Seeing all the beautiful decorations springing up across town in celebration of the holy month of Ramadan has gotten my creative juices flowing. As a budding Speech and Language Pathologist, and part-time Cognitive Trainer, I wanted to develop a set of fun and engaging Ramadan-themed activities for kids that would target developmental goals, occupational development, and cognitive skills.
Speech and language development starts from the day your baby is born, with the first three years of life being the most crucial. It is of utmost importance to understand the various developmental stages so you can identify your child’s needs and play a strategic role in setting a strong foundation for their future learning abilities.
Here is a brief summary of the key language development stages, as discussed in Language Development From Theory to Practice:
- For infants (0 – 1), it is all about the quality and quantity of input and social interactions. Joint reference and attention, for example, is a key learning opportunity where the parent and child focus on a single object such as a toy or book. These interactions are critical because it allows the parent to label objects and events for the child.
- The toddler years (1 -3) are the age of exploration for children; they are curious about everything around them. While these years are often the most trying for any parent, they are ripe with opportunity as your child utters their first words and increases their use of gestures to communicate.
- The preschool years (3-5) are when your child gains important emergent literacy skills, allowing them to comprehend and use written language, while also developing more sophisticated conversational abilities.
- The school-aged years (5+) are when the child begins to acquire more language input from written text, which helps further build your child’s vocabulary as well as develop their phonological awareness.
Strengthening your child’s cognitive skills, such as memory, attention, processing speed, and visualization is key to their ability to learn faster and easier. I designed the activities with these skills in mind, but if you are interested in a high impact brain-training program, you should definitely check out the innovative and highly successful BrainRx program offered at Dots & Links, a Moms in the City affiliate right here in Abu Dhabi.
I also incorporated occupational therapy strategies and techniques into the activities. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), occupational therapy uses everyday activities to help children build life skills by learning to fully and comfortably participate in a variety of settings. It can be used to help improve social skills, independence in daily routines, decision-making skills, fine motor skills, and sensory processing.
Now that we have that very long introduction out of the way…here are the activities broken down by theme:
- Yarn Balls with Du’a
- Ramadan Bunting
- Stages of the Moon
- Spelling with LEGO
- Matching Game
- Islamic Jeopardy
- Count & Color Worksheets
- Sound Segmenting and Blending
- Ramadan Songs
- Food & Nutrition
- Food Sensory Box
- DIY Ramadan Storybook
- Quran Memorization
- Service Calendar/Chart
- Balloon Bonanza
- Candy Heaven