Learning the meaning of The Quran plus Giveaway

After completing Surah Al Alaq Noori has decided she wants to learn Surah Al Mulk. She listens to it every night before sleep and knows 70%. Its up to me to teach her the correct pronunciation and I am seriously not ready for all that yet.

Instead I decided to go through all the Surahs she knows reciting 3 a day to make sure she remembers them.

I see no point in memorizing the Quran and never learning the meaning. How can that ever help us in our daily lives. For this reason I decided to start from the very begining and teach the meanings aswell as the correct recitation.

Luckily I had these books to hand else that would have been a mammoth task.

Your Surahs Made Easy part 1 helps us learn the meanings of Surah Fatiha and the last 10 Surahs. Part 2 Surah Humazah to Surah Dhuhaa. I have had the Part 1 book for years and it has been invaluable to us.

It is written in a child friendly manner but still containing lots of import information. The language used makes it easy for a child and even an adult to easily understand .

The graphics are high quality, colourful and nice to look at, with no eyes on the characters.

Each Surah has 3 pages. The first page shows the Surah in Arabic. It gives the title of the Surah plus what it means in English.

Al Adiyat Surahs Made Easy

Underneath is the English translation for each Ayat. There is a little symbol at the top to say if it was revealed in Makkah or Medina.

First we read the Surah correcting any mistakes in the tajweed. Each Ayat is numbered corresponding with the translation. So after reading the Surah fully we read the First Ayat then the translation and so on.

The second page tells us exactly what the Surah means and some interesting facts regarding the history and lessons behind it.

Al Adiyat Lessons

The last page is an easy quiz to make sure they have read properly and understood what they were reading.

Quiz Surahs Made Easy

The family behind Love for Quran have a website full of valuable content. There are lots of free online Tajweed and Prayer courses for Adults and Kids.

You can also watch their Youtube channel for some educational videos.

I am lucky enough to give one reader these two lovely books including The Prophet Muhammed for Children by GoodWord. This is a really fun book containing lots of little stories about a families everyday life. In these stories they connect their lives to the stories of the Prophet Muhammed (SAW). Teaching children of all ages valuable lessons without them even realising. Each story gives us a Hadith and a small quiz.

To be in with a chance to win Your Surahs Made Easy Part 2 and The Prophet Muhammed for Children Book , head over to our Facebook and Instagram page and follow the rules.

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My Tops Books of 2017

As a self confessed book addict I thought I’d share some of my favourite recommendations with you all. I do read adult books but it takes me about 6 months to finish one. I read childrens books with my daughter everyday .They are visually appealing and we both learn from them.

Most of the books I buy are from Charity shops else my addiction could cost me a fortune. However I can’t find Islamic books there so don’t mind spending a bit extra online.

In 2017 I was pregant, working a 60 hour week and then a new Mum so I didn’t have time to read much. The fact I read these books shows they are worth the read.

Islamic Education kids

Tajweed Untangled-Learning Roots

Tajweed Untangled Learning Roots

For the past few years I have been attending in depth tajweed lessons once a week. We are learning to read the Uthmani script Quran. I couldn’t find any books to use to teach my daughter the Quran in Uthmani script so I resorted to teaching her straight from the Quran until I found Tajweed Untangled.

Like everything from learning roots the text and layout if the books is fresh and modern making it easier to learn from.

The book goes from in depth learning of the Makarij to all the many rules. For this reason it is not for beginners. You will need to know your Arabic letters and how to read sentences.

Each section Starts with Study, reflect, rule, test and practise.

Tajweed Untangled Learning Roots

I use this to teach my daughter with help from my teachers if I get stuck. However I don’t feel it is aimed specifically at children. I like to go through it myself and make sure I am using the rules properly.

Baby books

Noisy Farm– Little Tiger Kids

Noisy Farm

I recieved this board book in our 3 months Bookstart Bookbag. I was shocked to find such a quality book inside. It is chunky, durable and easy for baby to practise page turning.

I am learning about the Montessori approach to learning so have gone through all our books removing the fairies, witches and unicorns as they don’t sit right with me. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to explain that witches can’t really to do magic or if unicorns are real. Back in the day unicorns had wings. Where have they disappeared too?

