For parents of four to ten year olds (give or take a year or two on either side) – Eid is a time when your vacation coincides with theirs and both you and your kids will need a little attention. So while dividing time between getting in some relaxation and reconnecting with children you may only usually see for a couple hours a day, make Eid a time to create and think of the world around you.
The spirit of giving
Small children have a tendency to be a little selfish – while they are willing to help, it is important that you remind them that while they may be everything in the world to you, they are not actually everything in the world. That doesn’t mean chiding them constantly for their self-obsessions, but perhaps using this holiday to teach the a little about giving back to the world.
No matter your religious beliefs, Eid is a time when you feel a little more compelled to give a hand out to those who are less fortunate than you. Get kids involved in picking out clothes or toys that they may be able to part with and heading out to give them to people. If you are concerned about walking the streets handing out things, focus on the people who work for you – doormen, drivers, house cleaners and nannies. Encourage your children to be the ones to give away at least the things that belong to them. They are sure to catch on to the spirit of giving.
Eid related crafts
For children still unaware of the reason behind the symbolism of the sheep for Eid, print out a coloring sheet or draw a large sheep for your children to color. You can also buy cotton and glue and stick cotton to the sheep (a little extra mess means a little extra fun for them). If you would rather not focus on the sheep, the sacrificial lamb (literally) of this particular holiday, you can turn the coloring or craft making event into one about farm animals all together.
If you’re taking a road trip this Eid – anywhere from Ain Sokhna to Nuweiba – it’s probably better to be prepared with some good, distracting car toys for your kids (minimizing the ‘are-we-there-yet’ syndrome and the random and repetitive singing that is cute for about one hour). If young ones are reading, there’s always the chance they have not inherited your car sickness/reading problem and can read during the trip – otherwise, drawing/coloring may be a problem but matching is not too difficult in a car. Print out or tear out some activity sheets and attach them to a clip board for a little extra support. Not everyone is pro-Gameboy and Leapster (two portable game consoles for kids) but if you choose happy educational games and limit use to the car (or plane) – these toys can be fun for your little ones. The Leapster has a number of educational games centered around cartoons like Dora and Finding Nemo. Sticker stories can also be entertaining – matching stickers from the back of the book to pages in the story can take up at least 30-40 minutes for a four-year-old.