Monday, November 30, 2009

Games for Toddlers (2 to 4 years old) insha'Allah

Assalamu alaikum,

Sister Umm Yasmeen is a sister who has an energetic two year old masha'Allah. She mentioned that one of her primary goals is finding activities that will keep her two year old from drawing on walls, eating items that were not intended to be eaten, etc. (smile).

Alhamdulillah, I put together a few games for her daughter Anisa and dear sister Umm Yasmeen please let me know if these help Anisa find alternate things to focus/concentrate on insha'Allah or if I missed the mark. I will try to upload some other activities/ideas that will allow you to put together an activity bucket that Anisa can freely access when she is in need of something to do insha'Allah. If the activities below are not suitable please do not be shy to let me know insha'Allah.

There are five games/activities in the file insha'Allah. Pictured below are three of the five games/activities insha'Allah (directions for playing the games follows the pictures insha'Allah):

Game 1: Arabic Letter Matching
(the game board is mounted on poster board and then on foam for durability insha'Allah)

Game 3: Small Book: Time to Pray
(the last page is to be coloured by the child insha'Allah. There is a book in the file for boys too insha'Allah)

Game 5: What Does Not Belong?

Game/activity instructions insha'Allah:
(parent must assemble the games insha'Allah)

Game 1: This is a simple Arabic Letter matching game. The child will match the game piece to the 'shadow' of the letter on the game board insha'Allah. The letters are purposely not in order (i.e. alif, ba, ta, etc.) for the following reason: when children are being taught letters/letter recognition, it is recommended to teach letters that are as dissimilar as possible insha'Allah to avoid confusion. The letters ba, ta and tha are very similar and only have dots that differentiate them. When first learning letters, this distinction may introduce confusion and be difficult for a child to notice (i.e. ba has one dot underneath while ta has two dots on top). Teaching letters that are totally dissimilar eliminates this confusion for children insha'Allah.

Game 2: The Missing Letter game. This game is to help children recognize the Arabic letters insha'Allah. You will use the same game pieces that you use for game # 1 insha'Allah. The child will look at the card and pick from the game pieces to decide which letter is missing. There are four game cards for this game insha'Allah.

Game 3: Time to Pray book. A book with simple one and two word sentences that mention the steps we take before we pray. This book is intended to help the child learn sequence/order of events (i.e. before we pray we make wudo, dry off and then pray insha'Allah). With repeated reading, the child will be able to repeat the text independently and 'read' the book insha'Allah.

Game 4: Number Sequencing. This game is to help children who are just being introduced to the numbers put them in the proper order insha'Allah. The board is broken into threes (i.e. numbers 1, 2 and 3 are on one strip, 4, 5, and 6 on a separate strip, etc.) to allow the parent to add on to the board as the child progresses insha'Allah. To play, cut out a number strip and the corresponding number pieces insha'Allah (mount them on poster board or card stock for durability insha'Allah). Place the strip in front of the child and place the pieces (in random order) under the strip. Invite the child to line up the game pieces underneath the corresponding numbers insha'Allah. Before playing this game insha'Allah, the child should have already received some instruction regarding numbers (i.e. they should be able to recognize 1, 2 and 3 by sight if you are using that number strip insha'Allah). I intentionally left the number strips black and white to allow you to decide if you wish to colour them or not insha'Allah.

Game 5: What Doesn't Belong? This game is to help children begin and/or practice identifying what is different in a set. There are three strips and each has an object that is repeated on the strip but one of the objects should not be with the others. The child should be invited to indentify which object does not belong insha'Allah. So that the child can use this game repeatedly when he/she wishes insha'Allah, I strongly recommend laminating the strips and allowing the child to circle the object that does not belong using a crayon or dry erase marker insha'Allah. This way their mark(s) can be erased if they circle the incorrect object or if they simply want to play again insha'Allah.

