Ramadan and Montessori

Updated: Jun 13

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the month of fasting practiced by millions of Muslims around the world. It is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and occurs at the sighting of the new moon. During the entirety of the month, Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk. This fasting period forbids Muslims from not just eating and drinking, but also from bad thoughts, foul language, and helps with practicing self restraint - all of which is meant as a way to reflect on your habits and focus on self betterment.

Ramadan/praying area

Why is it special to Muslims?

One of the most special things about Ramadan is the sense of community it brings amongst Muslims as everyone unites in masjids (mosques) to break their fasts and/or for the evening prayer (taraweeh). Families naturally spend more time together engaging in cooking, beginning and breaking their fasts, and praying together. The entire month is meant to be a month of practicing perseverance, empathy, connection to faith, and most importantly giving to others.

Beading activity to make tasbeeh (prayer beads) (photo credit: Sana Ali)



Importance of family traditions in Montessori?

Just as when you use a muscle in your body over and over again and with time, that muscle gets strong, shared family traditions and values work in a similar fashion strengthening our children’s bonds to their families as well as their religion/culture. Traditions provide stability and give children the sense of belonging that they bring with themselves into adulthood.

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.” - Dr. Maria Montessori

As someone who grew up in the west, but was born in a Muslim country, it took my family some time to transition and find unique ways to bring the celebrations of Ramadan into our home. As an adult, I continued to bring those practices into my household and add to the traditions of this special month for my little one to learn from.

Here are some Montessori aligned activities that some of you might find helpful in preparing for the month of Ramadan with your little ones:

Practical life

  • Making baskets with dates, olives, and other goodies as a gift for friends and family

  • Decluttering and purging toys and other essential items to donate to those in need and your little one can choose a charity to which you donate

  • Helping with food prep for iftar (breaking of fast meal before sunset)

  • Pit and stuff dates - a staple food in every Muslim household to break fast

  • Making crescent and star shaped cookies

Language and meditation

  • Make a corner or part of the house dedicated as a space for praying and reading the Quran

  • Read books and stories based on the Quran

  • Modeling and praying together

Book nook recommendations

  • Ramadan Moon by Na’ima Robert

  • Secret recipe box by Helal Musleh

  • Basirah the basketballer says Insha’Allah by Hafsa Dabiri

  • Rami the Ramadan cat by Robyn Thomas

  • The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Mathematics

  • Use date seeds as counters

  • Counting and threading prayer beads

  • Make a countdown to Eid (holiday celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan)

  • Track daily prayers on a prayer tracker

Science

  • Phases of the moon - matching cards

  • DIY binoculars to spot the moon in the sky

DIY moon phases matching activity (photo credit: Sana Ali)


Arts

  • Decorate Ramadan themed cookies

  • Decorate a mosque on contact paper

  • Make Ramadan greeting cards for friends and family

Ramadan Mubarak (Happy Ramadan) to all of you celebrating!


You can find Sana at www.instagram.com/monteshare


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