Saturday, September 26, 2009

Medina Arabic for Infants & Toddlers

Assalamu alaikum,

I think you all know about the ever popular Medina Arabic Books that many non-Arabic speaking adults have used to learn the Arabic language alhamdulillah. Well, over here the book 'What Am I?' is quite popular (it's the lift the flaps that really draws the kids in).

So what I was thinking was: why not use the same lift the flap concept to teach infants and toddlers Arabic? Just hearing the language sets the stage for literacy and what better language to build a foundation for than Arabic - the language of the Quran. This is the result of my thinking alhamdulillah (sorry mums, you have to make this all on your own insha'Allah) :

Ma Hatha (What is This?) Lift the Flap Book

Here are some sample pages insha'Allah:

Kursi (Chair)


The masjid page before the flap is lifted

This is a house page before the flap is lifted

House page with flap lifted

Here are the materials that you'll need to make it insha'Allah:

* 4x6 index cards (depending on how many pictures you intend to have in your book you'll need two index cards for each picture insha'Allah).
*Xacto Knife
*Glue Stick (I wouldn't recommend liquid glue because it makes the index cards puffy and they dry that way).
* One piece of coloured construction paper
*Ribbon or yarn cut to about 5-6 inches (2 pieces)
* Scissors

Here's how you make the book insha'Allah:

For each page of the book:

1). Take the index cards and, using a pencil, mark the point that shows where the middle of the index card is at the top of the card insha'Allah. Do this for all of the index cards you will be using insha'Allah.

2). Cut out the pictures for the book into squares. The squares should not be too long nor too narrow so they do not peek out from the window you will place over them later insha'Allah.

3). On one of the index cards place the picture in the middle of one of the halves of the card (insha'Allah that makes sense) but do not glue it to the card yet. Hold the picture in place with your finger.

4). Place another index card over the picture and holding both index cards up to the light, place marks on each of the sides of the picture (that is now visible because of the light) to show you where you will cut out your window/flap insha'Allah.

5). Remove the index card from over the picture and glue the picture in place insha'Allah. Repeat step 4 on the second half of your index card insha'Allah. Then repeat this step (step 5) for all of your pages and pictures insha'Allah. You can glue two pictures onto one index card insha'Allah. The mark you made earlier to show the middle of the index card will help you place your pictures accurately insha'Allah.

6). Using an Xacto knife, cut out your windows/flaps. Be sure that you only cut on four sides and not the top so that way your flap is still there insha'Allah.

7). Once your flaps are cut, glue the 'window/flap' index card over the tops of each of the index cards that have pictures on them. Glue the text to the tops and bottoms of each index card below each window. Be sure to check that you are gluing "Ma hatha" at the top of the window and not the bottom (I did that on one page...opps!). Also make sure you're gluing the correct answer beneath each picture. You don't want to end up with the masjid answer below the kursi picture (smile).

8). Allow the cards to dry completely insha'Allah. Once dry, fold them in half, using the mark you made earlier as a guide insha'Allah.

9). For my book, I ended up having to cut one of the finished index cards in half so that way there were no blank pages insha'Allah.

10. Take your piece of construction paper and cut out a square that is slightly larger than your 4x6 index card (allow extra space because you will fold the construction paper over the index cards to make your book cover and the index cards, once all folded together, become more bulky and need room insha'Allah).

11). Take your index cards and place them on top of each other (or if it is clearer, inside of each other) insha'Allah. You will have an assembled book at this point without holes.

12). Use the hole puncher and try your best to punch a hole through all of the index cards that are now an almost assembled book. Do not worry if you cannot actually punch a hole through all of them, this step is to make a significant mark so you know where to punch the holes in the next step insha'Allah. This way all of holes will be aligned insha'Allah.

13). Separate the cards from each other. They will still be folded in half, each having two pictures on them with two separate windows/flaps insha'Allah. Now refold one index card at a time and using the marks you just made, punch two holes in the page. Repeat with each page insha'Allah.

14). Reassemble your book. Fold your piece of construction paper over the book and, on the construction paper, mark off where your holes are on the index cards insha'Allah. Remove the construction paper and punch the holes where you made your marks insha'Allah.

15). Using yarn or ribbon, slide the yarn or ribbon through the holes and tie very tightly to ensure the book withstands frequent handling and does not come apart insha'Allah. Glue the title of your book onto the cover and you're done insha'Allah!

NOTE: For infants and toddlers who have not yet learned the art of handling with care, I reinforced my flaps by cutting another index card the same width and double the length of the flap and folded this over the flap and taped it together. This made the flap more durable and ready for baby hands insha'Allah. Tested it and alhamdulillah, it worked.

Although there are several steps to make this book it took me just a little over an hour to make alhamdulillah so do not be daunted by the many steps. I wanted to be as detailed as possible to ensure you are successful making the book insha'Allah.

And as we progress through the Medina Arabic Book I'll do my best to post the Arabic text files with pictures to match the book insha'Allah.

Insha'Allah, your infant and/or toddler enjoys this little book and insha'Allah, you enjoy making it. If you need any clarification about how to assemble the book please do not hesitate to leave a comment/question and I'll do my best to answer your question(s) insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!


  1. assalaamu alaikum

    i love this idea. barakallahu feeki! so useful for home educators. even older kids like "lift the flap books".

  2. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    Wa feki and Alhamdulillah that you like this activity dear sis Sameera. Insha'Allah, you will find more here that you enjoy and find beneficial (smile). And, yes I believe that you are correct that even older kids enjoy "lift the flap books".

    Jazakillahu Khayr

  3. As Salaamu Alaykum, I was do some new/old searching for activities for the little ones and I may have a go at this one insha Allah. Do you still plan on doing anymore of these?

  4. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

    For you dear sis Umm Abdul Basir *smile*, I will post the others pages that I have done insha'Allah.

    I hope you and your family are enjoying Ramadan.

  5. As-salaamu Alaikum.

    this is a wonderful idea. I cannot wait to make this book for my little one.


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