Thursday, October 29, 2009

Montessori Toddler Lapbook: My First Lapbook

Assalamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, I finished my first lapbook! It's a Montessori inspired Toddler lapbook insha'Allah. It contains things that todders do throughout their day insha'Allah.

This is the cover:

This is the first page and the inside flaps (right and left flaps):

This is a close-up of the first inside page. There are cards for Quran and dua on the left flap. In the middle it says 'Storytime' and the bookcase has three pockets to hold mini-books insha'Allah. You can also see the right flap in this picture. It has an ayah about the five daily prayers, a hadith about them and then a mini-book that names each of the five daily prayers. Kids can colour this mini-book insha'Allah.

This is the next page. It is for learning to set a table correctly (Montessori inspired). Two year olds learn this in Montessori classrooms (or is it younger? I don't remember right now). I will use real child size dishes for this activity insha'Allah.

This page shows a colour matching game. There is a pocket on the bottom of the page to store the different colour masaajid insha'Allah.

This page shows a lift the flap book about fruits:

This is the last page and it is also Montessori inspired. The child matches the geometric shape to the outline. There is a window in the midle of the page so the shapes can be changed insha'Allah. The pieces for this activity are stored in a pocket on the back of the lapbook insha'Allah (not pictured).

This lapbook took me about a week to complete because I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to put in it (hehe) many possibilities! I wanted this lapbook to be something the kids can work on pretty much independently insha'Allah. I was also thinking 'travel companion' for kids too insha'Allah.

Insha'Allah, I'll update this post and add the Arabic Quran and Dua files but here is the 'Five Daily Prayers' Minibook in English and this is the 'Five Daily Prayers Minibook in Arabic insha'Allah. Unfortunately, the Arabic files are giving me trouble when I try to PDF them and even in MS Word they're doing funny things.

Also, jazakillahu Khayr dear sister Umm Abdul Basir for teaching me how to add extensions to a lapbook (her pictures where the only things that helped me figure it out. I couldn't find any tutorial on the web that shows how to do that subhana'Allah).

But alhamdulillah the lapbook is done. I think these will be very useful to have in learning centres insha'Allah. I don't know what we'll do next but we'll see insha'Allah.

*Update* : Here are the graphics I used for the lapbook insha'Allah: Lapbook Grapics and here is the Masjid Colour Matching Game insha'Allah.

*Update II*: Here are the Quran cards and Athkar cards for the lapbook alhamdulillah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ka'aba Sequencing Activity

Assalamu alaikum,

Well now that we've gotten started on ideas for Hajj, my little grey cells are working (smile). This is a Ka'aba sequencing game. Very simple to put together insha'Allah. Just cut out all of the pictures of the Ka'aba, mount them on cardstock for durability insha'Allah, laminate (if possible) insha'Allah and then invite your child to put the cards in order from largest to smallest or vice versa (i.e. smallest to largest).

The benefits of sequencing activities are many:
  1. They help children remember the steps involved/used in a  process.
  2. They help children begin to understand that things have a logical order.
  3. The children begin to understand the concept of first, next, last, etc.
  4. The activity can also be used to teach the concept of ordinal numbers (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) insha'Allah.

Here is the file you will need insha'Allah: Ka'aba Sequencing Activity (The activity has been removed until a person of knowledge can be asked about it. This is to ensure that children do not become confused and think there is more than one ka'aba...jazakallaahu khayr to the individual who posed this question).

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Hajj Game for Preschool and Kindergarten

Assalamu alaikum,

Insha'Allah, Hajj is near. This is a wonderful time to begin teaching children about this amazing journey insha'Allah. I did not actually have it in mind to post anything about Hajj but as I was searching for another file, I came across this game I designed last year alhamdulillah. This game, I'm Learning About Hajj,  is designed to teach children, ages 3 to 5 years old, about the rites of Hajj in a simplified, yet accurate, manner insha'Allah. The game lends itself to two ways of playing: A memory game and a matching game insha'Allah (it is very similar to the Allah Created Colours Game). I've used real pictures in this game as much as possible due to the subject matter and some of the pictures have humans in them but the facial features are not visable insha'Allah.