These are all a sampling dear sister Umm Yasmeen. If these fit your needs and you would like more (i.e. if you would like for me to do a letter matching game with the English alphabet, or complete the Arabic alphabet for example, please let me know insha'Allah). Here are the games to download insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

*Picture of girl and boy praying courtesy of and copyright by www.sunna.org - jazakum Allahu khayran.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Check it Out: How to Homeschool Using the Montessori Method

Assalamu alaikum,

A while back a few sisters asked about ways to become familar with Montessori Education and how it can be applied in a home school setting insha'Allah. I don't know if I mentioned it then, but there is an excellent book that I saw a few months back that taught parents just that: how to home school using the Montessori Method insha'Allah.

I went back to the library a few days ago in search of that book thinking of the sisters who had made that inquiry.  Here is the book insha'Allah:



This book is an excellent resource that both introduces parents to the Montessori Method and teaches the parent how to teach their child using this method insha'Allah. There are lessons provided (with instructions about how to teach the lesson) and the author includes a section that shows parents how to easily make many of the materials used in Montessori education. Best of all, the book is short alhamdulillah, only 110 pages, including appendices and introduction.

The next time you're at the library insha'Allah: Check it out insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Taking a break until after Eid insha'Allah

Assalamu alaikum,

A Muslim Child is Born will be taking a break from posting until after the Eid insha'Allah. Until then:


From the family of 'A Muslim Child is Born' to you and your family!

See you after Eid insha'Allah...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Early Reader Picture Stories

Assalamu alaikum,

I've had a request for some picture stories similar to those I've been uploading but for early readers insha'Allah. I've put together a few (5 stories) to see if these would be helpful to those who are homeschooling pre-schoolers and/or early readers insha'Allah.

I've included circle the correct answer and cut and paste the picture answer to provide some variety insha'Allah. I've also included some simple reading comprehension stories where the child cuts and pastes the correct picture to answer the question based on their reading insha'Allah. Here is a sample insha'Allah:


Please let me know if you would like more simple stories or if these are fine insha'Allah. Jazakum Allahu Khayran. Oh! I almost forgot...hehe...here are the stories insha'Allah:


Enjoy insha'Allah!

Arabic Letter Felt Block

Assalamu alaikum,

This little craft will have to made by ummi because it's for the wee ones (smile).







What You'll need insha'Allah:

- Hot glue gun
- Felt in different colours
- Cube Template (I just googled and used an image/template that I felt was large enough insha'Allah)
- Foam shapes (optional)
- Stick pins (the kind you use to hold a pattern down when you're sewing)
- Scissors
- Poster Board

How you make it insha'Allah;

1. Print the block/cube template. With tape, lightly tape it to a poster board. Cut out the pattern. Leave the tape on for now insha'Allah. You'll remove it in a bit insha'Allah.


2. Pin the pattern to the felt insha'Allah (it should be the original paper pattern still taped to the poster board pattern you just cut out insha'Allah). Remove the tape one square at a time and re-pin the block pattern to the felt. Cut the pattern out. Cut the felt pattern a bit larger than the poster board pattern (you can trim it later insha'Allah but if you don't do this you will see some of the white poster board peeking out when you put the cube together).


3. With the hot glue gun, one block at a time, remove the pins and glue the felt to the poster board block pattern.

4. Assemble the cube (but not with the glue gun - just see if it goes together fine insha'Allah) and here you will trim the extra felt on the edges if needed insha'Allah.

5. If all is well insha'Allah, use the hot glue gun to assemble the block. Do this one side at a time and for the top of the block, glue the inside of the cube, not the pattern itself because it will be difficult to insert it into the inside of the block without burning yourself (believe me - I did it and burned my fingers...ouch!...hehe).

6.  With a sharpie pen or marker, on the felt (or foam), draw the Arabic letters you want on your cube insha'Allah. Remember to draw them backward so when you apply the hot glue to the side with the marker on it, you will have the letter facing the right direction insha'Allah.

7. Cut the letters out and glue them to your block/cube. You're done insha'Allah!

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prophet of Allah Mentioned in the Quran Tree

Assalamu alaikum,

This is a beautiful Prophets of Allah that are mentioned in the Quran tree that I have to share with you all insha'Allah. The sister over at Easel & Ink who designed this did such an amazing job...barak Allahu feha.


