Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Medina Arabic for Infants & Toddlers Flap Book Extension Activities

Assalamu alaikum,

The flap book for the Medina Arabic book for infants and toddlers was such a success here alhamdulillah that I made a quick and simple extension for it insha'Allah. I did this based on what I observed here: the flap that had the masjid under it is the one that has enjoyed being lifted over and over and over again alhamdulillah. So I made a simple flap book containing different colour masaajid. This flap book extends the learning to include colour words in Arabic insha'Allah. This book is called 'Hatha Masjid' (This masjid).

I also added another element to this little flap book based on another observation: the board books that have touch and feel aspects to them are very popular and when a board book is read that does not have that feature, the little hands feel the page searching for something to touch and feel. So this book has a sensory aspect to it as well insha'Allah. You can expand on this idea to include things that you notice about your infant/toddler insha'Allah. For example, the masaajid in this little flap book are made out of foam but you can include felt, velvet, flannel, sandpaper, etc. or whatever other safe material you feel will offer your child a sensory experience insha'Allah.

This little flap book is made in much the same way as the Medina Arabic Book for Infants & Toddlers and because it is basic, it takes less time to construct insha'Allah. Here is the Arabic text (with English translation) that I used in the book.

An additional extension to the Medina Arabic Book for Infants & Toddlers is to gather objects that are represented in the pictures under the flaps. For example, a small wooden house, a real key, a small wooden chair from a doll house, etc. Place 3 items on a tray along with the book Ma Hatha? (What is this?). After reading the book to the infant or toddler, take the three items off of the tray and place them from right to left (not left to right if you are trying to teach the child to read Arabic) on a work mat (read about how/why work mats are used in Montessori education here insha'Allah). Ask the child, "Please give me the house." Continue asking for objects until the child successfully gives you the object you ask for with ease and accuracy insha'Allah. If the child hands you an object that you did not ask for, simply say, "Jazakum Allahu Khayr. That is a (key for example). Please hand me the house insha'Allah." Increase the number of objects once the child acquires skill and proficiency insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

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!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Masaajid Counting - 1:1 Correspondence Activity

Assalamu alaikum,

This activity is designed to help children work on 1:1 correspondence (i.e. every element of one set corresponds to exactly one member of the other, and vice versa) insha'Allah. Simply put, if the child sees the number 2 he/she will put two objects to indicate the number two insha'Allah.

This activity which is called 'Masaajid Counting' (masaajid is the plural of masjid) is easy to assemble and has several ways to extend the activity insha'Allah.

Let me first show you what the little book will look like once it is assembled insha'Allah and then we'll move on to the materials you will need and the activity extensions insha'Allah.

Here's what you'll need insha'Allah:

* Masaajid Counting File (includes black and white masaajid and colour masaajid)
* Scissors
* Glue
* Colour Pencils
* 4x6 index cards or larger
* Hole punch
* Small Velcro circles (optional): Make sure they are small enough to fit on the back of the masjid pieces but not too small that it makes it difficult for your child to remove them from the pages insha'Allah.

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

- Print the Masaajid Counting File and cut out each box. DO NOT colour the masaajids on these pages. They are there for Control of Error (we'll discuss this more later insha'Allah).

- Use glue to mount the cut out boxes on index cards insha'Allah. Allow to dry completely insha'Allah.

- While the cards are drying, cut out the masaajid pieces. I've included black and white masaajid and colour masaajid just in case you don't have the time to colour the masaajid.

- THIS IS THE IMPORTANT STEP: Colour the masaajid pieces as follows insha'Allah (if you use the black and white pieces): 1 masjid will be one colour (i.e. red); 2 masaajid will be the same colour (i.e. blue); colour 3 masaajid the same colour (i.e. 3 green masaajid), etc. continue in this fashion until you get to 10. You should have 4 masaajid that are the same colour, 5 that are the same colour and so on (see the colour masaajid pieces as a guide insha'Allah). We'll talk about why in a bit insha'Allah (smile).

