Around The World : Croatia

After learning about the continents, world maps and where we live we have moved on to learning about individual countries. Our first: Croatia

Day 1- We looked at our world map and found England where we live. We located Europe and found Croatia. We looked at the seas and the countries surrounding it.

Day 2 – On an A4 paper I wrote out some questions which when answered would make a Croatia fact file. At the top Noori drew the Croatian flag. I let her use the laptop so she could find all the answers to the questions I had asked. My aim is to write a recipe on the back and add it to Noori’s recipe book.

Croatian Flag fact file

Day 3- Some days earlier we went on a countryside walk and found a giant cooking apple.

Green cooking apple

I used this as an opportunity to find a Croatian apple dish. This is exactly what I typed into google. After finding numerous recipes for Croatain apple pie I could find no answer to what the Croatians call this dish. So we will call it Croatian Apple Slice as this is most fitting for the traditional dish.

After going through 5 or 6 recipes I found one that didn’t include rum. Wether this makes it less traditional I dont know but here goes.

Croatian Apple Slice

Pastry

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 150g margarine
  • 150g sugar
  • 350g Plain flour
  • 1stp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice

Filling

  • 5 apples
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1stp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar

For The Pastry

  1. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  2. Mix togther the flour, baking powder, lemon juice and zest, plus the vanilla extract.
  3. When the mixture is crumbly knead it togther and make a big dough ball.
  4. Let it rest in the fridge whilst you carry on with the filling.

For the filling

1.Peel your apples and chop or grate them into small pieces.

2. Mix with the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract and let them sit.

Meanwhile break your dough in half. Roll roll out one half and place it into a square tin.

Spread your apple mixture evenly ontop.

Do the same with your second dough ball and lie it ontop of the Apple mixture. You can add some fancy designs or keep it plain

Bake in the oven at 180°c for around 30 minutes until golden brown.

When done slice them into portions.

The Apple Slice was delicious. So much so I didn’t get a chance to take a nice photo.

Day 4 – We listened to the Croatian national anthem and sang along which was a good laugh.

The Quran tells us:

Do you know any Croatian recipes or some good apple ones?

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Hands On, World Geography For Kids

I can go just about anywhere and become completely lost. Luckily for me my Noori has always had the ability to find her way back from anywhere.

With this in mind I’m quite shocked that she thinks London and Manchester are completely different countries. While playing different board games she always get stuck on the Geography questions. To be honest so do I.

The only thing I remember learning in geography at school was about volcanoes. Here was a classroom full of students eager to learn about the world, but instead learning about habitats, rocks and weather systems. Important things to learn about, but we all wanted to know about countries, the people,the cultures,the food. Needless to say at high school I chose History over Geography (maybe this is why I missed the good stuff). And it looks as thought Noori’s schooling is going the same way.

This is why I have taken it upon myself to teach her some good old fashioned geography, using games, quizzes, a compass, maps, holidays, books and food.

When I’d had enough of trying to explain Blackpool is 20 minutes drive rather than a 6 hour plane journey I went and bought a map of the UK.

Maps

We had a look at where we live and what is around us, including the Irish Sea (new fun fact for me).

I pointed out England, Ireland,Scotland and Wales and that some of them are different countries but we don’t need to cross the sea to get there.

Too make it more personal I showed her where her friends and family live, where her Grandparents are on holiday and where we have been on holiday. I then asked her to point to different places on the map .

We then looked at the world map and saw where we live in the world, where the family are from, where they live, where friends live, where her friends parents are from and where her Grandparents are on holiday.

Self Map

It’s all well and good to teach our kids these things about the world but they will only understand if the understand their place in the world. For this we made a self map. Not so glamourous as you can see, but it serves its purpose.

Self Map geography

You will need 6 pieces of paper gradually getting bigger. We just used scrap paper. Starting with the smallest piece to the biggest, write My House,In the County, in the city , In the country, on the continent, on the planet.

Bind these together and have your child fill in the answers. Have a map besides you to explain each part and point it out on the map. You can use Google maps to find your house, a map of your country, a world map and a space map if you don’t have the physical maps.

Compass

To find our way around a map we needed to know about compasses. I drew a simple compass North, West ,South and East on a scrap paper. I had her memorize where each point was using the poem that I was taught at school,

Never (North)

Eat (East)

Shredded (South)

Wheat (West)

I downloaded a compass on my phone and we worked out which directions our neighbours lived at and if we keep going North we will get to Scotland.