This is an excellent teaching tool that can be used with so many different age groups.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Homemade Puzzle of Saudi Arabia

Assalamu alaikum,

I had this idea to try to make a puzzle but I wasn't sure if it would work. When I first had the idea I thought that it definately would not work but I kept planning how I 'might' be able to make it. When I tried that 'might' plan it was actually do-able alhamdulillah! Here it is insha'Allah:

It's a puzzle of Saudi Arabia!

Close up - in this picture you can't really see the depressions of where the puzzle pieces would go. I couldn't get a really good picture because of the lighting but here you see the puzzle pieces (the arrows point to them).

The puzzle was not actually hard to make alhamdulillah and it only took about an hour to put it together alhamdulillah. It isn't very large (it only measures 22.5 x 17.5 cm /  8.5 x 6.5 inches) and is less than 1 centimeter thick. The hard part was cutting the pieces out correctly. I had to really be careful with the Xacto Knife and I had to use scissors that were really thin so that I could cut around the shapes of the locations in Saudi (i.e. Mecca, Tabuk, etc.) and I have to admit, I accidentally cut Tabuk in half and had to repair it.

What I used to make the puzzle:

- Foam board cut to the dimensions mentioned above
- Printed image of a map of Saudi Arabia
- Scissors and Xacto Knife
- Glue Stick

Would I would like to do insha'Allah, is do a Seerah lesson for Kindergarten and include a bit of social studies/ mapping skills and the children can use this puzzle to reinforce what they learned insha'Allah. Also, I made the puzzle have only 4 pieces because in the Seerah lesson some parts of Saudi Arabia will not be mentioned or covered so I want to the puzzle to reflect and reinforce the lesson insha'Allah. I also put together a small, very simple mini-mapping skills/ social studies book to go along with the lesson.

This is page 2 (before the book is assembled)- a very simple book.
The child will colour the part of the map that is relevant to the sentence on the page insha'Allah.

You can download the book here insha'Allah. The last two pages have two empty text boxes so you can decide what else you may want to teach in your lesson and then you can invite your child(ren) to write a simply sentence about it insha'Allah. You can also find nice information about the Seerah for kids here insha'Allah. This brother has lesson plans and has made printable books that can be used with each lesson - May Allah reward him!

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reading Comprehension Stories for Kindergarten

Assalamu alaikum,

Here are three Picture Reading Comprehension stories for kindergarten insha'Allah. As with the other stories, these have many sight words that children are becoming familiar with (if they are not already familiar with them insha'Allah). These stories, however, are different and more challenging because the child must answer questions based on what they read insha'Allah. Insha'Allah, these stories provide the child with the opportunity to work on memory skills and making meaning from the text they read (to answer the questions insha'Allah, they must successfully understand what the story is about).




Here are the stories insha'Allah:


Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

3 New 'What is Missing?' Stories

Assalamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, several sisters have requested more of the 'What is Missing?' stories. I've added 3 more stories to the original post insha'Allah. Insha'Allah, I will be uploading some more stories next week that will be a little more challenging insha'Allah.

Enjoy the new stories insha'Allah!


Shapes Game for Toddlers

Assalamu alaikum,

I put together this game for toddlers (and kindergarteners) to learn their shapes insha'Allah. I intentionally did not put the names of the shapes on the game cards so that the cards can be used regardless of what language the toddler is being taught in insha'Allah. I designed the game to be one that the toddler can be an active participant in with his/her family (and get some learning in all at the same time (smile)) insha'Allah.

Here is the game insha'Allah and the directions for play are under the photos insha'Allah:



The Game Cards (front and back view)

The Game Pieces

How to play insha'Allah:

1 - Get all of the game cards and place them face down in a stack on the floor or in a basket insha'Allah. For older toddlers and Kindergarteners, I recommend printing two sets of game cards and maybe two sets of game pieces too insha'Allah. However, if the child is just learning their shapes, print only one set to eliminate confussion and/or frustration insha'Allah.

  

2 - Place the game pieces face up on the floor insha'Allah.

3 - Each player takes turns picking a card from the basket (or stack). He/she has to find the shape from among the pieces on the floor that matches the shape on the back of the card he/she has selected insha'Allah.