- The cards should be dry at this point insha'Allah and this is where you have options depending on whether or not you want to use the activity extensions that will be mentioned insha'Allah. Laminate the cards and the masaajid pieces. If you do not it will be almost impossible to use all of the activity extensions. Once you have laminated the cards and pieces cut them out insha'Allah.

- Punch 2 holes at the top of each of the pages insha'Allah.

- Use two of the book rings to complete the book assembly insha'Allah.

- If you want to use the activity extensions, cut out the masaajid and put the Velcro circles on the back. NOTE: You'll put the fuzzy part of the Velcro on the masaajid pieces and the course/tough/scratchy part on the masaajid on the book pages insha'Allah.

How to use the book (including the Activity Extensions):

1). If you have laminated the pages and the masjid pieces but have not attached Velcro to the masjid pieces, have the child place the masjid that matches each number on the page (i.e. 4 blue masaajid to match the number 4). NOTE: The masaajid will slip around and you will not be able to turn the page without removing the pieces first insha'Allah.

2). If you have laminated the pages and the masjid pieces but have not attached Velcro to the masjid pieces, invite the child to use a dry erase marker to colour the masjid/masaajid next to each number. Use a baby wipe to clean the page and allow your child to colour the page again when he/she wishes insha'Allah.

3). If you have laminated the pages and attached the Velcro to the masjid pieces, invite your child to stick the matching masaajid to correspond with the number on the page insha'Allah. (You can put this activity book into a clean, empty baby wipe box with the masaajid pieces and take this along in the car for your child to enjoy insha'Allah).
Control of Error for this activity:
Each page has the number and a corresponding outline of a masjid or masaajid (if it's a number larger than 1). This is to help the child correctly match the masjid to the number (1:1 correspondence). The masaajid are also the same colours for each number (i.e. all masaajid that should be used for the number 3 are the same colour and no other masjid for any other number shares that colour) to aide in proper 1:1 correspondence matching insha'Allah.

I will ask that you please include the cover of the book (last page in the file) without altering it (aside from allowing your child to colour it) as much time and effort goes into designing these resources. I enjoy making these resources available for free and all I ask in return is that my work not be altered and that the copyright not be removed or violated insha'Allah. Jazakum Allahu Khayran.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ramadan Achievement Award & What's Coming Up insha'Allah

Assalamu alaikum,

Masha'Allah the sisters at Easel & Ink are amazing! As Ramadan has come to an end some of our little ones might appreciate this certificate that recognizes their effort to fast the month of Ramadan. Visit Easel & Ink to download the full size certificate insha'Allah.

Now we have to get back in gear and begin posting activities and crafts insha'Allah! We've got to get our brains back in gear insha'Allah (smile). I'm working on a book give away that I hope to announce in the upcoming weeks insha'Allah. I'm still trying to work out the details of how to determine who wins a free book, etc. insha'Allah. I think we'll do 5 free books insha'Allah but again I need to determine how the 5 people will be selected insha'Allah. So check back on updates for the free book give away insha'Allah.
We got a some pretty neat craft ideas in the works and insha'Allah we'll have the first one posted in a few days. Check back insha'Allah!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Eid Mubarak!

Assalamu alaikum,

Official Decision and Announcement of the High Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia..
Just a short time ago, Fatwa-Online was informed of the official decision and announcement of the High Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia that since the moon of Shawwaal was sighted this evening, here in Saudi Arabia, we shall be completing twenty nine (29) days of Ramadhaan (1430 A.H.), in accordance with the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam): ((Fast when you see the crescent. If it is obscured to you, then complete thirty days of Sha'baan. And break your fast when you see the crescent. If it is obscured to you then fast thirty days)), [transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]. Subsequently, we shall be celebrating 'Eid al-Fitr on Sunday 20th September 2009, inshaa.-Allaah.

Insha'Allah, we'll begin posting activities and crafts after the Eid. Check back soon and enjoy your Eid insha'Allah!


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