Make time this Ramadhan to connect with your family with these simple, fun and practical ideas that won’t take up too much time, money or energy!
Day 1: Ramadhan Paper Chain
Join thirty decorated paper links together and then tear one off each day until ‘Eid. Watch as the family excitedly counts down to the ‘Eid celebrations!
Day 2: Learn List
Have every family member make a wish list of things such as a surah or du’a they would like to learn by the end of the month. This could also include targets such as performing extra prayers. Display it somewhere prominently to track each other’s progress.
Day 3: Sadaqah Saver
Find a clear glass jar or container. Decorate it, label it and encourage everyone to put some money in it throughout Ramadhan to donate at the end of the month.
Day 4: Study the 99 Names of Allah (SWT)
Pick one and find out its meaning and relevance. Very young children can colour in a printed outline of the word and older children and teens can research and produce art work.
Day 5: Reconnect with Relatives
Write the names of family members that you don’t often speak to on slips of paper. Put them in a hat and pull out a name; call or arrange to visit them today. You could repeat this every few days or every week.
Day 6: Ramadhan Treasure Hunt
Hide cryptic clues in the park, garden or house which lead to a hidden ‘treasure’. The clues can be about anything related to Islam: sahabas, surahs, historical events. You could also provide a map.
Day 7: Makeshift Masjid
For one day only, assign a room in the house as a dedicated place of worship. Set out prayer mats in rows facing qibla, along with Qu’rans, tasbeehs and prayer books. You could have someone call out the adhan. Insist on masjid etiquette throughout the day. Remember no worldly talk allowed!
Day 8: Clear the Clutter
Ramadhan is a chance to cleanse the mind and body. Use today to clear a physical space as well – a neglected drawer, a bookshelf, a forgotten corner. Get the family fill a bin bag of unwanted items and donate them to charity.
Day 9: Bake Date Muffins
Distribute them amongst both Muslim and non-Muslim neighbours with a gift tag marked ‘Ramadhan Mubarak’. Distribute a pack of shop bought dates if you can’t spare the time or energy to bake.
Day 10: Zakah Calculator
Teach the family how to work out Zakah calculations, even if it’s a long way off them becoming eligible to make contributions. Get everyone to list their prized possessions as ‘assets’ and give them an approximate value; help them work out 2.5% of the total value.
Day 11: Deploy the Fashion Police
Task each member of the family to find a piece of clothing or accessory that they consider un-Islamic. The criteria could be that the article is immodest, ostentatious or unethically produced. Use these to discuss the principles of Islamic dress.
Day 12: Litter Pick the Neighbourhood
Whether it’s just about you picking up rubbish from outside your own home or mobilising a whole team with extended family members, friends and neighbours to clean up your street, there is a great reward in this act.
Day 13: Volunteer
Whether it’s helping out at a homeless shelter, sorting items at a local charity shop, or providing company in a hospice, there are plenty of varied volunteering opportunities. Even if your family members aren’t able to join you today, it’s a great way of modelling charitable behaviour.
Day 14: Tempt the Tastebuds
Invite family members to suggest new ingredients and recipes, perhaps something healthier or food from a different culture for everyone to try out at iftar time.
Day 15: Publish a Family Newsletter
Invite each family to contribute a column about any recent news, reviews and opinions about the family’s Ramadhan. Keep it as a family record for years to come or send copies to family and friends.
Day 16: Fix It Day
Set aside today for fixing and mending items that you have been meaning to repair. Let everyone help to bring objects back into use.
Day 17: Special Suhoor
Go all out to put on a fantastic feast at suhoor time instead of at iftar. Wake up earlier than usual and allow more time for the meal. You could even invite family and friends to join in.
Day 18: Study the Moon
Go to the library and borrow books or research the moon online. Each family can pick an interesting fact that they have learnt and share it with the family at iftar.
Day 19: Plant a Seed
Or a bulb, shrub or tree – anything that requires just a pot, some compost and dedication to watering. Label your pots and remind everyone to care for their plants well after Ramadhan is over. Plants such as cress or mustard are very quick to grow at any time of the year.
Day 20: Write a Poem
Your subject is another family member. Write or type it out on to a coloured piece of paper, embellish it and give it to your muse on ‘Eid Day.
Day 21: Stage a Ramadhan Exhibition
Have everyone collect artefacts relating to Ramadhan or ‘Eid. Group your collection on a wall or display table for the rest of the month. Label each piece with a title, date and a brief description.
Day 22: Mini Family Health Check.
Measure heights and weights to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). You could also check teeth, nails, blood pressure (if you can borrow a monitor) and behind their ears! Talk about how our bodies are an Amanah (trust) from Allah (SWT).
Day 23: Make an ‘Eid Mubarak Banner
Get the family to join in and be as creative and ingenious as you can. Use whatever medium your family enjoys working with; paper, fabric, felt, wood, metal or anything that you can easily source. Utilise the artistic skills of each individual to create a unique piece of family art.
Day 24: Family Goal Tree
Write down individual goals on leaf-shaped pieces of paper and hang them from a cardboard tree. Each person’s goals could revolve around their home life, family, spouse, academic achievements or career. You can ‘grow’ your family tree throughout the year by adding more ‘goal leaves’ as you remove the ones that have been achieved.
Day 25: Iman-Booster Day
Get everyone to double their worship today. Pray a little more than what you normally would; it could be extra nafl rakats or surahs of the Qur’an.
Day 26: Make a Scrapbook
Invite the whole family to fill it with clippings, photos, messages and inspirational quotes from the Qur’an and hadith. Leave a few blank pages for friends and family to write messages on ‘Eid Day.
Day 27: Design ‘Eid Stationery
Make greeting cards, gift wrap paper, gift tags, placeholders – anything that will help to celebrate the big day in your unique family style.
Day 28: Moon Sighting Adventure
Take the family on a moon sighting mission (hilal), whether or not you live somewhere where the moon will be visible in the night sky. Any after dark outdoor trip will be exciting to young and older intrepid explorers alike!
Day 29: Rehearse a Nasheed
Preferably one about Ramadhan or the family. Assign each family member a few lines depending on their age and then ‘perform’ it together after iftar.
Day 30: Bake ‘Eid Cookies
Use star and moon shaped cookie cutters and use coloured icing to decorate them. Gift wrap them in cellophane and ribbon to distribute to friends and neighbours.
Sazida Desai is a married mother of two boys in the North West of England. She works as a press officer to a British Member of Parliament. In her spare time, she likes to sew, knit, garden and write.