For young toddlers you can invite them to pick a card and then you name the shape on their card insha'Allah. Invite the toddler to find the shape from among the game pieces on the floor. If he/she picks the wrong shape simply say, "Jazakum Allahu khayr. That is a ______ (whatever shape they picked). Please find the _______ (whatever shape is on the card they have) insha'Allah". If the child is having difficulty, invite the child to place the shape game piece onto the shape on the back of the game card and see if they match insha'Allah. *Note: for toddlers around 15 months (or older) who are just being introduced to shapes, it is a good idea to start with two or three shapes (including the cards) at first and add more as the child becomes more skilled with the activity insha'Allah.

For older toddlers and kindergarteners you can make the game more challenging by requiring that they name the shape in addition to finding the correct game piece that matches their card insha'Allah.

4 - If the player picks the correct shape, he/she gets to keep his/her card insha'Allah. They return the shape game piece to the floor insha'Allah. If they pick the incorrect shape game piece they must return the card to the stack insha'Allah and place the game piece back on the floor among the others. The game ends when all shapes have been picked correctly and there are no more cards to pick from. (This step is recommended for children 3 years and older insha'Allah. For children under 3, decide what you and your child are comfortable with as far as what happens to the card when they pick the correct game piece insha'Allah).

To make the game I printed the game cards out and mounted them on poster board material. I then glued the shapes onto the back of the game cards. I printed a second set of shapes and mounted those on poster board material too. I laminated the cards and game pieces so that they last longer insha'Allah.

Here are the files for the game insha'Allah:


Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Islamic Character Education for Kindergarten: Kindness

Assalamu alaikum,

I've gone off and gotten this harebrained idea to start another blog for Islamic Character Education insha'Allah. I don't know when I'll even have time to actually do this but we'll see insha'Allah.

What I'd like to do is take ayaat from the Quran, ahadith from the Sunnah, etc. and design lesson plans and activities to accompany each character trait insha'Allah. I hope to make materials for Kindergarten up to grade 4 insha'Allah but this is an ambitious project that I'm not actually sure I can do (I may even end up deleting the other blog....waallahu alim). Alhamdulillah, a knowledgeable sheikh has agreed to help me by checking my work to make sure, Islamically, it is accurate but it is still a lot of work.

But....the first trait I've started with is kindness. I'll probably end up posting the character traits material here on A Muslim Child is Born (for Kindergarten only) and on the new blog, Islamic Character Education (which is quite bare at the moment) insha'Allah. I'm almost done with the first lesson plan alhamdulillaah but you can download the first and second lesson activities here and here insha'Allah. Here is a peak at the activity:


These are the first bookmarks with different graphics. The second file has different wording and graphics.

I thought about this new blog because here we are in need of such education in our schools. I don't know if this exists elsewhere but I thought to share the resources. As I said, this already seems overwhelming to me so it may not go anywhere but whatever I design for kindergarten, I'll post here insha'Allah. The other blog....we'll see about that one ...later insha'Allah....

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Picture Stories for Kindergarten

Assalamu alaikum,

*3 More New Stories Added Alhamdulillah!*

Usually around March or April, students in Kindergarten have learned a sufficient number of sight words to be able to read short text independently insha'Allah. Some children who have strong literacy skills may reach this milestone earlier insha'Allah.

Alhamdulillah, I designed some stories for Kindergarten children to use to strengthen and/or practice
independent reading skills, practice reading sight words, and filling in missing elements based on facts that were in a story insha'Allah. These are nice to use during silent sustained reading too insha'Allah. Also, you can use the clipart in MS Word to make other cards to fit the stories insha'Allah. This way, you can provide variety and challenge at the same time insha'Allah.


 The pictures have a sideways view a bit because it was the only thing I could do to avoid the glare...sorry about that.