So I’m concentrating on books with real scenarios and collecting more books with real pictures.

Noisy Farm

This book is full of real pictures of farm animals that a child may come across on real life country walk.

Each page has a description of the animal and makes the animal sound. My 7 month old does not understand the sounds. He presses it then looks at me to see if I’m doing it. Its so cute to watch his reactions.

Childrens fiction

Ava Twist Scientist– Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist scientist

I think Noori likes this book, but not as much as me.

The story of a curious little girl who wants to know the answers to everything. She uses science to aid her as her family observe in wonder and sometimes dismay.

There is so much to take from this book.

Perserverence

Questioning

Solutions

Female scientists

Parenting.

This is my favourite book quote of all time.

Ada Twist scientist

I think this is the ultimate parenting goal. To observe your kids passions and do everything to help them along.

I want my daughter to love every race on this planet and respect every religion. So its important that this book is centred around an African American family. Showing positive educated people, not the disgusting stereotypes we see on TV.

Childrens non fiction

Usborne Books -Understanding your body.

This is an old book but you can buy the more modern version. I like Usborne Books as they are educational and fun too read.

The book tells children (and adults) all you need to know about your body from bones to neurones.

We read one page every night for nearly one year. Each page has the facts a comic and a fun fast experiment. I was impressed by this page.

It describes mental illness in a child friendly way making it easy to talk about to your child. It is surprising how much this subject can come up in everyday converstation. So having the knowledge makes it easier to explain certain peoples behaviours.

Adult fiction

Half of a yellow sun– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I have two favourite books and this is one of them. I have know alot of Nigerians in my life but never knew about the civil War. It’s funny how we only learn about our own countries at school and know nothing about the world. After reading this book I vowed to only read books about foreign places to learn about the world.

The story is set in 1960’s Nigeria before the civil war. It skips between wartime and pre war and is centred around 3 main characters.

You fall in Love with the chatacters and wonder how humans can be so inhumane.

Not for the light hearted. This is a book that stays with you.

Adult non fiction

Help your kids with english -Carol vorderman

Unless you have English A levels you probably want to buy this book when your child reaches year 3. When Noori brought home some homework about Conjunctive Clauses I had no clue how to help her. Thank goodness I had this book.

I am a visual person so it really helps that this book is colourful and modern. I learn information much easier in an infographic style. It is laid out so simply and the terms are very easy to find by the index. You can sit down and read it as a book or quickly find the information you need at that moment. A real life saver in a time of need.

WonderWoman– Joanna Gosling

The book for stressed out Mums. I find life much easier if I write To do Lists. I thought this would be a guide on getting your life organised. But it is a book full of handy tips on how to save time doing the boring jobs. It has certainly taught me a thing or two. and given me motivation.

This subject could have been a boring read but the author has a witty personality that shines through. The text is laid out in an easy format and there are big bright pictures on every page making housework look glamorous.

For more brilliant book recommendations head over to

The Bookish Nomad

Muslim Mummy

Ilma Education

Umm Afraz

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Zero Waste Swaps:Birthday Edition

This year was Noori’s 8th Birthday. How this happened I don’t know. I’m trying not to be one of those teary eyed Mums. I’m trying to embrace the fact that my baby is growing up and is nearly taller than me.

Having only heard of the zero waste concept less than a year ago there are still things I fail at (there is a long journey ahead). And more so I have found with kids. We have formed habits and traditions like anyone. This will be our first zero waste birthday.

I cannot sacrifice my childrens education for my ideals. And sometimes I get excited, like when I bought her present. Every year I will give a book a toy and some sweets.

This year she rolled off a list of annoying toys she’d seen advertised on the TV and one stuck with me.

A fingerlings.

Blue Fingerlings Monkey

A small reasonably priced monkey robot pet. It is cute and she can learn something from it. Shes the kind of kid that takes things apart so when shes got bored she can take it apart and put it back together. For this reason I searched high and low. I went to every store to try and buy one in person, as that way it involves less packaging and less delivery vehicles on the road emmiting fumes. Unfortunately being Christmas time it was sold out. I had to resort to online shopping.

Although I made a few zero waste fails (I’m a beginner) I will list the managable things here and maybe inspire someone else to give it a try:

Presents

For the presents I bought the Fingerlings fail. But the rest I bought from the charity shop.

