All posts by ouramanahsourfutures

About ouramanahsourfutures

Asalamalaykum. I'm a mother of 2 based in the UK. I have a daughter and a newborn son. I have started this Blog to write about my experiences as a mother 'trying' to educate my daughter and raise my newborn in a natural, zero waste lifestyle. I hope we can inspire each other and share ideas in a helpful way. Please feel free to comment on my post and lets educate each other :)

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 excitied to see it was being published. I was lucky enough to be sent a copy too 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 alot 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 sensorioal 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 alot 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. Ine person may like writing stories, whilst another like 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 go!\nFollow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots more ideas, activities, stories and fun.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 making ingredients

  • 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 and 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 ontop 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 ammount 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

*** This post contains affiliate links to the wonderful Productivity Journal for Muslims by Ayeina***

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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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Plastic Free Swaps : Water Bottles for the Family

Just in time for Environmental Day 5th June 2018 I wanted to share with you some of my plastic free alternative water bottles. Even babies can go plastic free out and about with a bit of searching.

Not only better for our planet but better for our health and pocket. I am forever dropping my water bottles on the floor causing them to break. With stainless they will get a scratch at the most. Asking for recommendations online people usually come up with the same brands and shops that cost a fortune making being environmentally friendly unaffordable for some people. As a bit of a penny pincher I want to assure you that is not true. My recommendations all come to under £15 and are long lasting.

Munchkin – Miracle

When Noori was little she had a few plastic cups. She has always kept a Tommie Tippee sippy cup that we got free from Sure Start at Grandma’s. As the baby got older he started using it and I soon needed a sippy cup for outside.

I looked at my options and they all involved plastic which I didn’t want for my baby boy. Sometimes a friend would give him a drink from a Munchkin 360° Miracle cup. They are ingenious. The baby can drink out of it as if he was drinking out of a real cup therefore learning how to drink properly not suck from a straw. The drink can come out of any part and the water cannot tip out or escape.

After asking for recommendations in a Zero Waste Facebook Group a stainless steel version was suggested. The Miracle cup is beautiful and nearly everyone comments on it. I was worried it would get damaged easily but after 6 months of throwing on a stone floor there are a only few scratches. No big dents like I imagined. However I know this will last a long time and I can get my parents to shine it up if need be.

I could not find it in any stores, they are available in some branches of Boots just not mine. Instead I bought it online.

It is twice as much as the plastic version but I know it will last and it looks stylish.

  • Leak Proof
  • Plastic Free
  • Easy to clean
  • Dentist Approved
  • Durable
  • Longlasting
  • BPA free

Jerry Bottle – Pure

stainless water bottle

In the first half of the school year Noori went through 3 plastic water bottles. I vowed the next time one broke I would buy a stainless steel one. I figured that a stainless bottle may be twice as expensive as a plastic one but I would end up buying so many breakable plastic ones compared to a long lasting stainless one that over time it would work out cheaper.

I searched online and came across Jerry Bottle. The company sells beautiful simple stainless steel water bottles. There are no plastic or silicone bits meaning it is super duper easy to clean and won’t become moudly. The best part all profits go to The Waterfall charity. The coordinates of the village you have helped are engraved on the bottom of the bottle. We discovered a group of islands we didn’t know existed.

The bottles come in different sizes. As Noori dosn’t drink alot and can easily refill her bottle at school we bought the smallest bottle 550ml.

It arrived in a recylable cardboard box and old newspaper. I thought there was nothing inside. There was no weight there at all. But there was. The bottle is super light perfect for a child to carry around by its handle. When it is full of water it is still lighter than your average bottle. The water feels fresh and cold even after a few hours.

  • Plastic free
  • Brushed Steel
  • Fully metal no other materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Stylish
  • Profits to charity
  • Coordinates make a nice feature

Reduce -Hydro Pro

stainless water bottle

I always thought I was saving the planet by reusing a plastic water bottle. Then after breaking them and buying more and more I realised I’m still adding to the problem. It was my turn to go stainless.

