Monday, August 16, 2010

Toddler Ramadan craft: fawanees!

(Update: Please also see this post for an idea geared towards slightly older toddlers/preschoolers)

I haven't found too many Ramadan craft ideas that toddlers can really get the hang of, so I thought I'd share this one just in case it's useful for anyone! Basbusa and I made a bunch of lanterns out of construction paper, and then strung them on a piece of yarn to make a garland. Here's our finished product:

Each lantern takes about 45 seconds to make (well, 45 seconds in grown-up time; longer depending on how old your kid is and how insistent he or she is about doing it "by myself!"). All you need is construction paper, a scissors, and some tape.

We have a pad of 8.5"x11" construction paper, so the first thing we did was cut a sheet in half (to get two short, fat pieces rather than two long, skinny ones):

You'll only need half a sheet for one lantern. The next step is to cut a strip off one of the long edges of the paper (this strip will eventually be the handle of your lantern):

Next up, make a narrow fold along both of the long edges of the paper:

Then flip over your paper and fold it in half, so that the two narrow folds are back-to-back, facing outwards:

Next, open out the two narrow folds so that your paper looks kind of like an odd paper airplane...

... and cut all along the "body" of the plane, with each cut starting from the folded edge and stopping when you reach the "wings."

Open out your paper, wrap it around in a circle, and tape:

Last step, tape on your handle:

Ta-da! All finished. I learned this in elementary school in Ireland (I forget what holiday we were celebrating), and I think I remember that we also taped some red or yellow construction paper inside the lanterns, to make it look as if they were lit. But I thought that was too many steps for Basbusa, and they look fine without it.

How much of this did Basbusa really do? Well, we did the first one together, with her doing practically all of it, and me giving very-very-very detailed guidance on exactly what to cut and what to tape. She was able to do it, but she absolutely adores cutting and taping, and I felt bad spoiling her fun with so many instructions. So from then on, we worked happily side by side, with me making lanterns and Basbusa making this:

The lanterns also look great if your toddler decorates the paper with random scribbles and drawings before you start (as long as they won't mind their picture being cut up afterwards). Normally, Basbusa would have been totally into this stage of the process, but today, the attractions of tape and scissors outshone those of her pens and crayons :)


  1. Masha Allaah well done Umm and bint. Tell me about tape and scissors!! They love it so much, I can imagine how much basbusa would have enjoyed!

  2. As Salamu Alaikum! Excellent site, love this i'll try it out with my little Brother inshaAllah. really appreciate your works, may Allah reward you.

    Please email me at as I need blog help!

  3. Assalamu Alaikum,

    MashaAllah I love how you have them all hanging together, looks lovely! We also made these at our playgroup :)

    handmade beginnings

  4. Thanks for the idea. We are in the process of making them. A very cute addition to our Ramadan decorations.
    As far as I understood from your blog, I am like you grew up in a non-islamic environment, but now I am a happy muslima. I live in Los Angeles and have two daughters of the same age as yours now: 4 years and 18 months old. Nice to meet you.

  5. Asalaam 'Alaikum:

    I love your lanterns and agree that the little ones love to be involved in the decorating. I have made some do it yourself Ramadan and Eid decorations - to all the kids to color themselves. If you are interested, please see:
    for the Ramadan Decorations
    for the Eid Decorations

    I hope you find something to share with your little ones.

    Ramadan Mubarak!
    Sumayyah Umm SAAK

  6. Asalamu alikum,
    Thanks for the great idea!