Buying 2nd hand means no extra energy for production, packaging or transport miles are needed. The things have been used and still in great condition meaning is is quality and durable. I always clean the things I buy afterwards so they are not dirty. Even if you buy brand new things they have been touched by others anyway. The best, thing you are giving money to a worthy cause rather than a big company.

I bought:

A beautiful sparkly ring

A Captain Underpants hardback book. I have only heard about Captain Underpants from the film and knew she liked it. The book is full of the humour of an 8 year old. It has illustrations, fun style text and some comics.

Some foil wrapped my little pony chocolates. Foil is recyclable.

A trip to a cake shop.

Next year I will go for the experience presents rather than stuff.

Treasure Hunt

I started this thing of making present opening fun, rather than sitting down opening presents one after the other and the fun is over in 5 minutes.

I make if fun by doing a treasure hunt hiding the presents around the house.

Using scrap paper from the letters and envelopes we still seem to recieve I cut them up and put them on a mini clip board. I believe this way we will never need to buy paper again.

treasure hunt clues

On each paper I wrote a clue starting under her bed and ending in the living room. I also added some insprational quotes she may remember.

On each clue write the number so its easier for you to set up. I made sure all the clues took her upstairs then downstairs upstairs downstairs ect to make it energetic and fun. Its always fun to have been sleeping in a room when all the time your clues and presents have been hiding there secretly.

When you’ve written them out place the clues in the correct place. Go in number order else it could get confusing adding presents along with random clues.

I used to wrap the gifts in wrapping paper but this time I got creative. I put them in old boxes and even a teddy she had decided to take apart. You can use old gift bags, drawstring bags, pieces of cloth or containers. It really dosnt matter as the gifts won’t be on display anyway.

She always looks forward to her treasure hunt.

Food

I made a special breakfast. I tried to make it continetal style different from our usual eggs or beans on toast. (I have not yet found afforable bulk cereal or a milkman.) The fruit juice I can’t live without but have cut down from 6 bottles a week to 2! A week after this I bought a juicer. No more bottes Yay!

We had homemade bread with nutella and jam. Cereal and a cup of tea using PG tips loose tea leaves. Did you know most tea bags contain plastic? They cannot be composted either so loose is the way to go.

I made her a mermaid cake using my all time favourite zesty lemon cake recipe. I covered it in some icing I had lying around from last year. Luckily icing sugar comes in recyclable paper and cardboard for the buttercream. I made my own jam for inside it using some cranberries no one liked. I topped it with sweets and chocolates that you can buy loose.

Birthday breakfast

At her school all the kids share a cake for their birthdays. I made this from some imperfect cupcakes I rescued from a cake shop and stuck a little mermaid toy on top.

little mermaid cake

Experience Gift

I can’t go a day without cake so I need no excuse to go to my favourite cake shop. This was one of her gifts.

I made it extra special by inviting her Grandma and some cousins as a surprise. We got an afternoon tea and a gingerbread latte 💜💜💜💜

When the lady brought the food out she also brought the fingerlings in a gift bag making it an extra special surprise.

No balloons

Letting balloons go can cause havoc for the environment and often end up in the sea. They cannot be recycled where I live. Plus a popped or deflated balloon isn’t even pretty anymore so imagine it lying in a place of natural beauty.

Every year I buy a heart shaped helium balloon because they are nice and fun to play with for a few days but this year I opted out for all the above reasons and noone even noticed or cared. Win for the environment and my pocket.

Memory cards

Every year on her birthday I write the exact same questions on a piece of card and ask her to answer them. Then at the bottom I get her to write her name. It’s lovely to see her answers, how some change and some don’t and ho. I started when she was 4 but wish I’d had the idea from earlier on.

Birthday tradition

As kids get older it becomes more difficult to find them presents they actually need. An experience gift like a day out creates happy memories that everyone can share.

Or a subscription for a magazine or craft box.

My dream is for someone to get me an allotment. What would be your dream experience gift?

Drop us a comment below or #OurAmanahsOurFutures on instagram showing your fabulous gift experience in action!

