Happy 1439 Hijri! Wishing you prosperity, health and happiness in the new Islamic year. Do your children have trouble remembering the Islamic Hijri Calendar? I have taught my children to remember the Hijri dates through fun and games. I am sharing them today and hope that you will find them useful.
When I was little, my parents taught me the months of the Islamic Calendar. I don’t exactly remember how they taught me or what words they used but I know we weren’t the crafty kind. We didn’t make any charts or hang up interactive calendars. No, we just memorized the months and remembered to look up the dates. Do you know why we memorized the dates or why we were eager to look up the dates? Because they created an environment for us to want to know those dates too!
Fast forward to now, I have three kids aged 9, 5 and 3 years old. My 3 year old doesn’t know the months or the date (she rarely asks me except to repeat her elder sisiter!) but my 5 year old is quite aware. Here are a few things that have helped us that I hope will help you too:
- We talk about the phases of the moon. Kids love the moon! They love looking at it, drawing it in the Art books and they love to even sing songs about it. Every time my children look at the moon they describe it to us. It is a bit of a obsession with my three year old actually. Hehe. It started with a fun remark from my eldest that ‘the moon follows us around’. He told the 5 years old when she was just a toddler. Since we travel with little kids very often and most often it is a road trip, she got into the habit of checking the moon when we drove at night. The good thing was she’d fall asleep looking for it. 😀 But the best part was that she was ‘describing’ the moon and from that very early age onwards, she learnt that the moon changed it’s shape. The kids shared the info among themselves and discuss it quite often. You can use books to talk about the phases of the moon too if you like. There are some excellent books about moon.
- We talk about the dates in Gregorian as well as in Hijri. Alhamdulillah, that we live in Saudi Arabia. We have access to an Islamic calendar easily. Most Islamic calendars have both the dates on it. You can keep a desktop or a hanging calendar at home because this can really help your children notice the date even without you telling them. These calendars are fun to play math games on too. You can see this post about how we play games using old calendars.
- Talk about Islamic dates and help your child remember or calculate their birthdays or any other events on it. In my culture, we announce the birth of a child by sending out sweets with a card which has the child’s birthdate on it in both Islamic as well as Gregorian dates. I let my eldest collect these cards from his as well as his siblings or cousins birthdays. It is a fun way to remember and surprise each other on their Islamic birthday (when they are least expecting it).
- Talk to children about calendars in other cultures. Almost all cultures have their own calendar. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about other cultures as well. Most school syllabus talk about it but you can always start early.
- Talk about Ramadan and Hajj and calculate or mark down to them. I have found that they best way to remember the Islamic calendar is to know when is Ramadan coming. You can see this Hand Print Ramadan Calendar that I made with my three children even though one of them was a baby and another a toddler. You can ask fun questions like ‘ What English month is Ramadan coming in 2018’ or ‘What Gregorian month did Ramadan come the year you were born?’ ‘During what days is Hajj this year?’ You can see this post about Hajj where I taught them about the pilgrimage without much effort. It is fun to play mind twisters like that. My kids quiz each other out sometimes.
These are just some of the non-crafty ways that I have taught my children about the Hijri Calendar. You can check out more resources below to find other ways to teach. Check out these craft based tips from Ayeina to memorize the Islamic Calendar. Our Muslim Homeschool has a guide on incorporating Islamic education in to your Homeschool curriculum. That’s a great way to learn about the Islamic calendar through out the year.Dr. Mummly has a great post about how to celebrate a Lunar birthday Be Flawless shares a practical way to be more conscious about bringing positivity in the New Year.
Tell me in the comments how you teach your children. I would love to know of any way you have taught about the Hijri Calendar.
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