I am not able to post pictures of the game but insha'Allah if anyone makes the game, and you take pictures insha'Allah, I will be happy to add your pictures to this post insha'Allah. *Please take care not to include any people (with facial features) in the picture(s) insha'Allah - jazakum Allahu khayran.

Here are the files for the game insha'Allah:

If time permits, biithnillah, I'll be adding more Hajj games/crafts/activities in the coming weeks.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pre-Puzzles (Preparation For Working With Puzzles)

Assalamu alaikum,

This activity is one that is intended to prepare infants 12-15 months old for working with puzzles. In this activity, infants match a cut out piece to its outline insha'Allah.

This is a Montessori activity and as with many of the materials in the Montessori setting, it is not difficult to make alhamdulillah. What is important, as with all presentations in Montessori settings, is the way the activity is introduced and subsequently 'presented' insha'Allah.

While I cannot tell you specifically how to present these (because this idea is not mine and I learned this during my own training alhamdulillah), they really are simple to make alhamdulillah.

The key thing to remember is to show the infant how to match the piece to its outline but to intentionally make mistakes and show your repeated attempts to match the piece before you correctly match the piece to its outline. This is very common in the Montessori method (and in others as well).

After the child has become proficient, you can then move to the two piece puzzles found here and here insha'Allah.

Note: If you are going to use a masjid (as above, for example) I would suggest using one that is simpler than the one I chose. The reason being: it wasn't easy to cut out! (smile)

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

'Seasons' Theme Art Activity # 5: Ice Cream Sandwiches

Assalamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, here is the last 'Seasons' craft activity: ice cream sandwiches! Even though they're not edible...they're cute masha'Allah! I think this will be a tasty looking edition to any imaginative play area insha'Allah.

This craft is for the season of summer insha'Allah. Once children learn about the weather, food, and clothing that are specific to summer, they can make miniature ice cream sandwiches insha'Allah. Just be sure to keep them away from infants so they don't get eaten (smile)!

Here are the materials you will need insha'Allah:

*An empty paper towel roll
*Cardstock or cardboard
*Brown paint
*Black paint
*White paint
*Paint brushes
*Non-toxic glue
*Baby food jar

How to make the miniature ice cream sandwiches insha'Allah:

1). Cut the paper towel roll into circles (cut enough for how many sandwiches you want to make insha'Allah). You'll need one circle per sandwich insha'Allah.

2). Take the baby food jar and turn it upside down on the cardstock so that the lid is the part that is touching the cardstock. Trace two circles insha'Allah or more depending on how many sandwiches you want. *Be sure that the baby food jar you use has a lid that will trace circles that are larger in diameter than your paper towel roll circles insha'Allah*

3). Using the white paint, paint the paper towel roll circle white. Use the brown paint to paint the circles brown insha'Allah. Allow to dry insha'Allah.

4). Once dry, take one of the brown circles and on the side that is not painted, make a circle using the glue. Place your paper towel roll circle on top of the glue. Put the baby food jar or other object on top of the circle so that the circle does not move out of the glue and stays aligned insha'Allah. Allow to dry (about 15 minutes insha'Allah). Repeat with the second circle insha'Allah. Again, place the baby food jar (or other object) on top of the circle as you allow it to dry insha'Allah. Once dry it will look like this insha'Allah:

I did not paint my paper towel roll circle first but it is easier if you do insha'Allah

5). When the sandwich is dry, take some of the brown paint and use the end of a paint brush to make little chocolate chip dots (on the white circle which is the inside of the sandwich). Dip the end of the brush into the paint and gingerly dab little dots randomly all around the circle insha'Allah.

6). Take a paint brush that has a fine tip (or you could use a fine tip marker) and use black paint to paint small lines on the brown circles (the top and bottom of the ice cream sandwich). This dries very quickly alhamdulillah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

'Seasons' Theme Activity: Fall Leaf Matching Game

Assalamu alaikum,

Two posts in one day alhamdulillah! Be sure to look below this one to see the other game insha'Allah (the second game is not related to the seasons).