Zero Waste Swaps birthday

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Baby weaning:Textures

Now baby has become used to eating pureed food its time to introduce some texture. Things are starting to get a bit more interesting. Ive tried quite a few things but I will only talk about two , the first because its the easiest transistion and the second because its yummy and healthy.

The first textured food I introduced apart from people giving him bits of rice was broccoli . I had no intention of this being a textured food. I was trying to make a broccoli purree but found it a bit impossible. I steamed the brocolli to lock in all the vitamins then put it in the blender. It came out all dry and a fluffy texture. I added water and it was still fluffy. Then I realised it would be a great way to introduce texture.

After blending I froze it into ice cubes and kept them in the freezer. Whenever I need it I defrost it then add some boiling water to make it less dry and make it warm.

This is really easy for baby to eat and you know they are getting all that goodness. If you are lucky enough you can replace the water with breast milk or some formula.

We all know the saying eat your greens.Well there are good reasons for that:

Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, fiber. Vitamin C – builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.
Health Benefits of Broccoli – Dairy Council of California https://www.healthyeating.org › Article

All that goodness can only be good for growing babies.

The second food he tried is his favourite ,pearl barley soup. The pearl barley cooks up into big mushy sticky deliciousness. Easy for baby to eat. Barley is know to be one of the most nutritious grains and is brilliant to make into homemade baby cereal.

Its best to soak the barley in water at least overnight so it cooks faster.

I chopped some carrot and courgette into tiny pieces and a quarter cup of pearl barley. I boiled them together for around 30 minutes until the barley had expanded 3-4 times its size and nice and squishy.

Pearl barley contains lots of fiber, iron, copper, B vitamins, manganese, iron,phosphorous and is very filling.

The great thing is pearl barley tastes great with anything. I found mixing it with bits of broccoli is easy for baby to eat. And I’m pretty sure it would make a delicious alternative to rice pudding.

If you are just starting weaning do read Babies 1st food-avacado and turnip.

What food did you use to introduce texture. Leave me a comment below and let me know ☺

If you try any of these with your baby do Instagram us using #OurAmanahsOurFutures

Arabic Words with The First Hippo on the Moon

The last book we used for learning our Arabic words was Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson. This week I chose another space themed book so I could use some of the same Arabic words as last time to reinforce recognition.

I absolutely love the books by David Walliams . They are so creative and have some humor in there for adults aswell. The illustrations are funny and any book with metallic writing has my vote.

We read The First Hippo on the Moon by David walliams.

We read the book and then I picked some new words out to write in Arabic and wrote them on pieces of paper.

We put the word hippo and moon over the words in the title and read the new title with the Arabic words.For hippo we used ‘farash il nahar’ and moon ‘Qamar’ making The first Farash il Nahar on the Qamar. It rhymes!! We have been singing Farash il Nahar on the Qamar ever since .

This time Noori got confident and matched all the words herself. I wasn’t allowed to look so I couldn’t ‘help’. As most of the words were from last time or ones she already knew she got most of them correct.

Most of the pages have animals on of which we already know the names from past activities or Quran.

Hippo and moon are repeated on nearly every page making it a brilliant book for repetition.

Ever noticed how space books always have a count down? Another reason to use those number words.

I like this space theme as we can use the words moon , sun and stars which are often repeated in the Quran.

If you’d like to try this at home these are the words we used:

Moon-Al qamar

Stars-Najma

Shams- Sun

Elephant- Feel

Giraffe – Zarafa

Hippo – Faras il Nahar

1-Wahid

2 -Ithnayn

3- Thalatha

Earth- Al Ard

Im very curious to know what Faras il Nahar trans lates as literally. So if anyone knows please leave the answer in a comment x

If you have the book Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson you may be interested to read our blog post Arabic words with Goodnight Spaceman.

If you try this out let us see on Instagram or Facebook using #OurAmanahsOurFutures

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Allah’s Names – As Salaam

As Salaam is a name we should all know as Muslims. We should be saying it multiple times a day when we see another Muslim as the Messenger SAW told us to do.

Really think about what you are saying to someone:

“May peace be upon you. ”

We are even supposed to say it to strangers!

Let it sink in next time you say this to someone. You will feel peaceful inside. See how it makes you feel and how you view that other person Subhanallah.

