The Eid outfits are ready, you have planned to take time off for Eid Namaz and there is a big dinner planned over the weekend. You are all set for Eid, but is that exciting and memorable for your kids? Emm…not really!
Eid is a time of anticipation, celebration and gatherings. I have amazing memories of Eid from my childhood and wish to pass on the same love of the festival to my children growing up as Canadian-Pakistanis in North America. I wrote a guest post about my thoughts on this topic last year. If you face a similar situation as us, with kids growing up away from family and the natural atmosphere of Eid we took so much for granted, here are some tips to make Eid exciting for your kids.
In my childhood Eidi (Eid gifts) was one of the biggest reason I looked forward to Eid. As parents we can gradually introduce the kids to the spirit of the celebration, but let’s face it, the kids want Eidi. Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc are huge and while celebrating any of these is a family’s personal decision, to make Eid stand out, Eidi is your best tool.
Eid gifts in our house are not expensive, but nicely wrapped. They are also what the kids want. In order to make Eid exciting for my kids, I have created a character called Chachi Eid who brings presents for the kids the night before Eid. The kids let me know what they want Chachi Eid to bring for them beforehand and we write her a letter (in urdu ofcourse!). Like Santa Claus, she also loves to eat, and we leave out some paratha for her, instead of milk and cookies.
For younger kids, gifts usually work best. Older children might prefer cash. The emphasis is best kept on the spirit of the gift giving and not the dollar value. We give gifts only to the children but if you want to do gift giving for the whole family you can put a cap like $10 or $20 to inspire creativity and keep cost down.
2. Henna Night
Putting Henna on the hands and body is another beloved Eid tradition. Have a Henna Night by getting a few friends together who have young kids, arrange a pot luck, put on some music and have fun choosing designs. With smaller kids, keep the number of people less, otherwise they will get overwhelmed.
You can even do Henna Night at home by yourself and your little ones. Talk about your own Eid memories as you put on Henna. Keep wipes handy to avoid messy mistakes.
3. Fun Reads
Prepare your children for Eid by reading fun stories about the festival. My favorite Eid book for the 2-7 years age group is “Ilyas & Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid“. Your local library might have some great Eid reads. The Calgary Public Library has a lovely collection of Eid books like “An Eid for Everyone, by Hina Islam“.
4. Share the Joy
Like any joy in life, the one of Eid is also multiplied when you share it with those around you. You can make special Eid baskets filled with treats (be aware of common allergies and mention ingredients) and share them with your Muslim and Non-Muslim neighbours. A small note inside of what Eid is would be great. You can also add some gifts to these baskets and take them to a local charity or children’s hospital. Great lessons in community giving for your little ones.
If your children attend school you can check with their teacher about talking to the class about Eid. When my daughter was four, we did an Eid Presentation in her preschool. My daughter and I dressed in our Eid outfits for the day. I read a book to the class, taught the children how to wish “Eid Mubarik” and then all of us did a craft together where the kids put Henna designs on hands drawn on paper. I loved the look of joy on my daughter’s face as she saw her friends enjoying a celebration that belonged to her “urdu” world.
5. Eid Crafts on Big Dinners
Many of us arrange dinners to celebrate Eid with friends who are family away from home. These dinners are fun for adults but for the children are not much different than the big family dinners they attend year round. To make the event more Eid relevant, you can set aside a table for Eid Crafts for the children. Maybe an adult can volunteer to read a book about Eid, Ramadhan or Hajj. You can get lots of ideas for Eid crafts here:
If you want to keep it super simple, you can print Eid theme coloring sheets, bring lots of crayons and stickers and set aside a table for the kids to color on (do cover the table with a disposable sheet).
6. Eid Photos
Make Eid photos a tradition. Everyone is dressed in their finest, so why not! Print the pictures, put them in an album and enjoy them with the children over the years (Tips on taking great Eid pictures right here on my blog).
Hope you enjoyed these ideas and I wish you a memorable Eid. Do share how you make the event special for your kids. Would love to hear from you!
The two festivals of Eid, Hajj and Ramadhan are some of the most important events on the Muslim calendar. Check out some amazing posts from my friends at Multicultural Kid Blogs, and don’t miss what was shared last year! Find even more ideas on our Hajj for Kids Pinterest board!