Continents

I have read that we should teach about the continents before individual countries.

We watched this nice video on YouTube.

I also found this useful book The Fact Cat – Equator. The first page shows the continents. We looked at the page and discussed it. I learned a few new things myself. I then showed Noori the world map and explained that all of the continents contain countries.

geography books Europe Equator

Noori ran upstairs and grabbed her DK- Around the World game . It is a bit like snakes and ladders. The ladders are planes that take you further North and the snakes are things like miss a turn to watch penguins in Antarctica. I hadn’t noticed the map showed the continents. We played it making a point to say which continent we landed on.

DK around the world board game

Equator

To explain the equator I used the same Fact Cat – Equator book. The book also explains about the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

fact cat hemisphere

Europe

I chose to learn about Europe first as that is where we live. We read the book Introducing Europe and looked for it on the map.

Summarising

To make sure Noori understands and remembers all that she has learned I made a continent puzzle. I took the world map, traced around all the continents and cut them out. She then placed all the pieces onto the map in the correct place and labeled them. I then asked her to point out the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and where the Equator is.

world map continents

Continent Cookies

As my Noori is a total foodie it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t do a baking session with a geography twist.

We made simple vanilla cookies. To make the dough into continent shapes we used the cut out paper continent as a guide. We used Africa, South America and Australia as they made the best cookie shapes.

I was going to show you all a beautiful photo of our continent cookies but they got eaten before I had the chance.

Travel Quiz Cards

The game that sparked this whole topic was our Usborne Travel Quiz Cards. These brightly illustrated cards come in a small pack with 4 answer cards. Each card has 20 questions. You can invent your own game with them. We each took a card and asked each other the questions using the world map to help us. Whoever got more than 3 answers wrong lost the card. Whoever has the most cards in the end wins.

maps quiz Usborne

Playing this game showed us how little we know about geography. We have already learned so much from playing the game once or twice.

Now we have finished learning about the continents we will learn about a country a week Inshallah, so stay tuned.

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Allahs names – Al Ghani

After deciding which name of Allah to learn next I made the decision that we would learn the name Al Ghani. I found two meanings for the name both tying in perfectly to my idea. The Rich and The Self Sustainer.

Rand4Design

Rand4Design

We looked at the meanings of the name and Noori wrote them down in her Name’s of Allah book.

We discussed that Al Ghani is rich in the sense that he controls and owns everything in the whole universe and more. Allah needs nothing and no one for help as he is the Self Sustainer.

We then discussed how we can use these names in our lives a bit like this:

To be self-sufficient we need things like money. We should always make Dua asking Al Ghani for help. But we can’t just leave it to Allah. Allah only helps us if we make the effort first.

To be self-sufficient we need a way to make money. We can get a job when we are old enough, or make our own business. This came at the perfect time as a family member was having a charity event with stalls of homemade goods. I could use this as a learning opportunity by getting Noori her own stall.

Noori thought of things she could make and sell. She came up with candles and sweet jars. She made a list of things she would need with prices and made a business plan.

The next day we went to the shop and bought everything. She made 100% Soy wax candles which you can find out how to make here and sweet jars.

We collected together some jams jars which she washed to make sure they were clean. She then filled them with a variety of sweets.

When they were done it was time to wash up, tidy up and try not to eat any sweeties 😋

The jars looked bare and needed something special to make them stand out. I showed Noori some images on Pinterest and she decided that material jam jar lids would look good.

Compass and fabric

I got out some scrap material and a compass. I hadn’t used a compass since high school and couldn’t even remember the name of the thing. Noori measured the lid, we then added 4cm extra and divided it in half to set the size of the compass. She then drew the circle onto the material and cut it out.

A whole new maths experience.

She put the material over the lid and secured it with a ribbon. It took a lot of patience on both our sides to tie those bows!

Sweetie jar sweet jar

She ended up making 5 jars so she worked out the cost of all the materials and divided them by 5 to work out how much each one cost to make and how-to price them.

Then the big day came. It was a beautiful sunny days perfect to have stalls outside. I reminded her to make Dua to Al Ghani for help as she set out her stall with her products and some signs she had made.