We read the description from our Names of Allah book ( screenshot above) and discussed what Peace means. Noori said it means being quiet and relaxing. I explained a world without Peace and how we can make Dua asking As Salaam for Peace. If we are feeling angry,upset or worried we can also make Dua using Allahs name As Salaam and ask for Peace.

(I only concentrated on the word peace as Flawless is quite a hard concept to explain and make into an activity).

We then searched the Quran for the Surah containing this name and read it in English. Some English Qurans use the word perfection rather than Peace so I found it important to read the word Salaam in Arabic so she can see it.

We then did a bit of Vocabulary and spelling by finding the definition of Peace. She wrote it down and then I rembered there are two words that sound like peace with different meanings. Peace and Piece. To make sure she knows the difference she wrote that definition also.

I bought an adult colouring book of flowers. I find these are easier for kids to colour as they have small details rather than big massive chunks of space to spend ages colouring , making them bored and the felt tips running out. I thought it would be nice for her to colour and write the names in the blank spaces, making a visually appealing list of names.

The next day we looked at Peace symbols.

There are many I’ve not heard of or seen before but we concentrated on these three.

We talked about the V sign. The ‘Peace Sign’, being about disarmament. For the dove I told her the story of the Prophet Nuh (Noah) and how in Christianity the dove brings the olive branch as a sign that the world was peaceful again after the flood.

As it is winter and ice is everywhere we did an ice activity. I saw this beautiful ice lantern on Facebook and new we had to try it out.

We went for a walk and picked some berries and foliage.

We followed the instructions from

https://www.practicallyfunctional.com/make-ice-lanterns-ice-candles/

We used the branches to signify the olive branch and she drew the peace symbol on a piece of card in sharpie and added that in. This is the end result.

Salaam ice lantern

This can be done anytime of the year using any kind of foliage. Flowers would look very pretty.

If you try this out let us see on Instagram or Facebook using #OurAmanahsOurFutures

If you enjoyed this post and would like more ideas please read the blog posts below:

Allah – the greatest name

Ar-Rab- the Lord

As-Sami -the Hearer of All

Al Awal Al Akhir-the First and the last

Food Waste, Not Here

Recently a friend went on holiday and gave me some food that would have gone to waste. Some were a bit worse for wear and I’m sure some of the most commonly wasted food products bananas and mushrooms. I set my mind to it and came up with a few recipes. The first thing I think of when faced with a bunch of blackening bananas : banana bread.

I like to make loaf cakes as they are easy to put in a packed lunch. A few days before I was given a tin of fudge so Noori thought it would be fun to add it in the cake. Make sure you chop the fudge into big pieces else they will melt in.

Banana and fudge loaf cake

  • 100g Butter
  • 175g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 small bananas (or 2 large)
  • 225g S.R Flour
  • 1 TSP baking powder.
  • 5-6 chunks of fudge halved
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  2. Beat in your 2 eggs.
  3. Mush your bananas with a fork and add them to the mixture.
  4. Add your flour and baking powder and mix until combined.
  5. Add your fudge pieces.
  6. Cook in the oven at 180°c for around 40 minutes.
  7. Insert a knife. If it comes out clean the cake is ready.
  8. Take its out and leave to cool before cutting.

From these not so nice bin destined bananas…

To this scrumptious banana fudge loaf.

The second thing I made was a creamy mushroom taglietelle. Check my zero waste swaps #1 for a super easy basic pasta recipe. This is a guide on how I made creamy mushroom sauce using these not so good looking mushrooms.

Mushroom Taglietelle (for one)

  • 5-6 Mushrooms of your choice
  • Quater of an onion
  • A slpash of olive oil
  • A splash of cream
  • Half a Handful of basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pine nuts
  1. Chop your onions and fry them in the olive oil until they go transparent (sort of).
  2. Chop your mushrooms and add them to the onions fry until cooked through.
  3. Throw in your basil.
  4. Add cream to your liking.
  5. Serve with your pasta and sprinkle with pine nuts if you like.

As you can see when it comes to things like sauces I dont go by measurements. Different people like pasta sauce their own way so it’s better to experiment and taste test as you go. I’m a chunky kinda girl whereas everyone else in my house likes mushy or finely chopped ingredients.

Believe me this was delicious and making my own pasta felt like such an achievement.