This activity is a supplementary activity for the Fall craft insha'Allah. It simply reinforces what children learned about Fall and that one of the most notable things about Fall is that the leaves on the trees change colours (depending on where you live) insha'Allah. This game/activity is a leaf matching activity. Through it, children learn to compare and contrast, it helps develop concentration skills and it has ( as I discovered by error) two ways you can use it insha'Allah.

First, you can cut out the board and pieces and then laminate them. You can then attach small Velcro circles (or squares) to the game board and on the back of the leaves. The child then matches the correct leaf to the one on the game board. The second way you can use the game (which is what I discovered when I laminated the game board before cutting out the pieces as you'll see in the picture below insha'Allah), is to laminate the game board and its pieces without first cutting them out and the child can use a dry erase marker to match the leaves but this can only be done on the game boards whose difficulty level is EASY and it makes the game really easy because the matching leaf is directly below its counterpart. The others, MEDIUM and CHALLANGING, do not lend themselves to this alternate way of playing so be sure to cut out the game board and the pieces before you laminate them insha'Allah. Insha'Allah, my mistake saves you some time and money. *I added the pictures of what the game looks like with the Velcro on the game board and on the pieces below this one alhamdulillah.*

Level E game board and cards laminated without cutting them out first...opps!

This is the game the way I intended it

The board and pieces with Velcro

Now that I'm thinking, there is a third way to use these game boards insha'Allah! Don't laminate them at all and simply cut out the pieces and invite the child to glue them onto the matching leaf!

There are three levels of play, easy (for infants 18 months and older); medium (for toddlers 24 months and older); and challenging (for toddlers and kindergarteners) insha'Allah. There are two different boards for the easy level (for variety). The easy games have only two leaves to match, the medium difficulty games have 4 leaves to match and the challenging level has four leaves to match but these leaves have different textures and tones and a leaf may have more than one colour in it.

Here are the games for your child(ren) to enjoy insha'Allah:

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Colour Matching Game

Assalamu alaikum,

This game, which I did last year, was reinvented so-to-speak when I was trying to figure out how to actually use it. What I initially did was that I enlarged the game board and then put magnetic adhesive on the back. I did the same with the game pieces only to learn that they didn't stick to the refrigerator all that well. The game board stuck just fine but the pieces didn't adhere to the game board when the board was on the fridge. What to do? Well, for some reason it just occurred to me last night (almost a year later..hehe) to use the game board on a cookie sheet! Guess what? It works great that way! So now the game that I did, Allah Created the Colours, can actually be used and this way, it's portable!

The game has several components to it alhamdulillah (other than what is shown in the picture above). There is the game board and pieces that you see in the picture, there are word and picture cards and  two spinners - one with colours only and one with pictures only. You can use the word and picture cards to reinforce what children learned in the game. For example: spin the colours only spinner and it lands on red. Use the picture cards and have the child pick out a picture that shows an object that is red. If you use the word cards with the spinner that has only pictures on it, you can have your child pick out the word that matches the picture that the spinner landed on (see the picture below insha'Allah). Lots of ways to play insha'Allah!

Here are the files for you to enjoy insha'Allah (I hope I linked all of those files correctly insha'Allah):

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Arabic Letter Handwriting Worksheets

Assalamu alaikum,

While trying to do some lesson plans for the upcoming weeks, I stumbled across some more Arabic handwriting practice worksheets. These are from Yemeni Links. The sister also has an excellent Montessori inspired Arabic Sandpaper Letters template and an Arabic Moveable Alphabet template masha'Allah!

But since we've been searching for Arabic Handwriting worksheets, I thought I'd post these in addition to the ones I posted earlier last week alhamdulillah. Here they are insha'Allah:

Letters: Alif to Kha
Letters:  Daal to Sheen
Letters: Saad to Qaf
Letters: Khaf to Yaa

Insha'Allah these are helpful. Enjoy insha'Allah!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

'Seasons' Theme Art Activity # 4: Fall Leaf Collage

Assalamu aliakum,

This is the fourth seasons craft activity insha'Allah.

I read somewhere on the net (I can't remember where) that someone used Mod Podge to preserve leaves. Well, I didn't want to do that but it gave me the idea to make a collage using leaves because the Mod Podge works so well at providing a nice shimmery coat to things. This is the result: a Fall leaf collage.

