Eid is the biggest Muslim festival of the year and is celebrated by billions of Muslims around the world. If you wish to celebrate the joy of Eid by having an Eid celebration in the classroom for your child, here are some tips and resources for you!
1. The Spirit of the Activity
The most important aspect of an Eid celebration in the classroom is to realize of the spirit of the activity. Discuss with your child what your goals will be: raise positive awareness about Eid, foster a sense of community by highlighting similarities and celebrating pride in our Muslim identities.
If your school has a non-religious environment, talk more about the cultural aspects of Eid and keep religion out.
2. Planning The Session
Design a clear plan of what you will do and how long will it take of the classroom time. Here are some ideas:
- Wearing traditional Eid clothes (both you and your child)
- Reading an Eid book
- An age-appropriate Eid craft/activity
- Eid goodie bags for the children
3. Communication: Talking to the Teacher
Clear communication is a very important part of a successful Eid celebration in the classroom. After you have designed a plan, talk to your child’s teacher about your interest to have an Eid celebration in the classroom. Be sure to talk about the benefits this activity will have for the classroom such as developing an understanding of different cultures, celebrate diversity and learn something new!
Don’t add to the teacher’s work load. Since this is a volunteer activity, take care of everything yourself.
Be respectful of school rules. Do not bring any food since most schools have a policy that special permission is required if any food is shared (that just increases workload for teachers, so skip it). No dates, no candy, no food at all!
Discuss a date and time that works for the teacher and be specific with how long the celebration will take.
4. Books to Read
It’s a great idea to read a book about Eid so that the children can learn something new. Pick a book with colourful images and make sure you read in an engaging and interactive way. Make eye contact with the children and ask them questions.
Here are some of our favourite books: My Eid Mubarak Storybook by Omer Naqi, It’s Ramadan Curious George and Ilyas & Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid.
5. Activity for an Eid Celebration in the Classroom
Choose an age-appropriate activity for children to capture the essence of Eid. Sharing some ideas here.
You can make paper lanterns that we adapted from the free download Ramadan activity book available on Homely Hammock (page 4 and 5). You will need black and white printouts of page 4 and 5, crayons, scissors, glue and a battery operated tealight for every child. This activity will take around 20 minutes. The children can adapt this based on their age-group and be as creative as they wish!
Another activity idea is Henna patterns on hands drawn on paper. Don’t apply Henna directly on the hands of the children since there might be allergies or unknown reactions. I did this activity in Zeynab’s classroom once, where we drew each child’s hand on paper and then gave them henna cones to create patterns on the hands.
You can also make greeting cards that the children can give either on Eid or another festival they celebrate.
6. Eid Song
Every celebration needs a song! We have made this song that’s bilingual that you can sing together!
“Eid Mubarak Eid Mubarak,
Eid Mubarak Ho,
Happy Eid to You,
Happy Eid to You”.
Here is how the tune goes:
This way the children also learn how to wish someone on Eid!
7. Eid Goodie Bags
Every celebration for children needs some goodie bags! Don’t put any food in the goodie bags including candy or dates. This is because schools have special permissions and policy about food for children. You can put little non-food treats in the bags including stickers, erasers, crayons, chalk etc.
For an Eid celebration in the classroom for my son’s preschool, I printed off these beautiful envelopes available as a free download on the In My Studio website and put in miniature dinosaurs (because every three year old loves a dino!)
8. Lessons from Eid and Ramadan
Do a recap of the lessons from Eid and Ramadan when you wrap up the activity including patience, empathy and self-discipline.
Hope you enjoyed these tips and have a great time having an Eid celebration in the classroom for your child!