Ramadan countdown calendars, often referred as Ramadan advent calendar, for kids have been very popular among Muslim parents living in the West in the past couple of years. The Ramadan countdown calendars, often are aimed at children aged 4+ to help children learn about Ramadan and Islam. The idea is to earn a treat or a small gift by fasting for a short period of time or by performing a good deed.
To be honest, the Ramadan countdown calendars are simply an improvised version of the idea of Christmas advent calendar applied to the Islamic month of Ramadan. There are usually 30 slots in the calendar, each to be opened at sunset on each day of the holy month of Ramadan. There are also Eid ul Adha countdown calendars which have 10 slots to countdown the days leading to Hajj and Eid ul Adha. We have been using one for the last two Ramadans and my daughter is super excited to use hers again this year.
In Islam, we believe that when we do good deeds, we are rewarded by Allah. The same concept is applied when using the Ramadan advent calendar. For small children, a good deeds can be to smile and not be grumpy, tell mom that she loves her, help parents in the kitchen, tidy their room, and so on. At sunset, when everyone else breaks their fast, the child gets the treat as a little reward from parents and hopefully from Allah swt too. For older kids, parents may chose to opt out the treat and just add good deed notes or Islamic lesson plans that they need to perform each day and teach the child that he/she earned rewards from Allah.
In my opinion, the Ramadan/Eid countdown calendars are a good motivational and educational tool for parents to teach their kids about Islam, Ramadan and fasting. The treats in the calendar are often used as an incentive to give out to kids who fasts or does a good deed. I think it is a great way to pass spirituality to children. How else would we share and pass on the wonder of Ramadan that we so fiercely cling to?
What’s your opinion about Ramadan countdown calendars?