This is the collage on the wall and before hanging it

This is the Arabic text describing what happens in the Fall by the Permission of Allah

What you will need insha'Allah:

* Cardboard
* Used, clean piece of aluminum foil
* Leaves in different colours
* Sponge brush
* Tape
* Pipe Cleaner
* Packing Tape

How to make the Fall Leaf Collage insha'Allah:

1). Collect a nice amount of leaves, depending on the size of your cardboard insha'Allah. Make sure the leaves are not already dry and brittle (they will not stay glued onto the foil as easily).
2). Cut your piece of cardboard to the desired size using an Xacto knife or scissors.
3). Cover the cardboard with a used, clean piece of aluminum foil. Tape it down in the back with strong tape.
4). Using the Mod Podge and the sponge brush, cover both sides of the leaf with Mod Podge. You may need to be generous with the amount you use depending on the size of your leaf.
5). Place the leaf onto the aluminum foil any place you'd like insha'Allah.

6). Continue doing this until all leaves are glued onto the foil or until you are satisfied.

7). Allow the Mod Podge to dry overnight insha'Allah. *If you do this craft in the evening, there is a good chance that the Mod Podge will not be completley dry in the morning.*

8). Apply a second coating of Mod Podge if you wish and allow to dry overnight again.

9). Use a pipe cleaner to make a hook to hang your Fall Leaf Collage on the wall insha'Allah.

** I used the Fall Arabic text from the Seasons Lift the Flap Book to place under the collage on the wall to describe what the collage is about. You know, kind of like they do in the museum. This, of course, is optional.**

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

'Seasons' Theme Art Activity # 3: Seasons Lift the Flap Book

Assalamu alaikum,

This is the season's craft activity # 3 (really it's number 5 but I'm posting out of order...this was just fun to make subhana'Allah!).

This is a little lift the flap book that contains 3-D illustrations of all of the seasons. After you've completed your study of the seasons with your child(ren)/students, they can make this little flip book to show what they've learned. Children can read it on their own if they are able to read 3 to 4 letter words and some basic sight words as the text is very simple insha'Allah. Or, parents/teachers/siblings can read the book to the child insha'Allah. Alhamdulillah, the lift-the-flap seasons book was enthusiastically received over here (smile).

This is the inside of the book

This is the outside where the text is

The materials I used are the following:
* Pipe cleaners (for the sun, umbrella and outline of the tree stump)

* White poster board cut to 8x11 inch or whatever size you choose insha'Allah, then folded in half and then the top part is cut into four equal squares.

* Felt (to fill in the outline of the tree stump, for the ocean water and sand, and for the rain)

* White confetti (for the snow)

* Brown paper bag (for the tree foliage)

* Cotton Balls (for the clouds)

* Plastic self adhesive leaves (these are so cute masha'Allah!)

* Blue construction paper (for the Winter background)

* Arabic or English text that is on the outside of the flaps insha'Allah.
The assembly is pretty easy and children don't have to make the scenes that I made, so I won't include the directions here. If you've any questions, feel free to leave a comment insha'Allah and I'll do my best to answer as soon as possible insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Arabic Letter Handwriting Worksheets

Assalamu alaikum,

This zip file contains handwriting practice worksheets for the Arabic letters. I believe that all of the letters are in the file insha'Allah. I found these at but when I went back to get the link to simply link back to them, I could not find them (i.e. the letter worksheets). In any event, insha'Allah they are good to use with children who are beginning to learn the Arabic alphabet and the formation of each letter. Insha'Allah, they are helpful for you.

Note: I have never had an opportunity to browse this site in detail so I am not sure if all of the material on the site comes from authentic sources.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Apple Match File Foler Game

Assalamu alaikum,

I just wanted to share this Apple Match File Folder Game I found at Homeschool .

This would go nicely with the Islamic Apple Activities for Fall post from earlier this month on A Muslim Child is Born.

