Friday, July 12, 2013

Ramadan 2013: Fasting Calendar

Hello! Goodness, where have I been? In the world of priorities and no time, that's where. What better time to start than now? With two days into Ramadan, I have got to share with you my latest project.

I made my kid's a fasting calendar/tracker since last years calendar really motivated them to fast. This year they are even more hyped than before. Maybe it's the calendar, or maybe it's the mood and excitement that we are all fasting as a family. What ever the motivation, they love keeping track of how many days they've fasted, even if it's a few hours between breakfast and lunch :oP.
I got the idea a couple months back while making spaghetti sauce. I usually buy tomatoe sauce in tin cans and I love those little cans; there are so many projects you could make with them. So, I started saving them up. Thirty to be exact.
Thirty Cans
I debated spray painting them or covering them up. Then I remembered this Crayola travel pack of patterns to color in. The hubster got it for the kids from one of his business trips. I snagged a pattern I liked before the kids ruined beautifully colored it in. 
The pattern on the right seemed the closest to an Islamic theme. 
I the original sheets come in 3in x 4in sized paper. To be more efficient, I made duplicate copies on the same sheet so the pattern could fill up an 8x10 sheet of paper. Then I colored it in and made copies. 

Photo copies of the original I had colored in. 
I cut the sheets down to the exact size of the can and wrapped them around. When I peeled off the original label, there was still glue from the manufacturers glueing process. This helped a lot in sticking my sheets on. Then I added a little of my own glue to secure the other end. It went fairly quickly once I got into a rhythm. 
I used clothes pins to clip the cans to the string and painted them red. 
I also thought it would be cute to use Arabic numerals vs. Latin numerals for the dates. I even marked the cans from right to left instead of left to right. 

I stuffed the cans to give the popsicle sticks some height.
I kept the rules simple, since I am still teaching them to value fasting as opposed to hating and resenting it. If you fast half day, which is not eating until about 12 or 1, you get a red stick (half day). Anything after 1 is a full day (blue stick) in my book. In some cases, half days consist of no eating between breakfast and lunch :o) It's the intentions that count really. Since there is only one can per day, each kid writes their initials on the stick so they can tell who fasted half/full day on each day. 

Two days into fasting and we have two full days and two half days. So proud of them Masha'allah!! 
They both helped with the coloring. 
And the final product! 
Simple, fun to make, plus very encouraging and rewarding. Kids need visuals all the time and this really helps them visualize the time length of Ramadan. Some times they worry that there are too many cans, then I remind them that 30 days is a small amount of time compared to a year for example and the worry is gone. 

As for rewards, I didn't fill the cans with frivolous gifts because I don't want them to loose purpose of fasting and the meaning of this month. When I lived back in the States, I felt this constant pressure to one-up Ramadan and make it a halal (lawful) Christmas. These are two totally different holidays. If I want to teach my kids to appreciate what they have, learn to sacrifice and remember the poor I can't overwhelm them with 30 days of gifts, even if they are small. On days that I find they have struggled with fasting or days that they bickered less, prayed their prayers etc, etc, I give them a sweet treat or something they deserve.  As for the valuable gifts, they can wait until Eid. 

Hope you enjoyed this craft, and a blessed Ramadan to those of you who observe! Thanks for stopping by! 



  1. Debora wonderful idea! Looks great!

    1. Thank you Saima! Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...