Simple Crafts in 5 Easy Steps
Every year I think of ways to get the little ones into the “Ramadan spirit”, just like we get them into the “Eid spirit” with gifts, into the “Christmas spirit” with… well pretty much everything, and into the “Easter spirit” with treasure hunts, egg coloring and chocolate bunnies. Small kids don’t fast the holy month, and explaining the complex idea of refraining from food and drink for half the day to them proves arduous, not exactly the most appealing approach for little ones. So how do we get them excited about Ramadan? Through crafts!!
Cairo West Magazine has compiled a few very simple ideas that you can make at home with your little ones that will get them saying “wahawi ya wahaywi” before you know it!
The most important thing is that you and your little one bond over a fun afternoon, pictures and cutouts do not have to be perfect; this is not a craft-making competition. Let your child make mistakes, do not hog the activity, and make sure to praise your little one’s work as you go along!
Catch the Light with Fawanees Ramadan
Ok, this one is pretty simple. You’ll need colored cardboard paper, a cutter (for the grownups only), a marker/pencil, transparent colored wrapping paper/tissue paper must be transparent to catch the light) – found at any stationary/gift store – and finally a roll of wide clear tape (make sure it doesn’t have a yellow tinge to it, perfectly clear ones are available everywhere).
- Little one can draw a fanous following mom’s guidance. (You can look up pictures of fawanees online), and mom can draw one as well, freehand or using a ruler.
- Inside the fanous, draw shapes as seen in the images here. You can improvise and draw anything you want, or you can follow a picture of a fanous and draw geometric shapes.
- Mom, with a cutter, cut out the shapes inside, make sure to place the cutter in a safe place when not using.
- Have your little one cut small pieces of the wrapping/tissue paper, big enough to cover the shapes you are cutting out. (If your child is old enough to use child-safe scissors)
- Turn your fanous on its’ back and lay out the pieces of wrapping/tissue paper over the openings you have cut out, but make sure the pieces do not overlap, your little one can do this step. And with the wide tape, cut off long strips to cover the fanous top to bottom, carefully lay these strips over the back of the fanous, if the tape extends beyond the fanous, that’s ok, you can trim extras out later.
Shimmery Ramadan Crescent Moon
This one is sort of similar to the previous, with a little twist. Here’s what you’ll need: colored cardboard paper, a cutter (for the grownups only), a marker/pencil, a roll of wide clear tape, and glitter, small beads (found at stationary stores), or that box of spare buttons you have stashed somewhere in the house – Yes! They are finally going to be put to good use!
- Have your little one draw a crescent moon, and star (optional). And on a separate cardboard paper, you draw one as well.
- Mom, using the cutter (which you were no-doubt keeping in a safe place away from your little ones), cut out the shape of the crescent moon.
- Cut long strips of the tape, and apply the strips of tape to the back of the paperso that their sticky surface is exposed in the cutouts.
- You can now sprinkle the beads, and/or glitter. Move the paper around to make the glitter spread. If you are using buttons, then carefully place the buttons on the tape until it is all covered.
- Do not discard the cutouts of crescent moons, you can use those as well as Ramadan decoration. String them and hang them!
It doesn’t get any simpler than this! For the next week, save all the pictures and pieces of paper your little ones draw or color on, we are going to recycle! Here’s what you’ll need: discarded water cartons (the Nestle ones have a nice sky-blue color), scissors, laundry clamps (mashabek), thick string – you can use cooking string if you have handy, or any substitute (we used an old rope belt of mom’s), a hole-punch, and finally a glue stick.
- Cut off the side flaps of the water cartons, their rectangular shape is perfect for a sign.
- On the drawings and colored pictures the little ones have been working on for the past week, randomly write the letters that spell out Ramadan (in English and Arabic). When you cut them out, the mix of colors and pictures will make for a nice design. You can also draw and cut out crescent moons, stars, flowers, whatever your little one fancies. (Your little ones can use child-safe scissors to cut, depending on their age).
- Glue the word Ramadan onto the carton flap using the glue stick; little one can also help with this step.
- With a hole-punch, punch two holes in the corner and put the string through.
- You can hang on the door outside your home, or across any wall you wish to decorate for Ramadan!