There's no secret that when it comes to kids, there are nothing to keep them sit still more than 5 minutes. They always want to do things, different things, all the time. Hellaw, exhausted mom's here! Apparently, during Ramadhan, it's even more challenging for us to make them "forget" that they are fasting. When they have nothing to do or feel bored doing something, they'll come to you and ask, "How much longer. mom?" or, "Can I break my fasting now?"
Telling them to read books all day is not really an answer, especially if you have active kids like mine. Giving them tablets and laptops, and let them play games all day until iftar? Heck NO! Parents these days have to be more creative to make the kids busy during Ramadhan. Yes, we can ask them to do more ibadah like doing sholah sunnah and recite Al Qur'an. But how long do you think it will prevent you from the same whining?
After so many years of having Ramadhan with kids, I know that each year I have to come up with plans to keep them busy. Especially this year, we're having Ramadhan at the same time for school holiday in Indonesia. Allah, have mercy on me.
These are what I can make my kids doing during the days of Ramadhan, for my little girl especially. Luckily, she has her cousins (my nieces) visiting from Singapore for few days. So, we can create something to do together with them. The more the merrier, right?
Oh, well. As you all know, I sell painted and lettered mugs. So, I have some spare mugs at home. I have all the tools, like markers, expensive one. -_- Usually, I never let my daughter touch my markers. So, when I told her that she and her cousins can paint mugs, she got very excited.
I predicted that they will finish it like in five minutes because they got bored. But no, I told them, they have to follow my instruction if they want a pretty and good quality mugs like I made. They had to start from cleaning the mugs. And then painted it. Painted it in serious way, because I told them, once the mugs go into the oven, they couldn't change anything of their designs. It will stay forever like that. And at last, I let them put their mugs into the oven, set the temperature and wait for it to bake for like 1 hour.
Result? I made them spend 3 hours without even remember that they were fasting. Hahaha!
Doodling and Crafting
Well, this one is actually almost every Ramadhan activity I have for my kids. Since I have all the tools and equipment, it has to be the easy way out for me. This year, I know I have to give a little twist to make my daughter feel that this activity (that becomes too usual for her) is different. I let them play with all my markers, my paint, my crafting papers, my glue and all my stuff on my crafting table. Oh well, I can buy those again later, as long as they're happy, and BUSY!
Happily, Safina and Fikri (one of her cousin) made banner for them to pretend that they're having a shop. It gave me another idea to do for another day with them. We're going to open our shop in front of the house the next day! When I told them that, they got super excited.
Snacks for Sale
The next day, we went to a mini market to buy some snacks for them to sell. We bought candies, peanuts, marsmallow, syrup, plastics and ribbons. The whole day we were busy to prepare all the snacks. They put the syrup into the plastic and put them into the freezer. Then they cut marsmallow into small pieces and stack them on the skewers. They also put some candies and peanuts into the plastic bags.
I helped them making the sign and the price tags. That's all. The next day, we put a small table in front of the house in the afternoon. Kids usually play outside before iftar (magrib) time arrive. But from the beginning I warn those three girls, this is not about how much money they will make. This is about HAVING FUN together and be confident meeting new people. Especially, those three don't really speak Indonesian fluently. My nieces live in Singapore since they were born. My daughter? Yes, she lives in Bekasi (Indonesia) since day one, but I raise her in bilingual environment. And lately, she speaks English better than Indonesian. So, they just have to find a way to sell their snacks. I just watch from the distance. Hahaha.
Half an hour before Magrib, they collected Rp 35.000. Not bad for first attempt, girls! My oldest niece said, "Tomorrow we'll bring all the rest of the snacks to Atuk's (granpa) house and force everybody there to buy!" LOL! Talking about business!
My two nieces has gone back to Singapore few days ago. Now, my nephew from Malaysia (11 years old) comes to Jakarta. I have to find another way to keep my kids and their cousin busy. Because this time it's a boy additional in the family, I can't use the same activities. HELP!
Well, you can always take them to the movie or restaurant for dinner, though. But heck, not everyday! :v