Saturday, October 16, 2010

Together We Read (October): Activities and Resources

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

My apologies for the late entry.

Alhamdulillah, this is a delightful book. Not only was it enjoyed but I learned a lot and had so much fun too subhana'Allaah!

First, here are a few crafts made from recycled materials insha'Allaah:

Instead of tossing these things in the bin,

add paint, glue and some imagination...and you get:

Close-up view below
The cardboard is the background material, using markers and paint, the scene was drawn. The chairs are made from the egg carton box as is the bottom of the table. The backs of the chairs are scrap cardboard pieces.The tablecloth is a piece of scrap cloth and the table top is the lid from a baby food container. The flower pot is the plastic top from a milk carton and the flowers are foam and pipe cleaners.

Using the cardboard from a large diaper box, you can also make a mini-bulletin board for your toddler to display their work.
This can be re-used each time you change themes or have something new to add insha'Allaah. You can really get creative with this because you can design your own borders and backgrounds! And there is no need to print anything so you save paper and ink. Great way to reduce the amount of paper you use. All you need is construction paper for the background of the bulletin board and decorate the parameter any way you'd like! Use old wrapping paper, make the border three dimensional - lots of possibilities here.

Here are some activities that you can do with children to extend this read aloud insha'Allaah:

Sequencing Cards for how paper is made

Help children understand all of the natural resources that are used to make paper. With them, discuss how exhausting these resources by wasting will only lead to hardship for mankind by placing stress on the environment. Discuss their role as a Muslim in preventing further damage to the planet.

What Can Be Recycled Sorting Mat
No cards are provided for this mat so that children can put into practice what they learned in this story insha'Allaah. Using old magazine, books, newspapers, etc. children can find pictures of things that they can recycle that fall into the categories on the mat.

Help the Earth Reminder

Children can put together this Earth Reminder to help them remember items that they can recycle (many of which were mentioned in the story). Mount on sturdy cardboard or use two paper plates and allow children to assemble this handy recycling reminder!

There was so much to do using this book masha'Allaah. Here are more ideas of crafts you can make using materials that usually go into the bin and then end up in landfills subhana'Allaah.

  • Diaper boxes are some of the best things to use for crafts! Large and durable, you can make:
    • mini-sofa for your toddler
    • mini-bulletin board for your tot (pictured above)
    • 3-D pictures (pictured above)
    • play fort
    • shoe rack for the family's shoes
    • play refrigerator
    • play mini-closet for dress-up time
    • mini shelf (cut of the side flaps and use them as dividers to help separate your child's toys for easy selection insha'Allaah)
  • Boxes of any shape and size can be used for an assortment of crafts that would create a list too long or a blog post masha'Allaah! *smile*, but a few examples are:
    • as sis Umm Maimoonah does, use them to make learning cards
    • store small game pieces and toys
    • use them to store felt food...yum yum!
    • make mini towns to play with using toy cars
    • make a 3-D picture frame that holds small objects that are special to your child (glue several different sized small boxes together after cutting off their side panels)
  • Baby food containers (glass and plastic)
    • make goodie bags and put them into the clean plastic cups with lids to give away at Eid parties
    • when going out, cut up cheese and fruits and put them into the cup. Replace the top and pop it into the diaper bag insha'Allaah.
    • Put small, tot safe, crackers for your little one to munch on while out in them (i.e the baby food containers).
    • With the glass containers: make snow globes
  •  Empty egg cartons, cereal boxes, tea boxes, etc.
    • place them in your child's pretend play area

There is much, much more subhana'Allaah and I'm positive that you have a plethora of ideas that you can add to this list. Please do! Together, sharing ideas for ways to reduce waste on the planet, we can give our children hours of crafting fun, save money, and contribute to repairing the planet insha'Allaah!

Zaynab and Zakariya is an excellent springboard to launch a recycling theme in your homeschool or classroom. The story length lends itself to children four years old and up and is a delightful read. You can get your copy of the book here insha'Allaah.

Enjoy insha'Allaah and I hope you link up to share what you and your child(ren) read, Together, this month.


  1. As Salaamu Alaykum, I love your activities and we use alot of the same and more for our recycling crafts. Diaper boxes are wonderful bulletin boards! I use them with all my bulletin boards,masha Allah. Jazakallahu Khair for sharing with us once again *smile*

  2. Assalaamu Alaikum!
    Masha Allaah great wonderful sis. I am waiting to get the book Insha Allaah! Do all of these with Maimoonah!

    Any way we will try to link up with together we read this time Insha Allaah.

    Jazzakillaah khayr for sharing!

  3. Umm An-Nu'man, SubhaanAllah, i think you got to patent that air you breathe and sell it to us so that we'll also get lovely ideas like you do *smiles*. mashaAllaah!

    a lovely, very different set of activities mashaAllaah.

    Umm Muhammad Saalih

  4. Assalamu 'alaykum wa Rahmatullah:

    These are excellent ideas for reusing materials Sister Umm An-Nu'man! MashaAllah! My 5 year-old loved this book and of course wanted to recycle everything he could put his hands on :)

    I posted a review of the book on my blog a few months ago. I think I will add a link to here in the post, inshaAllah.

    Keep up the wonderful work dear sis!

  5. Assalamu'alaykum wr wb

    dear sister umm An-numan nice idea for teaching our kids for save Allah's planet and reusing materials, but afwan i can get copy of book from this link, if you does not mind may i getcopy of the book from you?
    jazakillah khoir

    ummu ammar

  6. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullaah

    Barak Allaahu feekum dear sisters for your comments and kind words. My apologies for the delay in responding.

    Ya ukht Umm Muhammad Saalih *smile*, I do not know that I can patent the air *smile* but I believe many ,many sisters have a share their wonderful, creative ideas. Jazakillaahu khayr dear sis.

    Sis Umm Ammar: if you are unable to purchase the book through the link provided, you would need to contact Smartark directly as they are the publisher of the book. Please try their website's contact page:
    Jazakillaahu khayr


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