Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Ramadan Dramatic Play Invitation to Explore
Dramatic play, imaginative play, creative play, role-playing, make-believe or just plain pretending…is a foundation of childhood development. Dramatic play, gives children the opportunity to imitate what they often see adults doing. Dramatic play allows children to imagine themselves in new roles, gain exposure to new ones, and act out different scenarios.
This invitation explores explaining fasting for Ramadan. During Ramadan when a child is old enough or ready they are able to fast. At times it can be challenging for a child to explain to their friends why they are not eating lunch at school. Providing an invitation to learn about fasting through dramatic play is a great way to bring awareness to the tradition.
The book Lailah's Lunchbox written by Reem Faruqi & illustrate by Lea Lyon as well as Tell me! What is the Ramadan? by Maza-Muslim are great books to read before inviting the children to explore the invitation. After reading the book you can set up a platter of foods typically eaten during Ramadan. You can place a sun and moon to explain Sehri and Iftar. Sehri is the meal eaten before sunrise to start the fast, and Iftar is eaten at sunset to open the day's fast. Place an empty lunch box to show that some friends or family may not eat lunch. Next invite the children to pretend they are eating together during Sehri and Iftar as they celebrate Ramadan.
Children learn through play and are always exploring and experimenting – a Ramadan dramatic play invitation allows children to perform, gain exposure, and test their own understandings of the world around them. They learn many things through trial and error, processing information, and their surroundings through pretending they are in them through play. The more we are inclusive about all cultures in classrooms or our homes, the more understanding we provide for everyone within our communities.