As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, is sharing ten top tips on how children and families can still enjoy Eid-ul-Fitr despite the pandemic.
Putting up decorations together
Whether you decide to make them or buy them, creating a tradition of putting up Eid decorations together will become something your children will look forward to every year. You can buy Eid decorations online on Etsy, Ebay, Amazon and from independent sellers on Instagram and Facebook, or you can make your own cut-outs of stars and moons which children will love taking part in. Arts and craft can provide relaxation, distraction and absorption for children, and is hugely beneficial for their mental health.
2. Cooking, baking and eating together
Cooking is a great way to bring the family together; both past and present if you follow old family recipes. It’s also a calming activity for children, as it requires them to focus on a specific task and use their cognitive skills. Cooking recipes from loved ones who have passed away is also a good way to remember people we have lost.
3. Making Eid cards
This is a brilliant activity for children as not only is the arts and crafts element soothing, but it can also help them feel connected to the friends and family they won’t be able to see on Eid. They can also express their feelings through drawings and writing.
4 Dressing up
Wearing your best clothes on Eid was a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and wearing something special is a great way to separate a celebratory day from a regular day. If finances are strained, you can always look for bargains in a Barnardo’s charity shop or just wear something nice you haven’t worn in a while.
5. Giving each other presents
Giving presents was another sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). These don’t have to be expensive and can be homemade as well. Children love to give and receive presents and it’s a great way to celebrate and remember loved ones.
6. Spending time outdoors
Spending time outside, in fresh air and with nature can do wonders for person’s mental health and well-being. Even if you have no grand plans for Eid, just taking the children for a walk in the park can improve their mood, their stress or anger levels and help them feel relaxed.
7. Meeting up with friends and family outside
The current rule is that you can meet up outside in groups of six (or two households) while maintaining social distancing. This includes private gardens, so if your family is small enough, you can invite friends over and your children can see them and play together. It’s really important for children to spend time with their friends, not just for fun, but for their mental health.
8. Taking part in group celebrations online
If you’re unable to meet up outside with your loved ones, you can organise a group celebration online. This is a great way to see your friends and family from the safety of your home and will help your children feel connected with the outside world.
9. Playing family games
This can be done as a family in real life, or online with the wider family. Playing board games together helps your children develop a wide range of skills like problem solving, number and letter recognition, and more complex calculations. It’s also a great way to bond with the family.
10. Communicating with each other
It’s important to realise that your children might be experiencing a range of emotions after such a turbulent and confusing year, and they might not even feel like celebrating. This might manifest in different ways, from being withdrawn to displaying anger and frustration. It’s important you communicate with your child and ask them how they’re feeling. You can also seek professional help if you feel your child will benefit from speaking to a professional about their feelings, such as the Barnardo’s Boloh helpline.