If you try this out let us see on Instagram or Facebook using #OurAmanahsOurFutures

For my breakfast I had mushrooms fried in butter. It feels a bit naughty but nice. If anyone has a recipe on how to make baked beans please share. It will mean one less tin can a week.

WhizzPopBang kids science magazine Review

Look what arrived through my letter box . The perfect magazine for a science experiment loving foodie.

When I saw this advertised I knew it would be right up our street. Everyday I ask Noori how her day was at school. One of the things she will complain about is how boring science is . “All we do is writing”. I was quite shocked to hear this. We love doing science experiments at home, and when the kids on the street come to play they always head straight for the experiment books and ask me to help them. Its like they have a thirst for science that really isn’t be fulfilled. So what kid wouldn’t love WhizzPopBang. Even the name is fun.

WhizzPopBang is a science magazine for 6-11 year olds that follows the national curriculum , supporting school work and a great resource for homeschooling . All the experiments are tested with children first to see if they are suitable.

I was kindly sent an issue to review. We were even allowed to choose which one. I was pushing for the Nature issue but Noori had other ideas and really wanted the Sugar Rush. So I went ahead and chose that one.

I am so happy that this magazine is available. In a world full of pink princess magazines with plastic junk attached it is refreshing. It is vital we have the opportunity to choose something educational and inspiring.

Lets have a look inside

The magazine had a glossy front and back which is recycleable. The inside pages are made from a matt paper giving it a better quality feel than most magazines. The inside pages are compostable for all you zero waste heroes out there.

Noori flicked through it and came across a two page spread on kittens. She has been looking after her friends kittens whilst they are away and its become a bit of a neighbourhood craze to go and feed them. The page is full of scientific facts about kittens and some questions to answer.

She then found a space board game which she was desperate to play but couldnt find the counters on the pull out page. I sat down with her and we started again from page one. Being very supportive of female empowerment it was amazing to read this:

The news section contains QR Codes. This adds a whole other element to magazine reading. We found it really fun to scan the codes and see what websites popped up.

These two amazing Sisters have started a plastic free campaign . I was so happy to come across a kids magazine that supports environmental issues .You can see the girls fantastic website here:

http://www.kidsagainstplastic.co.uk

Its well worth a look at what this inspirational family are doing.

This page lead us to the Eat smart Sugar App. You can scan the barcodes and it tells you how many cubes of sugar are in the product.

Im so glad we make our beans last over 3 or 4 days. Nearly 5 cubes of sugar in one can! I try my best not to buy things in packaging but this app may help me cut down even more once I see all the unnecessary sugar involved.

Theres nothing Noori loves more than sharing food with other people so we had to try out the recipe. Luckily all the recipes are low sugar sweet treats. So I let her make these date munchies. She took some for packed lunch, shared some with her Grandparents and Dad. Then we both ate the rest.

We read the magazine over a few weeks. It got to the point where we had to make the space rocket game even though it meant skipping some pages. She couldn’t find any 5p’s to make the counters so she improvised and stuck the rocket counter to a tiny jar.

This game is a keeper. Its like snakes and ladders but more interesting.

Apart from all the scientific facts about sweeties and sugar what really impressed me was a two page spread on the ancient Iraqi scientist Ibn Al Haytham. I’ve only heard of this great scientist from the Islamic perspective. Its nice he is being mentioned in a non religious magazine teaching all children a history they may never been taught or have access too.

This comes to our second present day scientist . A female sweet scientist. I have never heard of a sweet scientist and I’m pretty sure not alot of other people will have either. It would be my daughters dream job. And probably nearly every kid would like to have a job like that. She has left her email adress so you can ask a real life sweet scientist any question you want. I find this a nice personal touch that really gets the kids involved and speaks to them at their level.

Lastly you can never have enough bookmarks. Do you like my new one?

WhizzPopBang is available through subscription for 3.75/month. There are other payment options available. But its a small price to pay for your childrens future. What a super non toy free gift it would make.

If your kids like to do science experiments and are mad about slime check out our Slime, slimeh , slimey slime recipe.