Garden table

I was so happy to see her go into full sales women mode which was a bit unexpected. She had a great day, had lots of fun and learned some good life lessons.

Whilst reading The Quran on my phone app I came across this Ayat.

What an important lesson. We can work as much as we want and gather so much wealth but we shouldn’t let it become a distraction from worshipping Allah. And we shouldn’t become greedy. We must still give our wealth to those who need it more and give Zakat.

This is a name of Allah that she will easily remember now Inshallah.

If you don’t have the opportunity to do what we did you could easily do other activities:

  • Play a shopping game,
  • make a pretend business and shop
  • Role play

Learn self-sufficiency by:

  • Having a cooking session
  • Learning a new skill
  • Have your kids help around the house.
  • Let your child do the shopping and have them use the self checkouts.

How do you learn the names of Allah?

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If you would like to read more about learning Allah’s names here are some more ideas

As-Sami

Ar Raab

Al Alwaal, Al Akhir

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Learning about Hajj, Mama and Daughter

Every few months I get a Hajj advert through my door.The high prices plus the thought of being in the
same place as millions of people really freaked me out and made me avoid learning about Hajj.

Then one day something, I can’t remember what sparked a change in me. I think it was the thought that I needed to teach Noori the Five pillars of Islam in more detail. But I had never taught her about Hajj as it was one big mystery to me.

What better way to learn than together. I searched for the best book to teach about Hajj from a child’s level. There are lots of lovely books but from a Montessori point of view the ones with real life photos are the best. So I went to the bookshop and bought Goodwords, Tell Me About Hajj.

tell me about hajj1293214389339157591..jpg

This book is aimed at older children 7 years and up as it contains lots of detailed information. For a beginner like me there is a bit too much information and Arabic names to learn all at once. If your child doesn’t understand much you can easily pick out the main points and leave a few things out.

The book covers the history of Hajj which I found very interesting and about what happens today.

We started by reading a page a day together. I wanted Noori to pick out the important parts of the story and write them out for comprehension and spelling practise. Afterwards illustrating it. After a few days this got a bit boring so we carried on just reading the book.

Aswell as reading the book we learnt the Dua.

hajj dua8616456223911213429..jpg

As a fun activity to revise what we had learnt we made a small world Hajj scene with some blocks and toys.

The Man on Hajj got on the plane in his Irham.

He did Tawaaf around the Kaaba.

Prayed at the Maqaam Ibrahim

Did all the other rituals then left. (I don’t want to bore you with all the photos).

I’ve seen people make a big cardboard Kaaba and the kids dress up and walk around acting everything out. We didn’t have any of these things so using the small toys was just right for us.

We also read the book Yans Hajj. Afterwards I decided to make a Hajj jar for the kids. (you can find out all about Yans Hajj here).

Imagine saving up all your life for Hajj like Yan and being able to do it before getting in debt to a car, university or mortgage. I have started my kids savings now so they can do it before life overtakes Inshallah.

We did this project before Ramadan. Now it is Hajj time it really nice to go over what we have learnt and be reminded.

How do you teach about Hajj or learn about it as an adult?

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My 1st Quran with Pictures

In my point of view the most important things we should teach our children is Tawheed and a love for The Quran. Not just a respect for The Quran but a love that can only be gained by learning the meaning and understanding it. For an adult this could take many years of in depth study.

Kids have many more things going on in their lives, school, Madrassah, clubs,events and just chilling out relaxing to take on such a mammoth task. Luckily we have amazing books like My 1st Quran with pictures to help us.

When I first saw this book on Instagram I was so excited to see it was being published. I was lucky enough to be sent a copy to review from Faith Books. My aim is to help my children connect with and learn the Quran in as much of a fun way as possible. Books like this are essential in achieving this goal.

About the book

My first Quran with pictures by Shireen Sherief is a fully illustrated version of Juz Amma. Checked and authenticated by Sheikh Dr Abdullah Ibn Yusuf AlJudai.

At the moment Noori is starting to enjoy comics. Though not a comic the book is very similar in style.

Illustrated by Nichola Anderson every page has small pictures that sum up what the Ayat is telling us making it really easy for children to understand what it means. Many of the illustrations are of the modern world helping the child really understand and relate to the Surah.

Often the Wording used in the translation of The Quran can be very complicated and a lot of children will not under stand these meanings. So having a small straight to the point colourful picture is very effective. Just reading it is fun.