I think I'll also add Homeschool Share to the list of Useful Websites located on the left side of the page insha'Allah. They have a good sized collection of free resources for homeschooling parents.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Seasons' Theme Art Activity #2: 3-D Spring Garden

Assalamu alaikum,

This is the second post for our Seasons themed art activities alhamdulillah. After discussing and learning about the seasons and learning that Allah is the One who Creates the seasons and sends the rain as a Mercy from Him (in the Springtime and sometimes in other seasons), causing plants to grow and making the grass green, children can complete this easy 3-D spring garden. When done, they can hang it on their wall using a push pin (with adult help/supervision insha'Allah).

The materials you will need insha'Allah:
*Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls
* Non-Toxic Paint
* Non-toxic liquid glue & a non-toxic glue stick

* Shoe box lid

* Paint brush(es)

* Construction paper

* Scissors

* Cotton Balls

How to make the 3-D spring garden insha'Allah:

1. Glue a piece of construction paper into the bottom of the shoe box lid (this is the sky background insha'Allah). Use the glue stick, not the liquid glue, so it doesn't dry with glue bubbles showing insha'Allah.
2). Take the empty paper towel (or toilet paper) roll and press down on it to make it somewhat flat. Do not press too hard. You are only trying to make it easier to cut insha'Allah but you still want to maintain it's roundness insha'Allah.
3). Take the rings and cut them in half at the point of the folds. Take the two pieces and design flowers by gluing the pieces on top of each other using liquid glue. You'll need 4 cut pieces to make the flower below insha'Allah. Allow the flowers to dry insha'Allah.

4). While the flowers are drying, take a piece of green construction paper and make your grass. Take other colours of construction paper and make the rest of your garden (i.e. the stems of the flowers, the petals, and the rain drops insha'Allah). Glue your grass into the box lid with the glue stick insha'Allah.

What I did was place my unpainted flowers in the garden to measure the spacing between each flower. In this picture, the stems are not glued down yet.

Here, I placed my cotton balls (the clouds) to also measure the spacing before I glued them.

Here, I had already glued my clouds (cotton balls) onto the background and then I glued my rain into the scene. I left the unpainted, unglued flowers just to make sure the spacing was good insha'Allah.
5). Glue your clouds into the scene using liquid glue.

6). If the flowers are dry, place them into the garden but do not glue them into the scene yet. Place your flower stems in the garden and put the flowers atop the stems to make sure your spacing is good. If so, use a pencil to make a light mark where you wish to glue each of your flowers later on insha'Allah.

7). Glue your flower stems and petals into the scene using the glue stick.

8). If your flowers are dry, paint them with non-toxic paint. Allow them to dry completely insha'Allah.

9). When the paint on your flowers has dried, glue them onto the stems using liquid glue. Use the glue stick to glue your petals to the stems.

10). Cut out little drops of rain from blue construction paper. Using the glue stick, glue the rain drops into the scene underneath the clouds insha'Allah.

You can also use foam to make the garden as well insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

'Seasons' Theme Art Activity # 1: Winter Charity Can

Assalamu alaikum,

The Seasons Lapbook idea reminded me that this is the time of year when I usually do a 'Seasons' theme in my class. I really enjoy doing this theme with children as there are so many exciting and beautiful crafts that can be done to enhance this unit alhamdulillah. This is also an easy way to link Tawheed into the curriculum. Subhana'Allah, the wonders that occur throughout the year by the Permission of Allah are glorious. Allahu Akbar. You can use this to bring the children's attention to the Might and Power of Allah and His ability to Create which none in the creation have.

This post is the first of four (maybe 5), insha'Allah, of craft activities to do with children as you teach the seasons insha'Allah. After the pictures, there is an idea that you can use with this craft to involve not only your young children but the older one's as well insha'Allah. You'll also see the list of materials you will need to make this craft insha'Allah.

This craft activity is called, "The Winter Charity Can". After Ramadan, we sometimes forget to continue implementing the important lessons we were suppose to glean from that Blessed month. One of those lessons is charity. This craft can be used to reinforce the concept of sadaqa (charity) in Islam insha'Allah. The pictures below show the Winter Charity Can from different areas of the can insha'Allah.


What you'll need insha'Allah:

- Empty, clean coffee can

- Cotton balls (about 6 per can)

- White confetti

- Construction paper (light blue for the background and other colours for the buildings insha'Allah)/ or you can use clipart which is what I did.