I wasn’t really looking as I was still using my old broken lided one. It still worked as long as it wasn’t full or at a slight angle. As I was looking for something in Home Bargains I saw lovely picnic section. I didn’t need anything but it was nice to look at the pretty bee prints.

There it was my Reduce water bottle. The perfect size for me, who walks around outside for hours a day. I tried it in the pram for size, it fit. And the price? £3.99! You can also buy them on Amazon if your store has run out.

It is a bright metallic purple colour, with an easy to wash lid.

After going back to work from Maternity leave I took it with me. I used to get water from the machine meaning I went through at least 3 plastic cups a day with no thought. Now I use none and its big enough to last me my shift. I have noticed that before a few people brought coffee cups to keep their drinks warm outside. Now alot of people bring their own water bottles too. I am quite impressed.

  • Plastic free
  • Bright and colourful
  • Good size
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to clean

Have you taken any steps towards reducing your plastic waste?

*** This post contains affiliate links to companies I recommend ***

For more ways to reduce your waste take a look at

Zero Waste Swaps – Birthday Edition

Zero Waste Swaps – Essential Machines

Zero Waste Inspirations from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Some posts be other wonderful bloggers,

Environmental Day Celebrations as a Family – Alizehmysoul

Why Fashion Matters – Cafe Catterpillar

Let’s make everyday World Environment Day – Lilac Prose

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Baby Toys 9-12 Months

Gone are the play mats, baby chairs and swings. Like it or not your baby is more mobile and more than likely crawling and exploring their worlds. Now you need saftey gates and safe spaces to stop your little adventurer from harming themselves.

Your babies favourite occupations are probably opening cupboards and climbing the stairs. However he still has his favourite toys. Over the past few months my boy has started crawling . Most of his time is spent getting up to mischief but he does have a few favourite things to play with.

I like my kids to have wooden toys as they are

1. Hard wearing

2. Made of natural non toxic materials

3. Feel nice

4. Much more attractive than plastic toys.

Here are a few of the things he loves to play with.

Toys with Wheels

As he has become more mobile and his brain is developing he has started to take alot more interest in his toys with wheels.

wheely toy

He has a wooden truck, fire engine and zebra. At first he just looked at them and threw them around. At 11 months he has started to play with them properly pushing them along the floor. It looks super cute and you can see his brain working thinking about what is happening.

Big pram wheels, small toy with wheels, anything with wheels that turn are a fascination for him.

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And the great thing is as he gets older amd hus imagination develops he can play with them in many ways for years to come.

Balls

Balls are the most open ended toys that will be played with for many many years. If your child is lucky their first ball could last them from babies until adults. Imagine that, from learning important motor skills as a baby, all the way until playing team games as an adult.

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As your baby becomes more mobile they can push the ball around and chase after it. Throw it around and chase after it improving motor skills and strength. You can play rolling or passing the ball to each other which forms social bonds and language skills if you talk about what is happening.

Don’t limit balls to boys. Girls also beniefit for all the same reasons. A girl may enjoy playing football, basketball, netball and curby as much as any boy.

I find lots of children are attracted to the spiky sensory ball. They can feel the texture, squish it and throw it around. He also has a smaller ball that lights up when thrown and glitters. Its good to have a variety of different shapes, sizes and textures.

Books

Where do I start with books. I’m a bit of a book lover but ony recently have I realised there is alot more to books that I could imagine.

Firstly there are the bright colourful illustrations or photos to look at and talk about.

Many years ago I was reading a book to my friends little girl. I couldn’t understand a word she said to me. As we read the book I’d point to a picture and ask her what it was. As she answered the question I started to understand her way of talking. From then on I understood what she was saying to me. Thats was a powerful..moment for me.

Recently as I’m reading books ideas pop into my head. If the character bakes a cake we can also bake that cake and taste what the charcater is tasting. If the charcter is jumping in puddles we can do the same and feel what the charcter is feeling. We did this for Chickens Can’t See In The Dark. There are so many lessons to be learnt from exploring stories this way. When we read Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell we explored some STEM activities.