How we Use the book

I waited a while to use this book properly until Noori started to learn Surah Al Tin. I saw a great opportunity to add a sensorial element to our learning. I got an Olive and a dried Fig as they are mentioned in the first verse. I told Noori how we say fig and olive in Arabic, then she ate them. We then read one Ayat in Arabic then the translation and looked at how the pictures described it.

We then listened to the Surah on our phone app for the next few days to memorize it. I took the book out every few days to go over it and reinforce the meaning.

To help Noori understand the meaning of the Surahs she was learning I used to write the Ayat out and draw little pictures next to it to make it more visual. This would take a long time researching and writing ect.

But now its all there for me in full Colour saving a lot of time and effort.

When we got to the fourth verse we looked at the pictures of the bodies and how the verse say humans were made in the perfect form. We discussed the parts of the body they are showing and how Allah has made us all different. Some of us are short , some are tall, some are big, some are skinny. One person may like writing stories, whilst another likeS scuba diving. We are all different but perfect to Allah. Imagine just memorizing this verse without ever knowing the meaning. How many lessons would we miss out on?

This really is a unique book. And I look forward to reading it all in-depth.

You can purchase the book here at

Faithbooks

and keep your eyes open for the next edition.

You can read my other book reviews here :

Zak and His Little Lies

Nanni’s Hijab

Yan’s Hajj

How We Learn Quran

My Top Books 2017

Here’s how I teach a love of Quran to my 8-year-old In our Amazing Ayats series :

Az Zukruf

Al Anam

Al Hijar

Al Kahf

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How To Make Soy Wax Candles

As part of our topic on learning the name Al-Ghani, Noori had the opportunity to have a stall at a charity event. One of the items she made were Soy wax candles.

I bought her some 100% soy wax pellets to make her candles from. Your average candle is made from, paraffin wax. When burnt the wax can give of harmful toxins. Using natural waxes such as beeswax or soy wax is much better for our health.

The wicks we used were also soy.

Some candles use synthetic scents wich are harmful when burnt so we used Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is known for

  • relaxation
  • improvement of sleep
  • relieving stress and anxiety

It took us around half an hour to make from start to finish. We used:

candle making8194406238220216845..jpg

  • 100% Soya Wax pellets
  • Jars
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Blue Tack
  • Soya Wicks
  • Wooden pegs
  • Heatproof Jug
  • Boiling Water in a Pan

Firstly , we coated the inside of the jars with a thin layer of PVA glue. We then poured in some glitter (try to use eco glitter), screwed the lid back on and shook it around giving our jars a sparkly finish.

candle jars

If you are trying to be eco-friendly you can miss out this step all together.

To prepare the wicks you will need your pegs and blue tack.

The flat wooden pegs make life easier as they have a small hole in the middle and a flat surface to rest on the jar.

I have made candles before and used a blob of wax to keep the wick straight and in place at the bottom of the jar but it wasnt very effective. This time I used blu tack to stick the metal part of the wick to the inside of the jar.

To keep the wick straight and in place rest the peg on top of the jar and clip the string of the wick in the small middle peg hole like so.

wick peg

Now for the measuring.

Each of your containers will need twice the amount of wax. So scoop the wax into your jar and pour it into a heat proof jug. Do this twice for each container.

Place your heat proof jug with wax into the boiling pan of water to make a bain marie.

When the wax is thoroughly melted let it cool for a while. Pouring essential oils into a boiling liquid damages the oil and causes it to give off less scent.

When you have mixed in the essential oil pour you wax into the containers. Now its just a case of sitting back and watching the wax dry.

candle wax

When they are dry you need to trim the wicks with a pair of scissors.

Trim wick

Now it time to decorate them however you wish. We tied ribbons around the lids and made labels. Tying the ribbons was a great test of patience for us both.

bow

Here they are in pride of place on the stall.

soy wax candles

Did you find this useful? If so please share.

Candle making is relaxing and rewarding for both adults and children. Let me know if you give it a go!

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Learning Allahs names- A Productivity Journal for Muslims

For the past few years I have been finding ways to make learning and memorizing the Names of Allah fun and enjoyable for Noori through activities and art.

Whilst spending all my time and effort on my children I never once thought about myself. My attitude was that I will take forever to remember all those names and then forget them. Children learn and remember things much easier than adults and I’m an adult 🙁 not a child.

