Last night, when the little ones were asleep, and it was just me and him in the living room, my eldest son turned to me and said,

” You’re like your old self again Mummy…You’re knitting.”

I could have cried.

He’s right. I am starting to feel like my old self again; that silly, impulsive, fun-loving girl, that girl that thought and cared deeply about everything, that girl who loved practical jokes and being goofy!

slow living homeschool reflections

But she got  pushed aside so I could become responsible and capable; to be a “better” mum and wife; or a least in the same way everyone else seems to be.

But instead of becoming more capable, I just became hurried. Instead of cherishing those special moments with my family, I hurried them onto the next one without taking the time to experience it; without truly living it. In an effort to be perfect, I forgot to be present.

As my old self re-emerges, my relationships with those around me is growing. I’m no longer just functioning as a wife and a mum, but I’m learning to connect on a deeper level and be vulnerable again with those I love.

What happened to cause this change?

Simply, I’m slowing down.

Instead of striving towards doing more, I’m seeking out quiet. Less distraction, less disruption and more time to reconnect with those I love the most. Instead of trying to fill every “empty” space and time slot in my life, I am embracing the silence. Instead of doing more and more, I’m doing less but with more meaning and more heart.

And so to dear boy, my old self said back, ” Yes,” I told him, “I’m back.”

If. like me, you have been feeling frantic and frazzled for too long; if you are exhausted with the pace of the life you have created for yourself; if you miss your old care-free self and those relationships of those you love, then perhaps you too need to slow down.

 

“It’s about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.

It’s about learning to show up and let ourselves be seen just as we are, massively imperfect and weak and wild and flawed in a thousand ways, but still worth loving.

It’s about about realizing that what makes our lives meaningful is not what we accomplish, but how deeply and honestly we connect with the people in our lives, how wholly we give ourselves to the making of a better world, through kindness and courage.”

– Shauna Niequist, Present over Perfect.

If this seems completely irrelevant  to your life, then I’m happy for you…I really am.

But I wish someone had told me long ago, before I wasted all those years, that what you seek is not achieved or found by hustling and busyness; rather, it lies in the silence within you.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

 

Do We Really Need Online Islamic Toy Stores?

This blog post was sponsored by IbraheemToyhouse.com
With Ramadan approaching, Muslim mums across the world are
starting think about what gifts they will be giving their children. 
The online market
place for Muslims is booming! Never before have parents been able to purchase
so many products specifically for Muslim children.  
Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store
Ibraheem Toy House has been featured Worldwide in the Press,
TV shows and in influential Mummy blogs; but what’s the big deal!
Why is everyone getting so excited about Ibraheem Toy house?
Why do we, as Muslim parents, even need an online Islamic
toy store?
This blog post will explain why online Islamic Toy stores
are so important
, and why your children need them too!

Why should I shop at an online Islamic Toy Store?

Run by
Muslims


These shops are owned and primarily run by
Muslims.
As such, they better understand what the
Muslim consumer wants
and what our Muslim children need.
As Muslims, these businesses care about
your children
and about the future of our Ummah. In fact, many of these
companies were started because they felt the needs of the Muslims was not being
met by larger corporations.
As they share the same moral standards as
you, you can be confident that your money is going to support a halal business,
and none of the money will be used to support anything haraam. We hope there will be more Barakah insha’Allah.

Learning
about Islam through play


It is widely accepted that young children
learn best through play
. It is through play that they learn their own
abilities, and develop confidence and self-worth; and because it’s fun, they will play for
long periods of time, helping them to develop the ability to concentrate.
Filling our home with Islamic toys will encourage
our children to develop confidence in their religious identity. Instead of
Barbie, fill your daughter’s toy box with Muslimah dolls. This will help her
view modesty and piety as normal, and encourage her to wear her hijab with
pride!
Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store
 Furthermore,
Islamic toys can teach everything from Quran, SalahTajweed, to Prophetic etiquettes and Arabic;
and all this is done by playing as they naturally would.
A very important aspect of play is its ability to
bond; to bond mother to her child, or to build a bond between siblings. What
better way to develop these relationships, than through Islamically orientated
play.

Everything
Under One Roof


Before Ibraheem Toy House, shopping for gifts for
Muslim children was so hard, especially if you wanted toys specifically for
Muslim kids. 
Thankfully, Ibraheem Toy House has brought all the best products
under one roof. I no longer have to scour through 10 different websites, search
Ebay and pay for extortionate international shipping! Instead, everything I
need for my children is available from one shop. It’s like the Muslim’s version
of Toys R’Us
!
Ibraheem Toy House, was founded with the aim to serve our
children by providing toys and resources that will encourage a love of Islam
They say,

Our mission
is to instil the love of faith in young Muslims.
We are passionate about educating children about
the teachings of Islam and help parents connect children to their faith.
We believe children should be proud of their
religious belief and religious learning should be FUN and interactive.”

Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store


Today,
Ibraheem Toy House stocks over 200 different products from 25 suppliers around
the world including dolls, books, games, DVDs, prayer mats and more.
Nazia
Nasreen founded Ibraheem Toy House from her kitchen table whilst her two
children were still very young. She is an inspiration to all Muslim women who
dream of starting their own business, and is a testimony to the power of
determination, hard work and self-belief.
Since
starting her online toy store only two years ago, Nazia has received Awards and
international recognition
for the worthwhile service she is providing to the
Muslim Ummah, as the first online Islamic toy store in the U.K.
So if you
are a Muslim woman thinking about starting your own business, I would urge to
look for inspiration from Nazia, and take the first step to making your dream a
reality.
Ibraheem ToyHouse is constantly on the lookout for new toys and products to serve the
Muslim community. 
What would you like to see more of in the toy store? Are
there any particular products you are looking for? 
Please let us know us know in the
comments and maybe Nazia can find them for you! 
We’d love to hear what toys your
children would enjoy. Please leave us a comment down below.

Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store


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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love.

New Homeschool Mum…Don’t Give Up!

The transition into home education can be a difficult one. Many families struggle when they first start homeschooling, especially with time management.


“How can I get all the cleaning, cooking, and do everything else, as well as teach my children?
I just never seem to be able to get on top of things?
I just don’t have the time to do it all.” 





Home education does not suit every family, but before you give up homeschooling, here are a few tips that I have learnt to help a struggling homeschool mum:

1. Look for the Wisdom

The difficulties you face in your home, with your children, are no less of a trial or test than the difficulties people face at work. Acknowledge that your problems are real problems, worthy of your concern and find comfort in the fact that Allah tests those he loves.

It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said:
“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people, He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His Pleasure; but whoever is discontent with that earns His Wrath.” (al-Tirmidhi – 2396)

If you are finding difficulties in your homeschool, begin by making duaa and praying Istikaraah.

2. Get Organised

Write to-do lists, get a homeschool planner, organise your homeschool material in whatever way works for your family. Not only will these things help you to get more done, but they will also help you to realise how much you are already achieving. This feeling of accomplishment and purpose should not be taken lightly. Everyone needs to feel that they are being productive and achieving something in their day.

Watch this for some Homeschool Organization tips:

If you do not feel organised now, take a week off school. Use the time to get everything ordered and planned out in a way that will make your homeschool run more smoothly. Then you can start again the following week on a more positive note.

3. Lower Your Expectations

What? Did I read that right?
Yes, you did!

I know this may sound harsh, but you have to lower your expectations, especially if you are just starting to homeschool, or if you have small children at home. You cannot expect your house to be as clean or your meals to be a spectacular (mine never were….mediocre at best!) as they were before you began to home educate your children.

Every ‘lesson does not need to be perfectly planned and executed. Many children retain more from self-directed, not teacher led, learning.  By adjusting your teaching style, you are allowing your children time to ‘discover’ things themselves and re-igniting the love of learning that they lost in school.

You are only human and you have the same 24 hours that the rest of us have. As soon as you  LET GO and stop putting pressure on yourself, the better you will feel and the happier you and your family be insha’Allah.

Just to clarify…I’m not saying you should live in squalor and let your children run wild! However, give yourself a break! Your homemaking and your school days will improve as your time management does.

4. Give Yourself Time

It takes time to adjust, establish new routines and to find your ‘groove.’ It also takes time for children to get used to the new routines.

Try to move gently, with patience, into this new phase in your life. Everything does not need to come together all at once. Give yourself the grace to make mistakes. Just learn from them …and move on.

Thank you so much for visiting us here at Our Muslim Homeschool! 

What do you think?

Should we lower our standards and just allow time to fix everything? 
How much time should be allow before we give up and send our kids back to school? 
How do you organise your homeschool?

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below 🙂



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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love.

Peace and Love.

Dear Busy Mum,

A little advice from my heart to yours.