***I was kindly sent this to review. All opinions are my own***

Arabic Words with Goodnight Spaceman

For the past 2 years I’ve been going once a week to a Tajweed class with two of the most amazing teachers Alhamdulillah. Aswell as teaching us to read the Quran with love they also teach us some of the words in Arabic. It has really helped me to understand some of the verses and recognise words as I listen. It is very important to me and I wish for my children to learn this aswell. So I am starting to teach them words. As I am not fluent in Arabic or know how to teach languages we are starting small with individual words. This week we used a book called Goodnight Spaceman. A lovely rhyming book with cute illustrations, about two littles boys dreams of space travel.

Our space theme started at the weekend when we went on a special park walk.

Our local park was doing a heritage walk where we walked around the park discussing its past present and future. We learned alot about plants and trees and got to go inside the observatory. I found this to be somewhat a privilge. Most of the people on the walk have lived here for 60 years and not been in. I’ve walked past it nearly everyday for 30 years and never given it a thought.

These days it is just a small museum not a working observatory, but we got to go inside and see the huge telescope and listen to a historical talk .

Can you imagine this many people coming to watch a natural phenomenon on a park these days.

When we got home I found the book and chose one word from every page. I wrote them in Arabic on a piece of scrap paper and cut them out.I placed the correct word on the correct page. We then read the book. Everytime a word came up I said the word in Arabic and its English translation. I got Noori too place it on either the corresponding word or object and read it out. Then we read the sentence again including the Arabic word.

As the book is named Goodnight Spaceman the word goodnight is repeated often. We used the phrase Tisbah ala khair for the word Goodnight and moved it from page to page.

These are the Transliterations of the words we used:

Goodnight-Tisbah ala khair

Sun- Shams

Star- Najma

Moon- Qamar

Bed- Sarir

Sky- sama

One- Wahid

Two-Ithnayn

Three- Thalatha

Four- Arba

Five- Khamsa

When the story ended Noori decided to spread all the words on the carpet and read the story again. Everytime she read a page she would find the correct word and put it in its place. This surprised me because she was quite excited to do it and must have enjoyed reading the story like this.

Next time we go to the library I will try and find a similar themed book that we can use the same words for and add a few new ones.

If you try this out let us see on Instagram or Facebook using #OurAmanahsOurFutures

Do you think this is a good way to introduce Arabic to children?

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Allah’s Names: Al Awaal , Al Akhir

The next of Allah’s names we have been learning about are Al Awaal- The First, Al-Akhir -The Last. We found the meaning of these words and discussed them in Islamic terms. Allah has been since the beginning of time. Before the Prophets , before the Earth before the whole Universe , before time itself. Which is something we can’t even imagine as Human Being’s.

We found the verse in the Quran 57:3 where the names appear and I asked Noori to read it in English then Arabic. When she’d read it in Arabic I asked her to pick out the names from the text.

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The next day we wrote down the dictionary definitions of First and Last . These meanings don’t are not written with the same concept in mind but its a good way to extend vocabulary and try to learn spellings.

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Then we used our Thinkernation spell and learn to form the words for more hands on learning.

Some days later we did a science experiment about First and last. To make it fun I took 3 of her small toys and froze them in ice cubes. You could use more and try more ingredients but I could only find 3 toys .

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When she got home from school I asked her:

  • What can we use to melt the ice?
  • Why would that melt the ice?
  • Which one will melt first and last?

She said we can chop one up to make it melt faster like a slushy

Another we can leave. The last one I said we should use salt as I knew that would have a bigger impact and be more impressive.

She decided to make a chart showing all the information.

We then took the ice out of the ice tray and put one in a dish by itself. The other one she chopped up and the other she added salt.

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We observed each one as they melted. We noticed that the one with water and the one with salt were melting in different ways. The water one stayed smooth while the salt one was cracking.

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It looked as though the chopped and the salt were neck and neck but eventually the salt came first and the one with nothing came last.

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I’m hoping this activity will help her too remember the names. At school one morning it was icy and they had spread the grit salt on the playground. I reminded her about our experiment and the names Al Awal and Al Akhir. Maybe when she hears the words 1st and last or sees ice cubes or her toys she will remember these names.

If you try this out let us see on Instagram or Facebook using #OurAmanahsOurFutures

If you liked this and would like to see more actvities then here are some of the other names we have looked at
As-Sami

Ar-Raab

Allah-The Greatest Name

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