Thats until I read the Productivity Journal for Muslims by Ayeina. This journal is aimed at adults and and covers 5 aspects of developing spirituality:

  • Tawheed
  • Salah
  • Sawm
  • Zakat
  • Hajj

and Personal Development

  • Self love
  • Self care
  • Self awareness
  • Self management

Plus strengthening relationships, goals and dreams.

It comes in a cusomizable binder full of lovely watercolour illustrations and well laid out text. Every aspect is from Quran and Hadith. A must have for the organised or un organised Muslimah alike. Just what you need to give you a kickstart or boost to learn our religion.

Up until recently I didnt know much about learning the names of Allah apart from the fact we should remember them and gain the rewards. After some discussions with various learned people and the Ayeina team themselves I discovered we shouldn’t be repeating Allahs names during Thikr as lots of people do. Instead we should use his names during Salah. To ask Allah for things that we need when we make Dua.

We should also find ways in which we can use these names in our lives. For example Al Rafeeq- the gentle. If we take this name literally ( Arabic is a complex langauge and one word can have many descriptions) we can try to be gentle in our everyday lives. The way we talk to others, our words our tone of voice. This is very important in Islam.

Instead of being heavy handed and smashing things around we can gently close a door or set a plate down gently. Just this action makes you feel calm in yourself.

I opened the page in the Productivity Journal and marked off all the names I knew from the checklist . I was very surprised with myself that I knew more than I thought. After that I learned a new word every few days.

These are a ways I have found to help me memorize them:

  • Think of the name you are learning and see if you can relate it to something. Have you heard that name in the Quran?Do you know a person with that name? Use these as an image in your mind.
  • Does the word sound like something in English? E.g Al Baseer- The Seer of all, ends in Seer like the English.
  • Think about the meaning of the name. What images does it conjure up?
  • Think of an action you can take from this name amd how you can use it to improve your daily life and the relationships around you.

One of the first names that I learnt was As Shaafi the healer. For weeks I have had a cold and cough. It didnt bother me but I was missing not being able to taste. I had done everything I could think of except take antibiotics as I didn’t want to, with no effect. I thought why not ask Allah for help? One day whilst in Sujood I asked As Shaafi to make me better. A few days later I was cured. Using these special names makes our Duas seem more personal and reminds us what we are asking for.

I was sent a digital copy of The Productivity journal for Muslims to review. I had planned to do one big blog post about it but as I have been using it I feel its better to talk about eacher catagory individually as each category changes you in many ways. So look out for more.

Have you any tips on how to memorize Allah’s names?

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If you’d like some ideas on how to teach the names to children we have learned

Allah- The Greatest Name

As-Sami

Al-Awaal , Al Akhir

Ar-Rab

As-Salaam

Al Ali, Al Aala

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Eco Friendly Teacher Gifts

Walking down the aisles of nearly every shop in town I see piles of Teacher Gifts. They are all very nice but I can guarantee each teacher will probably receive the same gift 2 or 3 times that year.

This got me to thinking. I am constantly trying to declutter or tidy my house. If I was a teacher, what would I do with all that stuff? How many cups can I fit in my cupboard, how many keyrings can I fit on my keys?

I have a specific theme for each of my rooms and don’t want things that don’t fit that style. Do I throw it away, donate to charity or keep it all in a giant room sized cupboard never to be seen again?

For most people this is too much but what if you care for the environment? How many things can you donate to charity or recycle? As a parent I don’t want to contribute to landfill, the plastic crisis, the recycling process or make a teacher feel guilty for discarding a gift from a child.

So as a parent what do we do? How can we show our appreciation to the person who teaches them new things and takes care of them for the majority of the day and still be eco-friendly?

One year my daughter had an OK teacher and a fabulous teaching assistant. I knew the teacher would love a box of chocolates and I knew the assistant wouldn’t appreciate them. I got her a miniature rose plant instead. I wonder if it is still alive?

She loved it and thanked me for not buying her chocolate. In this case I knew their personalities so gift buying was easy. But what if you don’t?

Here are some eco-friendly ideas. I posed the question, “What eco friendly gift would a teacher appreciate?” in a zero waste Facebook group. I got over 40 responses and these were the main points.