But at this age babies love to play with board books. They can improve their motor skills by opening and closing the pages. The Usborne Touchy Feely books are our favourite as they have different textures for baby to feel. They keep mine occupied for 5 minutes. He also really loves these Grufallo Animal Actions book.It is small for baby to hold and he loves to copy the sounds and actions.

Baby books

It is important for children to read books with real pictures so they can make sense of their worlds and what is around them.

Musical Instruments

Ever since my baby was 3 months old he has loved to hit things together to make noises. So I got him a set of musical instruments to play with. He loves the jingly jangly noises. At first he was really curious to know how the instruments make noises and learn that he was able to control them in a way to make the noise. A baby achievement. Now hes enjoys the fact that he can make a nice noise.

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I took Abdi to a playgroup where they had a basket full of instruments. Inside was a wooden egg rattle. It was the perfect size for him to hold in his hand and shake around. He carried that around for the whole hour. I had to buy him one.

Again I find the wooden instruments to be alot more attractive and feel heavier meaning your baby is doing strength exercises aswell.

What are your babies favourite toys? Let me know in the comments below.

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Special Stuffed Dates – Child Friendly Recipe

During this blessed month of Ramadan we have been completing an activity a day from the beginning to the end of the month. Day 2 was to make some Special Stuffed Dates.

Dates are an important part of Ramadan. Its is Sunnah to break our fasts with dates as mentioned in the Hadith
Narrated Salman ibn Amir: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.

Sunan Abu Dawood – Book 13 Hadith 2348

I find dates are perfect as they are and have never tasted a chocolate covered one and never even imagined a cheese filled one. But I thought this would be a fun and easy activity to do and share with the neighbours to break their fasts.

I usually eat very sweet dates which would be too sweet covered in chocolate. So I bought these especially for this recipe.

On a side note the honey I used was too strong so use a medium strength honey. And make sure you buy a good quality chocolate preferably in recyclable packaging, think Green & Blacks, Lindt and Magnum.

In preparation 15 minutes before take 20 almonds and cover them in boiling water. After 15 mintues they will be easily peelable. Peel the skins off and keep aside for decoration.

Take a handful of almonds and grind them in a mixer these will be used for both recipes.

Using a small knife destone 36 dates.

These recipes are simple to make and very child friendly. Show your child the recipe and ask them to collect all the ingredients needed.

Ask them to count out the dates and weigh the ingredients on the scales.

Show your child each step as you go and get them to copy you and learn along the way. Don’t worry about children using knives. Use a small knife and teach them how to use it safely and always under supervision. Its better to teach them how to chop safely rather then them trying it out on their own one day out of curiosity.

Creamy Honey Almond Dates

  • 26 Dates
  • 4oz Cream Cheese
  • 1Tbsp Honey
  • 4Tbsp Crushed Almonds
  1. Make your honey runny by melting it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Mix the honey into the cream cheese and stir in the crushed almonds.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your dates until overflowing.
  4. Sprinkle crushed almonds as decoration ontop of the dates.
  5. Keep them in the fridge and take them out 5 mintues before serving.

Nutty Chocolate Dates

  • 10 Dates
  • 500g Bar of Chocolate
  • 4 Tbs crushed Almonds
  • 20 Peeled Almonds
  1. Stuff each date with a peeled almond.
  2. Break up your chocolate bar into small pieces and melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the melted chunks and microwave for another 30 seconds until fully melted.
  3. Dip your dates into the chocolate and then the crushed almonds.
  4. Add a peeled almond ontop for decoration.

I really wanted to use some edible gold spray on top but totally forgot to buy it.

You can give your dates to friends, family and neighbours to break their fasts with.

You could use them as table settings by adding a name onto a toothpick and sticking it ontop of the date.

Do you have a favourite date recipe or prefer them as they are?

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