- Liquid glue and/or glue stick

- Xacto knife

- Scissors

How to make the Winter Charity Can insha'Allah:

1). Cover the outside of the coffee can with light blue construction paper. Allow to dry completely.

2). While the can is drying, design and cut out buildings that you normally see in your city/town/country. Be sure to leave no white background if you draw the buildings on white paper (this will show easily against the light blue background).

3). When the can is dry, glue the buildings on to the bottom of the can, going all the way around. This is your city in the winter time.

4). Take your cotton balls and stretch them length wise a bit to make them longer and glue them on to the can in the 'sky' (i.e. the top part of the can near the lid).

5). Using the glue stick, put glue all around the can, one section at a time. Take your white confetti and sprinkle it onto the glue to get your 'snow' insha'Allah. Allow to dry.

6). Teacher and/or parent: Use an Xacto knife or a pair of scissors to cut a circular hole in the lid of the can insha'Allah. Replace the lid on the can.

Now children are ready to begin depositing their change into the Winter Charity Can insha'Allah!

Activity Idea: Tell children that the Winter is the season that comes after Fall/Autumn insha'Allah. Explain to students that alhamdulilah, they are warm, have good, safe housing, food, and proper clothes for the winter but some Muslims do not have this. Teach the children some of the ahadith related to charity and helping other Muslims (there are some graphics below from Easel & Ink that have some ahadith about this subject alhamdulillah). Tell students that they are going to have a chance to help other Muslims have a warm and healthier winter insha'Allah. Explain that they will make a Winter Charity Can to collect money to buy things people need and use in the winter insha'Allah.

After the students have made their charity cans, enlist the students (young and older) to begin depositing change to the can insha'Allah. If you are in a school setting, invite the children to place their cans in other classrooms for those students to fill with change insha'Allah. Tell the students that when all of the cans are filled, the students (older or the parents can take younger children along to do the shopping insha'Allah) will go on a field trip to shop for items that a person will need to stay warm and fed in the Winter insha'Allah. Tell the students that these items (food and clothing) will be given to a Muslim (or Muslim family) who needs them insha'Allah.

For older students, have them make a list of things that are needed in the Winter months to stay healthy and warm. Then have them begin researching how much these items cost. Have a student (or a few students) be in charge of counting the money. When this has been done, have the students do a budget to see what items on their list they can afford to buy insha'Allah. Have the students buy these items, package them attractively, have the younger students make cards to attach to the packages, and deliver them to the Muslim or Muslim family insha'Allah (with adult supervision of course).

Here are some graphics that you can use to post near the Winter Charity Can to remind children about the importance of sadaqa in Islam (original size of the graphics can be found at Easel & Ink insha'Allah):

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Check it out! (from the library): Baby Play and Learn

Assalamu alaikum,

The library is an integral part of literacy development and many teachers (and homeschooling parents) who, out of necessity, teach with restricted resources and/or finances, will vouch for the invaluable commodity the public library is for them, not just in the classroom but in the home as well.

I'm no exception alhamduillah and my last library find made me think: "Why not share some of the wonderful books I come across with others insha'Allah?" Well, I think I'll start doing just that insha'Allah (another label..hehe). But truly, I think you'll enjoy this book insha'Allah. It's packed with 160 games and activities for babies and toddlers to play with their parents insha'Allah. It's organized by age and many of the activities are simply fun learning. I think parents are at risk of having as much (if not more) fun than their baby or toddler (and that's not a bad thing).

I have to warn you that some of the activities do include music and as we know that this is not permissible in Islam, I simply skipped those activities or adapted them when/where possible. Also, some of the activities involve wasting either food and/or water. These too I either modified or simply passed over. Please do the same insha'Allah. Alhamdulillah, there are so many activities in this book that your child can enjoy insha'Allah.

The book is called, Baby Play and Learn and it's quite a find. So next time you're at your local library...check it out insha'Allah!
Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Islamic Fall Activities: Exploring Lapbooking

Assalamu alaikum,

After chatting with Sister Umm Abdul Basir, I've found something else to get my hands into (like I need something else eh?...hehe). What is it you ask? Lapbooking. I've never had an interest in lapbooking simply because I didn't know much about it. But now!....well...after watching this video (isn't that a cute lapbook?! - minus the pictures of humans and animals of course) and browsing this site, my interest is definitely piqued.