The Worst

Quite a few people liked the idea of homemade food, but lots didn’t as they couldn’t be sure if the environment the food was made in was hygienic.

jade-wulfraat-96023-unsplash7354294442560213729.jpg

Too many flowers. Personally a house full of flowers would be my dream, but not for many other people, plus there are a few environmental issues there aswell.

The Best

There were two options here:

Ask the teacher:

Ask the teacher what they would like. A guaranteed win.

Ask them for a classroom wish list. Lots of teachers like to receive classroom supplies i,e pens, pencils, rulers, stickers and story books. You know these will come in useful and be well used.

Ask them if they have a favourite charity and donate the money in their name.

The best one was to get all the parents to group together and buy a course for the teacher for over the holidays.

Buy Personal Gifts

One teacher said there is no need to buy her a gift. Just say Thank You. I think I would like this option best.

Resteraunt/coffee shop vouchers. Let your teacher have fun or wind down on their holidays. Buy them a reusable coffee cupto take with them.

Shopping Voucher. This way they can buy what they need and not waste it. If the voucher is for an eco-friendly shop even better .

Tea, coffee and biscuits for the staffroom. Guaranteed to be used and not wasted. Make sure the packaging is recyclable and tea bags plastic free.

unsplash.com coffee cup cappuccino

Last but not least a letter. Meaningful, heartfelt and easy to keep forever without taking up too much space. This is what I will do.

Get the child to write down one memorable thing they did that year at school and maybe a little picture.

As the parent write down all the things you think the teacher did well at.

But what if I don’t like the teacher? Do I still get them something?

The general consensus is yes. Whether you or your child didn’t like the teacher that person still took great care of your child kept them safe and taught them new things (hopefully).

Here are the opinions of a few bloggers.

As a teacher I hate getting wine. People always assume we are all drinkers. I don’t expect gifts and I do really appreciate that someone has gone to the trouble. (even if it is wine 😉 I just give it to the hubby) www.craftwithcartwright.co.uk

I think you have to be gracious even with teachers you don’t like. Our teachers are all great but I wouldn’t treat one differently if they weren’t fantastic. They all put a lot of work into our children, they deserve to be shown that you appreciate what they do.

www.dadgeek.co.uk

I would probably still give something, like a little gift card of a local coffee shop.

https://www.cosmomum.co.uk

I currently give to all teachers who help my son even if we have conflicting views at times. I normally give things like candles, stationery, gift vouchers etc. www.thebreastestnews.co.uk

I will give a card, handmade so they know it comes from the heart. I don’t like to make sure I get the best and most expensive gift, it’s not about that. X

www.mygirlsandmesite.com

My daughter’s SN class has 6 staff and I always make them all something. If I’m feeling flush I include £5 costa gift card. This year it’s crochet mandalas and my daughter will do each one a card too.

www.AutismMumma.com

For some thrifty style Teacher gift head over to ThrifDee Dubai

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Amazing Ayats : Al Hijar 15:16

We’ve not done an Amazing Ayat for a long time so this one is long overdue. Over Ramadan I discovered a brilliant app …..

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.karim.khatma

….. When you open your phone the Quran appears and you have to read it before you can do anything else. This is when I came across this beautiful Ayah: Al Hijar

15:16 وَلَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا فِي السَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا لِلنَّاظِرِينَ – 15:16

And we have placed within the heaven great stars ( constellations ) and have beautified it for the observers.

So many images came into my mind. I knew I could use this to inspire Noori and make a little star project out of it.

I got planning and took out this book from the Library Stars, Galaxies and the Milky Way It looks fun with lots of amazing images but it contains alot of in depth information about stars. For this reason I’d recommended it for 10+ years. We looked at the amazing pictures and I picked out some interesting facts that Noori could easily understand as I didn’t want her to switch off.

stars galaxy and the milky way

Reading about our galaxy, nebulae and stars really makes you think Subhanallah! There is a vast space out there and we are all just small and insignificant in reality.

We read the Ayat in English and Arabic then went through the star book and picked out a few things to discuss.

Noori then painted a galaxy picture using acrylic paints, glitter and white nail varnish as we didnt have white paint for the stars.

She then wrote the Ayah out on a piece of paper and we glued it onto the painting. We will keep this in our Amazing Ayats book where we can look back at all the images she has created .