After a week
of teething and difficult nights, I decided this morning to go out for a solitary
coffee. No kids, no husband, just me and my books!
Advice for busy homeschool mums
I’d be lying
if I said that I didn’t feel overwhelmed sometimes. Being with the three kids
EVERY DAY…ALL DAY is draining. Some days it’s the mess that gets to me, others it’s
the fighting, but usually it’s the noise that can get too much.
Don’t get me
wrong, my kids aren’t badly behaved (well…no more than the average kid). In
fact, I think they’re wonderful. They bring me so much joy! But we all need a
break every now and then!
As I was
walking down the road, to get to the café near my house, it was like seeing my
street in a completely new way! It was so nice to actually experience THAT
moment.
So often, as
a mum, you are busy checking you have everything for everyone, checking you
haven’t lost one of the kids, making sure everyone has been to the toilet,
eaten enough, as well as throwing in the occasional ‘educational’ tit-bit, that
you just don’t even have time to look around. There’s no time to Stop…Breathe…and
SEE what’s around you.
It was incredible
just looking at the people walking past, blissfully unaware of how ‘lucky’ they
are; not because they don’t have children … No, No, No! Lucky because that have
THIS MOMENT! So precious. So fleeting. If only they would Stop….Breathe…REFLECT!
“Verily!
In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and
day there are indeed ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs,
revelations, etc.) for men of understanding. Men who celebrate the praises of
Allah standing, sitting and lying down on their sides and contemplate the
(wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth (with the thought):
“Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose! Glory to thee! Give
us salvation from the penalty of the fire.”” Q3:190-1.
Whether
we have children to fill our time, or jobs, or academic studies, or whatever our
worries are, remember, Dear Busy Mum, this life is just here to occupy us. The
Dunya is here to give us our provisions, and to distract us from our true
purpose…Allah.
I
am as guilty as you, perhaps even more guilty, of forgetting my Lord and
busying myself too much with my ‘life.’

Dear
Busy Mum
, stop rushing…stop thinking… stop…STOP!
Look at what is around you…BREATHE….REFLECT….ALHUMDULILLAH!
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Thank you for visiting our blog! Come again soon!

Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.

You might also like:

Muslim Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Are Perfectionists Bad Mothers?

As a homeschooling mom, I spend the best part of everyday with my children. They witness and learn from my character and actions every day. But there is one problem, I am a perfectionist. What effect will this have on my children?
I have spent much
time reading and reflecting on perfectionism and parenting, and wanted to
answer the question: Are Perfectionists Bad Mothers?
Parenting as a perfectionists
The short answer to this question is: Yes, they can be bad
mothers IF they don’t do something to control it.
Of course being a perfectionist has its positive points. The
house is usually presentable, there is home-cooked food for every meal, the children
are dressed well; but underlying this outward image is an inner struggle and
discontentment with every action and every effort.
I come from a long line of perfectionists and no doubt at
least one of my children will follow me in this.
New studies have shown that
perfectionism is primarily a genetic trait, and the parenting and the
environment a child is exposed to only play a secondary role. This means that
perfectionist parents not only have to deal with their own drive for
perfection, but also their children’s too!
If a perfectionist mother has such high expectations on
herself, then it only follows that she too will have high expectations for her
children. If she cannot tolerate her own imperfections, she will not tolerate
them in her child. This inevitably leads to the child feeling that her parents
are constantly dissatisfied with her, and feeling inadequate.
Perfectionist parents often confuse their own sense of
self-worth with their child’s, feeling that if the child looks good, then I
look good. However when the child does not behave as the mother feels is
acceptable, then the mother takes that personally as it reflects badly on her.
This internal pressure can often be triggered by competition;
competition with family, friend’s children, school friends or even the children
of complete strangers. This obsession with looking ‘perfect’ in front of others
is at the detriment of the child’s confidence. 
Children learn from the way we
behave and can see when mom is trying extra hard to impress. Despite what we
say, they see the way we behave and act first.
But of course, no one can be perfect. Not mom and not her
child. That child’s inability to live up to expectations, will cause her a
long-term sense of failure, a lowered self-esteem, which may in turn result in
resentment and anger
towards her mom.
Perfectionism can block communication between a mother and
her child. The child knows that she has to fine, so she pretends to be ok, even
when there are problems. She knows that admitting any problem will affect her
mom negatively, so she stays quiet.
Parenting as a pefectionist
Perfectionists spend so much time worrying; time that could
be time spent playing with their children, getting to know them and teaching
them life-long lessons.
These moms will often focus on that child’s ‘status’ or ‘achievements’
and no longer put emphasis on values like kindness, honesty, diligence. Surely
it is more important as parents to equip our children with good character than
with good grades.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
The most beloved of
Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners.”
(Al-Bukhari)
Perfectionists have an increased risk of clinical depression,
eating disorders, suicide, and are more resistant to treatment as they don’t
want look as though they’ve failed.

So to all my fellow perfectionist parents out there….

  • Remove the worry from your heart and find the love.
  • Connect with your children
  • Feel happiness to be with them
  • Be grateful for your children
  • Don’t compare yourself to others
  • Have fun with them and relax
  • Let your children be who they are
  • Let go of expectations
  • Relinquish the power that you feel you have and remember
    Allah.

Only He can change your state and only He can ‘fix’ that which you
worry about. 
Instead of filling your mind with stress and discontentment, focus
on filling your heart with gratitude and submission to the Will of the Divine.
You will never find perfection in this world. Perfection is
with God
.
For truly, it is in the Remembrance of God that the heart
finds Peace.
Quran (13:28)
Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.
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