So, it's Fall alhamdulillah and my mind is pondering over Islamic Fall craft and activity ideas. Well after watching that video I know what I want to try now: An Islamic Seasons Lapbook. But wait wait, I'm just a beginner with this and I'm only at the very beginning. I'm trying to make mini-books first. This is my first attempt (I didn't print it in colour so it's a little bit hard to see all of the pictures):

This the inside of my Allah Created the Seasons Mini-Book
(on the back there are spaces for the kids to draw things about each of the seasons insha'Allah)

Do any of you lapbook? If so please please share your tips. I really want to know how the woman in that video made so many layers in her lapbook. I really liked that!

And the great thing about lapbooking is that you can use it with children as young as 3/4 and of course kindergarten! Insha'Allah, I'll be posting a completed lapbook in a short time and seeing as it will be my very first one you must all promise not to laugh too hard (or too long). Oh! Now I think I need a new label: Lapbooking!

Here are a few sites that I'll be using in my lapbooking adventures (some are specifically for the seasons lapbook I'll try to do insha'Allah):

A Jigsaw Book (Instructions) that can be a mini-book (maybe?)
A Flip Book Template (this can go in a pocket in the lapbook insha'Allah)
A Lapbooking site with lots of resources and links! (Jazakillahu Khayr sister Umm Abdul Basir for sharing this link!)

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nature Field Notebook for Little Muslims

Assalamu alaikum,

The Fall means crisp weather and countless beautiful things to observe that happen in the natural world in this season alhamdulillah. Depending on where you live, you may experience leaves changing colours or migrating animals. This is a key opportunity to take children outdoors (before it gets too cold) to observe, first hand, the changes that the plants and the animals make in preparation for Winter.

This little book, The Little Muslim's Field Notebook, can be used to help children record their observations of all of the wonderful things that happen in the Fall alhamdulillah. They can draw what they see and use simple words or sentences to describe what they saw insha'Allah. If you can, collect some items on your walk to bring back to give children extra time to draw what they saw insha'Allah. For leaves and twigs, only pick up the ones that have already fallen to the ground. Also, be aware of any health concerns related to the plants you observe (or touch). Poison ivy, for example may be lurking in places that you are not aware of.

The book is small (kid sized), and I tried to make it versatile. You can add the pages as you'd like or assemble the entire book at one time (shown below insha'Allah).

Here's what you'll need to assemble the book insha'Allah:

* Scissors

* Paper Fasteners or a stapler

* Glue Stick (optional)

The reason I mentioned the glue stick is because when you assemble the book insha'Allah, the page that has space for writing will not be directly across from the page that has space for drawing (it will be on the next page). I wanted my notebook to have the pages across from each other so I used the glue stick and glued the pages together (back to back) on the edges (a very light coating of glue) so that there were no blank white pages in the book. I hope that made sense. If not, maybe the pictures below will help insha'Allah.

We will also use my book, Allah Created Plants, to read before (or even after) we go for our Fall Nature Walk insha'Allah.

I hope this little resource is helpful and fun for the kids insha'Allah. I've also created a label for Kindergarten (*smile*) and this little book is the first activity in that category. Insha'Allah, they'll be lots more in the future biithnillah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Islamic Apple Activities for Fall

Assalamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah the fall is here. Each year, in schools and homeschools, a thematic unit on apples is often done. There are numerous fun activities to be done with apples and here, we're getting ready to begin our own thematic unit on apples. Ours (i.e. the Muslims), however, integrates Islam throughout insha'Allah. Emphasis is placed on the fact that Allah is the Provider of not only the apples but everything we have walhamdulillah.

For our study of apples we are using the following resources:

This non-fiction book has fun facts about apples, activities to do, pages to colour and a puzzle for kids to put together as well insha'Allah.