Next we did a fun experiment to show how stars are formed.

stars galaxy and the milky way

We used

  • Baking Powder/Bicarbonate of Soda
  • vinegar
  • pipette or spoon
  • eco glitter (optional)
  • Star shaped cookie cutters

I took the cookie cutters and placed them on the table saying, “Allah placed within the heavens great stars.”

Noori then spooned the baking powder into the stars and squashed it down. This represents the dust and gas being pulled together by gravity.

star science

Then she took some vinegar with the pipette and dropped it into the star and watched as the mixture exploded . The vinegar can represent the heat and chemical reactions that happen when a star is born.

star science pipette

Our pipette had lots of glitter in for some reason. If you would like to add glitter try and use eco-friendly glitter that isn’t made from tiny bits of plastic. This went into the mixture and combined with the movement from the reaction looked like a twinkling star.

We discussed that stars dont really twinkle its the movement from the Earths atmosphere that makes it look like twinkling.

See what happens if you add more and more vinegar.

After our experiment it was time for a snack. To carry on our theme we made shooting star kebabs.

fruit platter

Super duper easy. Get your child to chop whatever fruit they can manage. Pineapple can be quite hard to cut so I would advise an adult to chop that. We chopped the fruit into slices to make it easier to cut out the star shape and the grapes in half

Get your child to cut the fruit into star shapes. Thread the grapes onto the kebab stick to make the tail of the shooting star, then add your stars on top.

Fruit kebab

For a bit of vocabulary we looked in the book, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt , My Adventure field guide‘. This book is so lovely. A calming easy to understand nature guide. The beautiful illustrations encourage our children to explore the nature around them, wherever they live.

In the Ayah the word used is buroojan meaning constellations rather than stars. This page explains constellations in a detailed but easy to understand way. And any fan of the storybook will enjoy relating the familiar bear in the story to the stars in our sky.

we're going on a bear hunt

Its so fun finding ways to bring the Quran to life and help our children and ourselves really connect with it.

Will you try any of these at home?

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More Amazing Ayats:

We have also had fun learning about Surah Az-Zukruhf, Surah Al kahf and Surah Al-Anam.

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Moon Craters

I have always found the moon so interesting. It is such a beautiful ignored object in the night sky. It is there every night without fail but how often do we look up and look for it?

Most of the time its either cloudy or I can’t see it because the houses block out the sky.

There is so much to learn about the moon. How it affects our planet and the tides. How we use it as a calendar and how our bodies synchronise with it. But for our moon topic I wanted to keep it simple.

We started of by reading this book Fact Cat – The Moon

It is a very simple easy to read book great for young children, telling you lots of facts about the moon. I learnt a lot myself.

Fact Cat Moon

There is a great two page spread about the surface of the moon and how craters are formed .

Fact Cat Moon

Then we did this simple hands on experiment about how craters were made.

The aim is to make moon dust. However we only had mustard oil which I made the mistake of using. Hence our yellow stodgy moon in the photos.

This is great for young and older children alike as cups are used to measure rather than scales meaning there are no big numbers to read if the child doesn’t know their numbers yet.

Try and let your children gather all the things needed and measure them out themselves with guidance.

They can have fun going outside to search for different size and shape rocks.

This is also great for sensory play as the child can mix the ingredients with their hands.

Mix

With help from the book explain to the child what a meteor is and how the craters in the moon were created by the meteors hitting the moon’s surface.

You will need:

  • Flour
  • Baby Oil
  • Circular Cake Tin
  • Rocks
  1. Measure 4 cups of flour and put it in the cake tin.
  2. Measure 1/2 cup of baby oil.
  3. Mix them together using your hands until well combined.
  4. Now gently drop a rock into the mixture. Whats happens?
  5. Throw the rock into the mixture. Observe what happens?
  6. From a distance throw the rock in the mixture. Talk about what has happened?

Pan floor

The different distances and forces should make deep craters and shallow craters. If you have a toy figurine you could make footprints on the moon like the astronaughts made in real life!

Moon Craters

To top it off we watched this video about Moon phases. I like to watch videos as I know children love watching youtube and if they were not listening the first time they sure will this time.

We had lots of fun doing this activity. If you can do it outside even better as it can get a bit messy.

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Do you love the moon but never look at it ?

Do you know any good moon related books I should read?

Let me know in the comments below and if you liked the post please share 🧡

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