A while ago I bought photo album paper for another craft idea I had in mind but I never used it. They came in handy here alhamdulillah. I cut the photo album paper to the size of the stories and I left two holes so I can store the stories in a notebook and continue to add stories to the book later insha'Allah. I recommend laminating the cards for durability. And I'll let you in on a secret that you may already know: do you know that clear packing tape is a great laminate if you can't get to the copy centre? It doesn't look as professional but masha'Allah, it does the job (smile). Here are the stories insha'Allah (there are three in this file insha'Allah):


If you'd like more of these stories please let me know because I may not upload new ones as fast as you need/want them. If I know that you would like more it will stay in my mind insha'Allah and I won't forget insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poems: The Little Girl/Boy Who Loved The Quran

Assalamu alaikum,

Just sharing. Click on the poems for large, easy to read version insha'Allah.

For the girls insha'Allah:



Enjoy insha'Allah!

Hajj Felt Story Board

Assalamu aliakum,

This is a Hajj Felt Story Board File Folder Game (isn't that a long name..hehe) that I made to teach the rites of Hajj insha'Allah. I did this felt story as a file folder game because I really like the versatility of file folders. I didn't realize how much you could do with them until I was introduced to lapbooking alhamdulillah. I keep thinking (when doing these activities), 'this can be put into a back pack and taken along on a trip so easily insha'Allah!'. So I made the story board and I made a pouch/pocket to store all of the felt pieces and well....here it is insha'Allah :


The Ka'aba came out much better this time alhamdulillah!

Safa and Marwa

Muzdalifah (getting stones for the Jamarat)

Mount Arafat

I ran out of blue felt so I have to get some more because when in Mina and for Jamarat, the sky is visable so I want to include that insha'Allah. I also can't (as of this moment) find a template to make a tent. I did the other pieces free-hand (except for the Ka'aba) but I don't want to attempt a tent (too geometrical for me...hehe). I also need to do a Pillar for the Jamarat insha'Allah.

To make this as a file folder game, all I did was take a file folder, cut off the top (lable part) and staple it so it would not open. I then glued the flannel to this and then glued this to the inside of another (new) file folder. For the pocket, all I did was take part of a file folder that I had used for the Hudhayfa lapbook and fold it to make a pouch and glued it onto the other side of the file folder. Easy alhamdulillah! I left the tab that says, "name" visable because I'd like to make more felt story boards this way and when I store them insha'Allah, if I write what the felt story is (i.e. Hajj Rites) on the tab insha'Allah, it will be easy to flip through later to find the one I want insha'Allah.

Now all I need to do is write a brief story or poem to go with the story board insha'Allah. I want to use this this week insha'Allah so I'd better get started writting insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Exploring Texture: 'Where Is My Prayer Rug?' Book

Assalamu alaikum,

This activity is designed to help infants 6-9 months old expand their sense of touch insha'Allah. They will also have an opportunity to work on their motor skills insha'Allah, as they touch the different textures with their fingers. The infant also works on hand-eye coordination as he/she directs his/her hand to the square containing the texture patch. The activity also provides an opportunity to begin introducing vocabulary words that identify textures, (i.e. smooth, rough, etc.) insha'Allah. This book was given to a one year old and they seemed to enjoy it too alhamdulillah.

The little book is called: Where Is My Prayer Rug? and the middle of each prayer rug has a patch of material that is a different texture.

The Front Cover

All pages

Scratchy/Rough page close-up

Shiny page close-up

To make the book you will need:

- Where Is My Prayer Rug Book: Book with the word Sratchy or Book with the word Rough
- glue stick and liquid glue
- scissors and an Xacto knife
- 6 4x6 flashcards or cardstock cut to fit
- various materials that are different textures and safe to be touched by infants

Materials with different textures (aluminum foil, sandpaper, velvet, towel, and photoalbum page with plastic)

Simply cut out the book pages, then, using the Xacto knife, cut the center of each prayer rug out insha'Allah. With a pencil, make a light mark on the index card to show where the center of the prayer rug will be when you glue the page to the index card insha'Allah. Cut the textured material into a square that will be large enough to fill the space of the cut out square of the prayer rug insha'Allah. Glue it onto the index card. Line up the book page with the texture square and glue the book page onto the index card. Allow to dry insha'Allah. Once all pages have dried, staple the pages together to make the book insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tot Lapbook for Hudhayfa Learns About Allah

Assalamu alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, I just finished a toddler lapbook for the book Hudhayfa Learns About Allah. This was fun and quick masha'Allah! For over a week now, the book has been handed to me over and over to be read alhmadulillah. I made up a shorter version of the story on the spot when the book was first brought to me by a young toddler who wanted it read because the text is intended for preschool aged children and older. Alhamdulillah, with the gorgeous illustrations and the new shorter version, the book has been lovingly chewed, bent, and twisted as it is brought to me each day to be read  (smile).

Here is the lapbook insha'Allah and the files are below the photo gallery insha'Allah The pieces for the games and the puzzle are stored in the pocket and all files are in English only. 


Click here to see the photo gallery for the lapbook
The Lapbook files insha'Allah:


For the Build A Snowman Game, I intend to cut the shapes out with foam insha'Allah and glue them to cardstock. I also want to put little wooden knobs on them for easier handling by toddler hands insha'Allah. This way, it is easier for children to match the foam circles to the correct place on the snowman insha'Allah.

And for the Different & Same Game, I did not cut the cards apart on purpose. For this age group (the age group I did the lapbook for), I want them to have a side by side comparison that clearly shows that the two objects are either the same or different insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where to Learn More About Montessori Education

Assalamu alaikum,

Some sisters have mentioned that they would be interested to learn more about Montessori education and its methodology insha'Allah. The following links may be helpful in getting you started insha'Allah.

The North American Montessori Centre (They offer distance learning education. Their manuals are able to be bought without you enrolling in their courses. The manuals have step by step directions about how to do the activities (from what I have seen). They offer materials and courses for Birth to 12 years old if my memory is good insha'Allah. Based in Canada).

My Montessori House (They have albums that have activities, with directions, to do with your child(ren) from birth to grade 1, in a homeschool setting or a classroom setting. I'm thinking about ordering one myself as the albums are as low as $39 US. From what I've seen the activities look pretty good but check to see if this meets your specific needs insha'Allah).

The Montessori Institute (many schools are accredited through this organization. Their courses can be expensive depending on what your ultimate goal is).

If you need links for more specific goals that you have in mind please leave a comment and insha'Allah, I will add to this post.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pincer Grasp Activity: Clipping clothes pins with felt Ka'abas onto a box

Assalamu alaikum,

Hajj is coming insha'Allah. At first, I told myself that I would not do much here on the blog for Hajj because alhamdulillah, there is a plethora of Hajj activities for children already out there. But then I decided that I do want to do something here for the kids insha'Allah because a lot of what is out there is for children older than the 0-3 age range.

As you know the whole 15 month old threading activity went right into the mouth (literally) of the 'almost-15-month old'...hehe...so I said, "okay, let's try something else insha'Allah, just in case after a few days the yarn is still of no interest and the Cheerios continue to find their way into the mouth of the 'almost-15-month old'" (smile).  Then Hajj came back into my mind and I decided to do an activity that 15 months old can do and is related to Hajj insha'Allah and children who are almost 15 months old can do too insha'Allah.

This activity is for developing the pincer grasp insha'Allah. Again, that is important for children to practice because it will be needed for writing skills that will develop later insha'Allah. The pincer grasp is something that Allah Created the human being with. These types of activities only serve to give the child practice in developing it so that they have ample opportunities to work on refining this important skill insha'Allah.  You can read more about the pincer grasp here insha'Allah.

Here is the activity insha'Allah:

The clothes pins have little felt Ka'abas on them
(The first thing I was asked by the first person who saw them was, "What is that supposed to be?" *sigh*...well, insha'Allah if you do this activity perhaps your Ka'abas will be far better than mine...hehe)

A close up view of how they look when the child begins clipping them onto the box insha'Allah

The box the child uses for the activity is also where the pieces are stored insha'Allah

I painted (with a non-toxic black marker) one of the clothes-pins black to show how that would look but for ours I will not do so because for many 12-15 month old children what is in the hand must, by necessity, go into the mouth. If your child does not do that then I must admit the clothes-pin does look nice painted black masha'Allah.

For the box used, do not decorate it as you do not want decorations or varying colours competing for the child's attention while doing the activity insha'Allah. Also, as I learned this morning when doing this activity, glue the Ka'aba on the clothes pin higher up than what I did. This way the child can see the bottom of the clothes pin as he/she is attempting to clip it to the box insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The New Book Cover is Done Alhamdulillah!

Assalamu alaikum,

Do you remember this:


It was the book cover for this book insha'Allah:


Well....what do you think of this insha'Allah?!


The illustrator emailed it to me today alhamdulillah! What do you think?

Fine Motor Skill Activity: Threading Cheerios with Yarn

Assalamu alaikum,

I was searching the web for activities to do with children who are 15 month olds and I saw this activity where they suggested using yarn and Fruit Loops to have the child work on threading (i.e. fine motor skill practice which is critical later when the child learns to write insha'Allah among other things). The idea seemed like it would be worth trying.




I don't use Fruit Loops in the classroom for health reasons but Honey Nut Cheerios are healthier so I grabbed some Honey Nut Cherrios, yarn and tape to make the end of the yarn easy to thread through the Cheerios insha'Allah, and to tape the other end of the yarn down to the table insha'Allah. I grabbed a work mat (to define the work space insha'Allah) and I set it up, eagerly expecting little hands to happily have a go at it.

You know what ended up happening? The yarn stayed nicely glued to the table and....the Honey Nut Cheerios got eaten - without being threaded on the yarn! *smile* And I demonstrated how to thread the Cheerios with the yarn but alas, only the Cheerios were of interest. Well, admittedly I didn't try it with 15 month olds but still I thought, close enough eh? I guess not (smile).

I'm going to leave the activity out for a few days and try it again to see what happens (of course I'll put new Cheerios out each day insha'Allah) but for now I will 'follow the child' and see what happens because right now as I'm typing this I'm observing little hands with a child sized cloth busy and totally absorbed with wiping the table clean masha'Allah. Next actvity I'll introduce insha'Allah: why, wiping up spills of course insha'Allah!

I almost forgot: I do not use food in crafts because Islamically it is not permissible because it is a waste of food. In activities (such as this one) however, when food is used, please allow your child to eat his/her work (smile) insha'Allah.

Also, in Montessori education, the term "follow the child" refers to allowing the child's interests and natural desire to learn, direct his/her choices in a well-prepared environment. The teacher/parent observes the child and based on what the child appears to be naturally drawn to, the teacher/parent provides activities in that domain insha'Allah, allowing the child to follow his/her natural interests. As the child's interests change, the teacher/parent continues to provide new/different activities that allow the child to learn/explore his/her current interest insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Prayer Rug Math Activities

Assalamu alaikum,

I was trying to figure out what to do this week insha'Allah and I kept looking at all of these prayer rug graphics I have. I've been wanting to do something with them for some time now. What I had wanted to do was figure out a game that could be stored in a nice little box and could be taken out whenever an activity was needed. Well, nothing there yet but I did do some simple math activities using the prayer rugs alhamdulillah. The first one is a Prayer Rug Pattern Activity:


Using the pieces (small laminated prayer rugs) the kids can figure out what prayer rug they need to complete the pattern insha'Allah. The first one is the easiest and they get progressively more difficult as you go insha'Allah. This can be used for kids ages 4 and up insha'Allah.

The second activity I did was a Prayer Rug Matching Game.

Board Number 1
Board Number 2



Some of the game pieces

In this activity, the kids each have a different game board insha'Allah. All of the cards, which in this case are the different prayer rugs, will be in one stack. The kids take turns picking a card and if the card is on their board they place it over the prayer rug that matches it. If the piece does not match any prayer rug on their board, they return the card to the bottom of the stack. Play continues this way until one player has successfully matched all four prayer rugs on his/her board insha'Allah. Kids 3 and older may enjoy this game insha'Allah. My inspiration for this activity came from a game I saw in my internet travels but I think the original game idea came from Kidsoup.com but I'm not sure. 

Everything needed for each activity are in the respective files above insha'Allah. And depending on how it goes, maybe I'll make some more game boards insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Participants

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