Allah Created Apples Activity Workbook - A supplementary workbook that has several pages of fun, educational activities to complete, including sequencing, fractions (very basic), different and alike, and more! The workbook is black & white so it's ink and budget friendly insha'Allah.
Allah Created Apples Sorting Activity - A colourful sorting activity that requires very few materials that are usually common household items insha'Allah.
And this wonderful craft that is so cute and so simple to make subhana'Allah (It literally took me 5-7 minutes to make these!). These are miniature yarn apples. The directions on how to make them are here insha'Allah. So easy for the kids to make insha'Allah.

Insha'Allah, you'll find these resources fun and helpful and insha'Allah our kids will come away with an increased love of Allah and an increased appreciation of the many bounties He provides for us out of His Mercy.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kindergarten Islamic Studies Curriculum

Assalamu alaikum,

Although this blog is intended for Muslim children from birth to 3/4, many of the activities and crafts on this blog can be used for children as old as 5 or 6 years insha'Allah. So, I'm considering whether or not to begin posting materials for children as old as 5/6. What do you think? Would that be useful for you insha'Allah (or others you know)? It might take me some time to begin this as I've been neglecting my website lately and would like to get back to posting resources for children from grades 4 and up there insha'Allah. But as for posting materials for ages 5 and 6 here, I'll make a decision based on the feedback I receive (or if I don't receive any that will pretty much decide the issue...*smile*).

Even if the blog remains for children from birth to 3/4, I wanted to share this curriculum find with you insha'Allah. This is an Islamic Studies curriculum for Kindergarten that was developed by the sister (and two other teachers - both of whom teach Islamic Studies) who owned the site (sadly, it is not online anymore). She has given permission for me to make this curriculum available on 'A Muslim Child is Born' alhamdulillah. Quite comprehensive but you know your child so take what you can use and come back to the other strands as you see fit insha'Allah. Or if you know someone who has a kindergartner, please feel free to pass this link along insha'Allah.

I hope you find this beneficial insha'Allah. Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Islamic Felt Board Stories

Assalamu alaikum,

Storytime is one of my favourite times (I absolutely love books!). The limitless possibilities are so inviting. The children, whose imaginations seem to know no limits masha'Allah, are often eager to contribute to the story as it unfolds. And while I usually have a delicious selection of books in my classroom (and at home alhamdulillah), I also like to include the interactive aspect as much as possible during storytime. One of the ways of doing this is with felt story boards.

They are fairly easy to make and they can be a source of independent (or group) play. If you mount the flannel onto cardboard and fold it like a book, you can store the pieces in a plastic bag and take this along in the car or to friends' houses insha'Allah. I haven't done this yet but I intend to do this and attach handles to the book that way it can be easily transported insha'Allah. Whatever you choose, children can make up scores of stories using the felt pieces insha'Allah.

So how do you make a felt story board? You'll be pleasantly surprised to know that it's quite simple (and quick) insha'Allah.

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

* A piece of flannel (wash it and dry it before you mount it onto cardboard insha'Allah)

* Felt (colours depend on the story you want to design)

* Scissors

* Glue (not a glue stick)

* Imagination!

How to make your Islamic Felt Board Story insha'Allah:

1). Take a piece of flannel (in solid colour) insha'Allah.

2). Wash and tumble dry the flannel (I haven't personally tried this yet).

3). Place the flannel on a piece of wood or cardboard and fold the flannel over the edges very tightly and hot glue them to the back of the cardboard insha'Allah.

4). Cut out your patterns for the story. Secure the pictures onto pieces of felt using the sewing pins and then cut the pieces out.

5). Outline the pieces with a sharpie pen (I used a fine tip marker and it worked fine alhamdulillah) and then add any details you'd like (i.e. windows, doors, etc) insha'Allah .

6). Commence with storytime insha'Allah!

I almost forgot! Here's a sample story that you can use with the story board above insha'Allah:

In this little town, people drive down the street
They say, “Assalamu alaikum!” to every Muslim they meet.
The children listen to their parents and only say words that are kind,
And whatever they are doing, they keep Allah in their mind.
They love His Prophet and follow his way,
And they try to do good deeds every single day!
Tip: I've read (but haven't tried) that you can quickly and easily make felt pieces by printing clipart onto t-shirt iron on paper and then iron the pattern onto the felt and cut them out. This I want to try insha'Allah!

Enjoy Insha'Allah!


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