Preparing for Ramadan can get slightly overwhelming. Every year I want to make sure I'm doing it right, and doing it well, and when you throw young children into a mix it can make it all so crazy.
Here's a few tips I can share with you all, but by all means I cant say my Ramadans are 'perfect', but I do attempt to make the most of them, and planning is a great tool that helps me in so many ways.
Here are the preps that I do, I hope they help you too!
During Ramadan, your days can get quite busy, and as you want to maximise your time with praying and other activities, food preparation can lessen the burden and make your days a lot smoother.
>Pre-Ramadan, I prepare and freeze all the little iftaar treats we like to eat: Samosas, Pastries and spring rolls.
> I am a huge meal prepper on a normal day, so when it comes to Ramadan, I make sure that I've marinated, prepped and frozen lots of meal options (all uncooked, but ready to cook, like Pizza, chicken, burgers etc) for those days you don't want to slave away in the kitchen.
> A few days before Ramadan, I fill in this Ramadan meal planner. with what we will eat during the month, when we will get take away, our invites I then, print it and stick it on the fridge. This makes food preparation for the month easier, and allows us to shop more efficiently, and avoid wastage.
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I love decorating the house as I love bringing the excitement of Ramadan into our home and to the boys! I've been doing it since the kids were 2/3 and every year its something we really looked forward to. Of course, you don't need to go over the top, but I think a little decor doesn't hurt and it does help getting kids into the spirit of things!
Here are a few activity packs that include Ramadan 'decor' - Printable Ramadan decoration or this favourite, Ramadan Decor pack.
Outside of Ramadan, it's easy to get caught up with life, I'll pray my prayers, but anything extra, tends to happen on Fridays, or if I find some spare time during the week. But, when it comes to Ramadan, I make it a point to maximize the month, the rewards and so much more, so a lot of planning and prepping goes into it.
> Set yourself targets, on what you want to achieve out of this month, do you want to read more Quran, learn a new surah. Make yourself a list and stick it up so you can remind yourself of your daily/monthly targets you want to achieve.
> This year I will be using this daily Ramadan Planner(clickable link) to help me achieve the most from my praying, unfortunately I can't credit who made this wonderful planner, but its so perfect, I couldn't help sharing.
> I've started listening to various lectures on Youtube, praying more around the kids, and getting them involved too, so when we move into Ramadan, it feels like a normal transition for us all.
> I create a list of my duas (prayers) that is beneficial to pray, and of things I want, print them out and have them to hand to read over and pray when I get the chance too. Here is a wonderful list of duas you can add to your daily plan,Ramadan Duas or these remembernces and supplications
> Plan your charity in advance by setting yourself reminders and doing your research about how you want to donate and where. I tend to use websites such as Islamic relief or National Zakat foundation, to place my donations. But, for the last 10 nights I set up an amount to be distributed every night over at MY ten nights,You make your donation, and they split it into 10 separate payments for you, so you get the benefit of giving charity on those precious nights.
Getting your children involved
> Get your children involved in Ramadan, by letting them with fast and pray too, the younger children, do 'half fasts' with us, and get to enjoy the feeling of being able to get to be apart of it.
> Yousuf, who is 7 at the moment has been working on his own list of what he wants to achieve in Ramadan, his little list includes things like learning 3 surahs, helping us lay the table, doing more dikhr and more.
> Let the children get involved in the planning with decor, the food preps. During Ramadan, let them help in the kitchen, laying the table for iftaar, and getting involved with prayers.
> Get your kids in the spirit of Ramdan, my kids love listening and reading books, I also use this as a stepping stone to learning something. Check out these books we have on our bookshelves, I also love these Islamic stories.
> Talk about good deeds, and which ones they can carry out during the month (and which ones they can continue with throughout the year) - I also add these to our Ramadan calendars, to add to their targets on a daily basis. Here is an example of some: Good deeds 1 and Good deeds 2.
Here are the good deeds I have added to our Ramadan calendar this year, to create a balance and not to make it too overwhelming I mixed them up with Hadiths behind the deed as well as basic simple ones: Good Deeds 2020
> I'm guilty of sometimes leaving eid presents and preps quite last minute, but with the quarantine period this year, a, I'll be forced to do what I should be doing every year, buying and organising it before Ramadan begins.
> So far I've had the boys scour toy websites, and make a list of what they want, and now I'm looking at how I can order them, options include the stores that are delivering locally, and international stores like Selfridges, John lewis and Amazon.
> There is a chance Eid may be very different this year, so I've been brainstorming ways on how I can make it stand out as a day of celebration, even if it ends up being the 4 of us. (Check back for what my ideas, as they come to me!)
If there is anything you feel like I may have left out, or have any comments please feel free to leave me one!