So the masjid is packed. You don’t want your child to be dangling his feet on the balcony of the sister’s section. You know your baby is going to wail every time the Imam recites Takbir. When you are forced to stay home with your kids because you have no choice. Ramadan just doesn’t seem all too exciting anymore. Wrong! This is the best opportunity to have a wonderful bonding family time that you could ever imagine! Here are some simple tips to make the last ten days with your toddler a spiritual experience for everyone.
And if your toddler is a late night sleeper, and you just can’t get them to bed…well, why fight them? Join them!
1. Convert one of your rooms into a masjid. Fill your masjid room with prayer rugs, Quran stand, Copies of the Quran, Dhikr beads, some Islamic story books for kids. Add Islamic artwork on the wall. Try to have as little furniture as possible in the room.
2. Make a Chart of Good Deeds for praying this special Tarawih prayers. DOWNLOAD HERE: Toddler Tarawih Chart. Have a decorative box full of prizes and treats.
3. Have your child eat a full meal, and shower before the last Isha prayer.
4. Keep a special basket filled with hijabs and kufis. Only keep the hijabs that will not fall off while you pray. They tend to try putting it back on and get frustrated while you pray.
5. Boys can call the Adhan. So can little girls if they want too! Or have all the kids take turns each day! What a great opportunity to learn and practice the Adhan!
6. Hand out Special Ramadan Tarawih Tasks. Give them special tasks to make them feel important. Let them fix the rugs, check to see if they all are in a straight row. Place cups and bottles of water near each row for thirsty family members who have fasted all day while they pray!
7. Pretend “Pray” with Dolls and Toys. Line up their dolls for prayer as well. They can be in the back. Begin by imaginary play of the dolls wanting to go for Tarawih prayer. Dora can have hijab, and curious George can be an Imam.
8. For little babies and toddlers- Give them lots of distraction like snacks on nearby tables, and their favorite toys (not the noisy ones!)
9. After Isha prayer- Sit down and have them sing a Ramadan song, make a special dua, listen to Quran stories, recite the Quran. Let them listen to you read the Quran aloud, they tend to imitate, you might want to have some dua books so they can use that to imitate you.
10. Keep it short. “Read very short surahs, so if they join you in prayer, it’s easy for them to follow. Don’t get irritated if they jump on you and ride you like a horse. They may even run around while you are praying. It’s not really important that they pray, but they see YOU praying. Sometimes we are tempted to put them in another room and watch TV while we can peacefully make salah, but we allow the children to be slipped away by the dunya of entertainment.
11. After completing the Tarawih- Give them a sticker on their chart, and a treat from the treaure chest. Within a week, you will see that running around and horseplay will gradually slow down, and they may insist in leading the salaah, or calling the Adhan. They will automatically ask for hijab, and will even help you put out the prayer rugs. I never forget once when I finished my fard and started folding my rug, my child said, ” What about sunnah?”
12. Before going to bed, let them listen to the Quran. Ending the day with Quran is the best thing you can do with your child. Tuck them in with an Islamic story, and recite their duas, dhikr, Surahs and go to bed!