Monday, August 9, 2010

Tot-School plans for Ramadan

Ramadan coming up so soon, insha'Allah! I thought I'd post my Ramadan tot-school plans, just in case anyone else is looking for ideas and hadn't yet found these links. We've been reading Ramadan books in the past few weeks just as a kind of a preview of what's coming up, since this will be the first time Basbusa is old enough to have any clue what's going on. I'm hoping to convey a few of the most important parts of the meaning of Ramadan, and also try to recreate the joyful atmosphere and excitement that would be everywhere if we were in a predominantly-Muslim country. So, here's my plan, iA:

  • I'd be happy if she came away understanding what fasting is, what charity is, and that Ramadan is the month when the Quran was revealed.

  • It would be nice if she could learn Aisha's Ramadan dua'a, which has always been one of my favorites (اللهم انك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عنا). I'm not sure whether all the repetition of similar words will make it easier or harder for her, but I'll give it a try and see if she picks it up.

  • Quran memorization and prayer as usual, but on a stricter schedule (right now, they tend to get fitted in around the rest of our activities, rather than the other way around).

  • I hope we can go to a masjid at least twice a week, so that Basbusa gets some of the sense of community, and hears at least a bit of Tarawih.
  • Basbusa's dad has a whole bunch of Ramadan songs that he's known by heart ever since childhood, and which always make him go all sappy and nostalgic when he hears them today :) I remember Christmas carols being the same way for me, so I want Basbusa to have a few of those in her childhood too, iA. We're going to be playing these two Ramadan songs and this Eid song quite a bit as general background noise. (I'll post the lyrics when I get a chance to figure them out iA, just in case there are any other non-native Arabic speakers out there who want to sing along with their kids.)

  • We'll be making a whole bunch of lanterns, insha'Allah! They don't look much like the traditional (or modern plastic glitzy) ones, but hey, pretty lights are pretty lights :) I'm hoping to try this one, this one and this one (just using a bunch of multicolored tissue rather than the Halloween theme!), plus one I remember making myself in elementary school (although it was nothing to do with Ramadan). I got a pack of 8 battery-powered tealight-lookalikes in Walmart for $4, so that we don't burn the house down iA :)

  • I love the Date Chain idea from here! I won't be fasting this year, so I think I'll do a pair of dates each day for Basbusa to open. One for herself, and one to give to Baba to break his fast with.

Other educational activities:

  • I think we'll go moon-watching every night, and take a picture with the digital camera. Hopefully when she can see the pictures all in sequence, Basbusa will pick up a little bit about the lunar cycle?

  • I'm not quite sure yet how to set this up, but it would be nice to have a size-sequencing activity in there. Maybe tinfoil-covered cardboard crescent moons, ranging from big to small? If we could hang them on some kind of a mobile, that would make a pretty decoration too.

  • If I can find some crescent-shaped cookie-cutters, we'll use them for baking cookies, which Basbusa always loves helping with.
And lastly, in a tot-school-related Ramadan assignment for myself, I want to make two lists as I read through the Quran this time insha'Allah. One list will be of verses to do with nature, and the other will be of verses having to do with good behavior (charity, forgiveness, kindness, etc). I'm hoping to intertwine these with tot-school "units" as we go forward - if we're talking about plants, I'll add in a verse about things growing from seeds; if we're talking about bugs, I'll add in a verse about ants, etc. And I was thinking we might pick a 'virtue of the month' to focus on, by talking about a verse that highlights that particular behavior and then looking for opportunities to put it into practice.


  1. Assalaamu Alaikum sis,

    Masha Allaah great plans, may Allaah benefit you and basbusa with that which will please Him alone and may you and your family have a great Ramadhaan filled with sakeenah and barakah!Aameen.

  2. Asalamulakum,
    I just bumped into your site mashallah, I love the background where did you get it? BTW If you live in the US most libraries are part of the Inter Library Loan system, this means if you look on worldcat (catalog of libraries around the world) and you find a book you can borrow it, just have to fill out a form at your library and voila! A week or 2 later its ready for you. Also most universities have curriculum libraries, this is so good! Alhumdulillah you could use inter library loan to borrow say a really cool science kit, or some times buy a community member school ID to check out items. My hubby is a student so this helps our home schooling a lot. If only they had some arabic curriculum.....

  3. Salaam! Jazaaki Allahu khayr, Umm Maimoonah; hope your Ramadan is great so far!

    And Anonymous, thanks for the tips on the ILL - I had thought only university libraries were part of that network, and I didn't know they had curriculum libraries. I'll definitely check it out insha'Allah. As for the background, I made it myself. Someone else asked me how I did it in a comment to an earlier post, and I did my best to explain... Check out the comments to this post and I hope that helps insha'Allah: