Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Game: Arabic Colours Go-Fish

Assalamu alaikum,

This game is a variation (or adaptation) of the ever popular Go-Fish game. This game has a winter theme (mittens) and the card that players do not want to be left with when the game ends is a snowman.

The game is played the same way that the regular Go-Fish game is played but has fewer cards. There are 29 cards - including the snowman.

We play the game this way: If two children are playing then the players will shuffle the cards to mix them up and then each player gets 5 cards insha'Allah.

Players take turns picking a card from the other person's cards (without looking at the others players' cards) which the other person is holding in his/her hand like a fan. If they pick a card that matches one of the cards they have in their hand, they take both cards and place them on the table or floor (face up). If a player runs out of cards then he/she picks another card from the cards in the "pool" (the stack of cards in the middle). The game ends when all cards have been matched and the person who has the most matching colour mittens and is not left with the snowman wins the game.

There are many ways to play Go-Fish, you can read about them here insha'Allah. We switch up and play the game differently sometimes and playing the game where the players have to ask one another if they have a certain colour card helps children work on learning the colours in Arabic insha'Allah. The way that I described above does not have that feature.

If your children do not read Arabic, you can see how to pronounce the colour words here insha'Allah. *Note: we say, "banafseejeeya" for purple and here they use "arjamaanee". The game has "banafseejeeya" on the mitten. Also, they do not have the words for olive, silver and gold. For olive the word is "zaytooni", for silver the word is "fiddhi" and for gold the word is "thahabi".*

I printed the game on cardstock and recommend gluing them on to poster board as well to help them withstand frequent handling insha'Allah.

Here is the file insha'Allah:

Download Arabic Colours Go-Fish Game here

or from the link below

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Preschool Winter Craft Using Yogurt Cups

Assalamu alaikum,

I think it would be an understatement to say that I save things: boxes, egg cartons, toliet paper rolls, see what I mean...hehe. I also save yogurt cups. I wash them out really good and keep them because there are crafts kids can do with them alhamdulillah. For example, this craft is easy and preschoolers can do it without much help insha'Allah.

To make this craft, the next time you or anyone in your family enjoys yogurt, don't break the individual cups apart. Leave them together insha'Allah - this means someone will have to eat two cups of yogurt at one time (smile). But you know, we did one with four cups together and you could certainly do one with only one cup too insha'Allah.

Here's what you'll need insha'Allah:

- clean, empty yogurt cup(s)
- white glitter
- glue
-white paint (be sure it's non-toxic insha'Allah)
- light blue construction paper
- black marker
- white circles (3 different sizes)

First: Cut the construction paper to match the length and width of the circumference of the yogurt cup.
Next, invite the child to paint the winter scene onto the construction paper and allow to dry.

Then put glue around the entire yogurt cup and affix your winter scene insha'Allah. The winter scene is the part that the child can do almost independently insha'Allah. Cutting the circles for the snowmen is great fine motor skill work and kids love glitter (supervise that part insha'Allah..hehe) and most children love to paint. Once they've designed the scene they want, you can help them glue it to the side of the cup insha'Allah.

I use these little crafty cups to store things: coins, math manipulatives, buttons, etc. No doubt your little ones will find lots of uses for them too insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Masaajid & Colour Domino Games

Assalamu alaikum,

This coming week we are going to play two games insha'Allah: Masaajid Dominoes and Colour Dominoes. I've had these games ready for a few days but I had to check to make sure it was permissible in Islam because I am aware that some games (such as those that use dice, exchanging money, betting, etc.) are not permissible. Alhamdulillah, the Sheikh said that these games were permissible and waallahu alim.

Both games are easy and fun so children four years old and up may enjoy them insha'Allah. The children simply match the masjid or colour to the piece that is on the table. For example, in the game below, the piece that began the game was a piece that had the same masjid on each side. The next piece that was placed on the table had to have at least one side that had the same masjid as the first piece. So the game extends out from there with the children matching the pieces based on the masaajid needed insha'Allah. The colour game is played in the same way, only matching colours instead of masaajid insha'Allah.

Here is the Masaajid Domino Game:

This is the Colour Domino Game:

The colour domino game can be used to help children learn colours and reinforce their existing knowledge of colours insha'Allah. I do not doubt that you all will also find other great ideas to use with these games insha'Allah and I invite you to share insha'Allah (smile). 

I printed both games on card stock but I also glued them to poster board just because I wanted extra thickness insha'Allah. I did not laminate the pieces of this game. I think the card stock on the poster board should be sufficient insha'Allah.

Here are the files insha'Allah:

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Suggestions from Umm Adam

Assalamu alaikum,

Umm Adam recently sent me an email with some excellent suggestions to extend the learning for the Cloud Letters Game and the Hajj Game....barak Allahu feha. Here are her suggestions and insha'Allah, you will find them beneficial and fun!

"One extra idea to suggest for your cloud-game is to every time while the cloud is placed at its correct position to stop there and consider together with the child one word that starts with that letter. Like this they [the children] will learn the sounds in practice. In the beginning it can be the adult who helps, but after a short while the child understands the idea and suggests by themselves the words insha'Allah. Like this it will be easy after a while for the child to start reading."

"The new idea for using this material is to focus doing hajj in the correct order. We played this so that we turned all the cards upside down. But not to loose from our sight the cards of Allaah. That is because you never should forget Allaahs position in your life. The child who knows how to read, reads for getting the reading practice. And the child who doesn´t know will be taught to read, for example, one word. One step at the time to figure out what we need to go for looking after. Then we started to turn the cards for finding the correct card in order. It was not allowed to continue the travel forward before all the players had found their required card. Other players are helping each other like we should do in real hajj also. It was so fun and so educational. It was pleasure to answer for the childs´questions of what we are doing at here, and why we do this and what we might feel or see while continuing our hajj etc. "
Jazakillahu Khayr dear sis Umm Adam!

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Learn How to Present Monterssori Lessons & Free Montessori Materials

Assalamu alaikum,

For those who may be interested in learning how to present language lessons using the Montessori method, this video series may prove helpful insha'Allah.

This video series shows how to present math activities using the Montessori Method insha'Allah.

This website may also be of benefit as it contains many, many Montessori materials that are free to download and print insha'Allah.

*Note: These are not Muslim websites, please use discretion regarding which materials you choose to use insha'Allah. Jazakum Allahu Khayran.*

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snowy Day Activities For The Little Ones

Assalamu alaikum,

I'm working on simple activities for the little ones that relate to the fantastic landscape that awaits them outside alhamdulillah. So far, this first activity has been a hit alhamdulillah. I just made 10 snowballs out of yarn (that only took about 20-30 minutes alhamdulillah). I used yarn because infants and toddlers, up until about 18 months old, put most things that are in their hand into their mouth. The yarn snowballs are too large for the mouth insha'Allah and can't be swollowed insha'Allah.

I then covered a can with solid blue paper. With a work mat (to delineate work space), sit with the child on the floor. Tell the child that you will put a snowball into the can and demonstrate this by placing one or two snowballs into the can. Invite the child to place a snowball into the can. The child (ages 12 -15 months) picks up a snowball one at a time and drops it into the can.

I added language and math to this activity by counting aloud each time he/she puts a snowball into the can. This way, the child becomes familiar with the numbers and also increases vocabulary insha'Allah. I also added a little fun to the activity by doing something special when the child placed the 10th snowball in the can (i.e. a hug, an enthusiastic 'jazakum Allahu khayr!', etc.).  It's amazing how the child anticipates the number 10 and starts giggling even before they put the snowball into the can..hehe.

This activity is for the older tots (24 months and older). Place the snowflake number cards in a basket and the child can go to the activity and take the cards out, line them up and place the appropriate number of yarn snowballs under the corresponding numbers insha'Allah.

The third activity is a counting activity also. You need an empty, clean egg carton box. Cut off the last two compartments for 1-10 counting activities such as this one. With a black marker (or you can buy those blank circle stickers and write the numbers on them and stick them into the bottom of the compartments insha'Allah), write the numbers 1-10 in each compartment (one number per compartment). The child then places one snowball in each compartment and says aloud the number he/she see in the compartment they are working with at that moment (or the teacher/parent) can do the counting insha'Allah.

Insha'Allah, I'll post a few more snowy activities later in the week and there will be a small colouring book included insha'Allah.

Here are the snowflake counting cards I used (there are Arabic and English number cards insha'Allah).

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Islamic Spelling Games

Assalamu alaikum,

This week insha'Allah, we will play two Islamic spelling games. Both games require no dice or a spinner. There are two games: "Arkaan ul Islam Spelling" and "Deen Spelling". The first game is for children who have strong alphabet recognition skills insha'Allah. The second game is for children who are becoming familiar with the letters and the names of each insha'Allah. You will need a bag that is not see-through to play the game insha'Allah.

The great thing about these games is that the entire family can play together insha'Allah! Just print game boards for everyone and enough letters and family game night is ready to begin insha'Allah!

Here is what the games look like:

The Deen Spelling Game without all letters completed

The Arkaan ul Islam Game Board
The Arkaan ul islam game has five words on each game board with accompanying pictures. And that beautiful snow globe you will see on the game board cards (if you download the games insha'Allah) came from Easel and Ink (smile).

How to play each game insha'Allah:

1). Print, cut out and mount the game boards and letter pieces on poster board (for durability, laminate insha'Allah). Note: For Arkaan ul Islam be sure to print enough symbol cards for each player insha'Allah.
2). Each player gets a game board (the boards are identical).
3). Place all of the letter pieces in the bag insha'Allah.
4). Each player takes turns getting a letter from the bag without looking. He/she says the name of the letter that they pulled out. If that letter is one that they can use on their game board to spell one of the words on the game board, they keep the letter and place it in the correct spot insha'Allah. If the letter is not one that they need/can use, they put the letter back into the bag insha'Allah and the next player takes his/her turn.
5). The first person to complete their board wins insha'Allah.
*6). For the Arkaan ul Islam game: There is an added level of fun and challenge to this game. There is a blank game piece that the player who picks it keeps and he/she can use it to stand for any letter they need. So if the game is close and they only need one more letter and they have the blank game piece, they can use it to win the game insha'Allah. Also, when a player finishes spelling a word on their game board, the player gets a symbol piece to place on their game board next to the word they successfully spelled (i.e. when they get all of the letters they need to spell Quran, they get a game piece that has a picture of the Quran and they place it next to the word - there is a space on the board for the picture cards). The first person to spell all of the words and get all of the picture cards for each word wins insha'Allah.

Control of Error in these games: For all words that need to be spelled, there are shadow letters of the letters that they need in each box. This is to help with letter recognition and to help the child self-correct if he/she places the wrong letter in a box.

To make the game more challenging add more letters to the bag, and to make the game easier, place only the letters that the children will need to spell the words insha'Allah. Be sure that you put enough letters for each child to be able to successfully spell the words (i.e. enough letters so the children don't run out of needed letters in the middle of the game) insha'Allah.

Both games are in the same file. There are also colour game boards to download as well insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Board Book: Sizes

Assalamu alaikum,

On a recent trip to the library, we discovered this wonderful board book alhamdulillah :

Inside are delightful pictures that show the different sizes of things and their opposites (i.e. tiny, enormous, etc.). Infants and toddlers may enjoy this book very much insha'Allah.

DK, the publisher of this board book, also has a book of Shapes but this book, Sizes, is simply very nicely done. I liked the book so much that I've decided that I'll add it to my personal library insha'Allah. Alhamdulillah, it's on Amazon new for only $1.99 USD insha'Allah. But next time you're in the library insha'Allah, stop by the board books, pick up DK's Flaptastic Sizes and Check it out insha'Allah!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rizq: Fruit Bingo

Assalamu alaikum,

Here is another game for the Riqz theme: Fruit Bingo. The objecive of the activity is to learn that rizq (provisions) come from Allah Alone and for children to become familar with the spellings of common fruits insha'Allah. Accompanying the game is a sample lesson plan about teaching children that the rizq comes from Allah and after learning this concept insha'Allah, children can play this familiar game and work on identifying/naming fruits insha'Allah.

Control of Error is built into this activity in the following way insha'Allah: Each box has the name of a fruit and in the bottom corner of the box, there is a picture of that fruit to help the child if they cannot read the name quickly (or at all) this way they can still play the game insha'Allah.

To play, a parent/teacher says the name of a fruit. The child, who has circular fruit chips, looks for the correct fruit and places it in the box of the fruit that was just called out. There are more chips than boxes for a specific reason: each child will have the same card insha'Allah but the parent will give each child different chips - but making sure they have the chips they need to match all fruits insha'Allah. To win the game, the child has to get four in a row, across, down or diagonal.

Dowload Rizq: Fruit Bingo Game insha'Allah

Dowload Riqz min Allah Lesson Plan insha'Allah

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fruity Sight Words Board Game

Assalamu alaikum,

This is a sight word game for children three years old and up insha'Allah. The game is called 'Riqz min Allah: Fruity Sight Words' and comes with a game board, 64 game pieces (48 sight words and 16 symbol game pieces) and directions insha'Allah.

The game is to help chlildren learn the sight words in a fun fashion insha'Allah. The game is played from right to left because it is from the sunnah to start on the right hand side. This is also helpful for children who are learning Arabic because it will reinforce the right to left text direction of the Arabic language insha'Allah. But...if you really really really want a board that plays from left to right please leave a comment or email me (use the contact button on the right hand side) and I will email a left to right board to you insha'Allah (smile).

The game board

One set of the game pieces

The words have three levels of difficulty, green being the easiest (preschool sight words- one or two letter words), yellow being medium difficulty (a mixture of preschool and kindergarten sight words - mostly two letter words) and red being challenging (also a mixture of preschool and kindergarten sight words - three and four letter words) insha'Allah.

Download 'Fruity Sight Words' game insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Arabic Letter Matching Games (all letters insha'Allah)

Assalamu aliakum,

Here are the Arabic alphabet games for the complete Arabic alphabet insha'Allah. The format of these games is identical to the game from this post (also see picture below) insha'Allah.

Download the games here insha'Allah

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Layout/Background

Assalamu alaikum,

My blog has been changing frequently in the last 24 hours. I'm trying to find a background that I like and so far...nothing....alhamdulillah. So, I apologize in advance for the fact that when you visit, it may be a new layout each time (for a bit at least insha'Allah). Insha'Allah, I'll find one that I like soon.

Jazakillahu Khayran!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Arabic Alphabet Game: Letter Clouds

Assalamu alaikum,

A new Arabic Alphabet game insha'Allah! Jazakillahu Khayr Umm Abdul Basir and her five year old daughter for asking for a new game. The request got my little grey cells fluttering (hehe). Dear sister Umm Abdul Basir, here is the game for your daughter. Please let me know if I missed the idea of what you wanted and if so insha'Allah, I will give it another go (smile). If it's what you need then, have fun playing insha'Allah! (smile)

(file includes game pieces and two suggested ways of playing insha'Allah)

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2010 Colouring Calendar

Assalamu alaikum,

I'm happy over here alhamdulillah! I made you all something - a small gift from me to you insha'Allah (smile). Well, it's a gift for your children and your household insha'Allah. It's a 2010 Calendar that your children can colour and then you can hang it up or send it off to family as a gift insha'Allah (I'm working on a hijri calendar too insha'Allah).

Front cover of the calendar

A Sample Page

Another sample page

So this is a small gift from me to you insha'Allah. It cost me about $3.00 to get the coil binding on it. This version (pictured) does not print front and back (I'm going to work on designing one that does to save paper insha'Allah). In the meantime, please enjoy this calendar insha'Allah.

I forgot to mention: there are many ways that your child can decorate the calendar (i.e. colour the pictures) insha'Allah:
  • make or buy sparkle paint and allow your child to paint the pictures insha'Allah
  • use liquid glue to fill the inside of the picture (i.e. spread it around the inside of the picture) and invite your child to use different colour sand to colour the picture (if you do this you will need to print your calendar on fairly thick paper insha'Allah)
  • for different texture (visually), invite your child to dip a cotton ball into the paint to paint the picture (you will need a separate cotton ball for each colour paint insha'Allah)
  • place a piece of sandpaper under the picture you child is going to colour and invite him/her to colour the picture insha'Allah. The sandpaper gives the picture a different look that many children enjoy. *Allow your child to do a test page on a piece of scratch paper just in case he/she is not among the children that like colouring on sandpaper*
Enjoy insha'Allah!


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