For kids, decorating the home is one of the most fun parts of getting ready for Ramadan. This year, making one’s living space bright and festive takes on extra importance: With social distancing rules in force around the world, the holy month in 2020 will be less about trips to the mosque and visits with friends and neighbours and more about hunkering down with immediate family.
Colourful DIY decorations make staying home that bit more joyful, as Muslims around the world devote a full month to spiritual reflection, fasting, charity and family togetherness. And there’s an added bonus: many of these crafts are a great way to make use of your stockpile of cardboard delivery boxes!
Here are seven crafty ways to get Ramadan-ready ― and keep the kids occupied for yet another day at home.
A Ramadan Advent Calendar
“This year is a totally different Ramadan. Many of us will be spending it within our homes, instead of [at] work, school and the masjid [mosque],” wrote Oakville, Ont., Instagrammer and blogger, Hana Sethi on her DIY blog, Hana’s Happy Home. We love this Ramadan Advent Calendar she created for her niece, with colourful envelopes ― one for each day ― hung from a branch, and anchored at the top by mosque shapes. “I put a good deed inside them,” she told HuffPost Canada. “Like, ‘Let’s make cookies for the neighbours.’”
If you have access to a colour printer at home, you could alternatively download the template to Sethi’s Happy Muslims’ Village Ramadan Advent Calendar in her Etsy store. It’s an adorable 3D craft that will keep kids busy for a good few hours.
A sparkly mosque
“During these new out-of-the-blue vacations, it’s so hard to keep kids busy,” wrote blogger Sidra Humaid on her Instagram account, @raisinglittlemomins. To get ready for Ramadan, she created this craft by cutting out pieces of cardboard for her three kids to decorate with colourful glitter paints. Next, they painted a night-sky background with bold acrylics, then pasted the squares on top, in the form of a mosque. You could up-cycle a cereal or cracker box, or even paper grocery bags, for this work of art.
Rainbows have become a symbol of hope around the world, during the pandemic, and in many windows, you can see rainbow crafts created by kids to cheer up passersby and cheer on essential workers. “I love colourful things and rainbows so that’s the theme we went for,” wrote Kuwait-based mom Fatima R., on her Instagram account. “We made theses lovely lanterns together and I painted a beautiful surah [chapter] from the Quran and stuck them on her wall.”
A cardboard family prayer corner
If you were looking for a way to repurpose all those delivery boxes, look no further. Since mosques won’t be open this year, Instagrammer Hajra Mahomed-Tajbhai challenged her followers to DIY their own at home. “Get your little ones to create a space in the house where the family can pray, talk about Ramadan, have iftaar, read taraweeh etc.,” she wrote in a caption. “Get the Ramadan spirit going in your home and partake in this activity to bring your whole family together to celebrate this blessed, joyous month.”
A colourful wall hanging
Stars, moons and hearts — what a combination to symbolize this holiday of hope and togetherness. A family from England created this joyful craft together: Dad cut out all the shapes from Amazon packaging, Mom (Tasneem Mahmoud) gathered all the materials (an empty wrapping paper tube to hang the shapes from) and daughter Ana pasted scrunched up tissue paper flowers onto the painted tube, then painted all the shapes in bright colours. Nice teamwork!
A Ramadan wreath
Shaiza Zahid is a mom and a nature school assistant, from New York State, USA, and she brought her work home, so to speak, in crafting this sweet handcrafted wreath to mark this holy month. Artificial flowers and greenery are used here, but you could just as easily gather leaves and blossoms from outdoors, if you have access to a wild space or garden.
Arabic letters cut from cardboard, with a craft knife, and pasted onto ribbon complete the look (That part should be done by an adult or older kid.) For those who don’t read Arabic, the message says Ramadan Kareem, which translates into English as, “May Ramadan be generous to you!”
Blinged-out popsicle-stick stars
Even little kids can help decorate the popsicle sticks with glitter, stuck on with glue or double-sided tape – whatever you have to hand. You’ll need a hot glue gun to assemble the stars. “I love how sequins are so gorgeously sparkly yet SO much easier to clean up when compared to glitter,” wrote crafty mom and auntie Shireen Yeoh on her Instagram post.