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 :)

Allah’s Names- Al- Ali , Al-Al’aa

Rand4design
Al Ali by Rand4Design

Using our AllahsNames.net book we looked at the names Al-Ali, and Al-Al’aa. We learnt the meanings of the names and found them in the Quran. Both in English and Arabic.

We discussed the meanings and I then wrote them out in Noori’s flowers colouring book. I usually let her do it but for some reason that I can’t remember I did it. Baby brain is real.

Using our Thinkernation Arabic spell and learn Noori tried spelling out and forming the words , for a bit of Arabic practise.

As both the names translate as high we moved on to some height activites to reinforce the memorization of the word.

Firstly we did a building challenge using stones. We could have used a number of objects but stones are more of a challenge. Each stone has a unique shape meaning they have to be carefully balanced.

Stones

Stones are a great Montessori resource as they are natural sensory objects . Each stone has a different shape, weight and texture. They make different sounds and come in different colours and shades.

The challenge was to see who could make a high pile of stones and the highest pile of stones.

Here is Noori’s. We measured against a toy truck. Hers was high. Like Allahs name Al-Ali the High.

Here is mine the highest like Al Al’aa Allahs name the highest.

I have found this word association works. For Allahs name Al Awal Al Akhir we did an ice experiment. Now everytime we see ice I remind her of the experiment and the name of Allah we were learning about.

Everytime she see stones I can remind her of our height challenge and mention Al Ali , Al Ala.

The next day we made a height chart. I thought it would be interesting to compare the height of animals. I had made some Arabic flashcards earlier about animals.

There was a deer , a young boy ,frog, butterfly, mouse and spider. I googled the heights of these animals and we measured them using a tape measure. Surprisingly a deer was 150cm. We stuck the deer on the door frame at 150cm. We then stuck all the other animals at their heights. And Nooris for comparison (hers is the blue tack).It was nice for her to compare her height to different animals.

Animal heights

This is the best photo I could take but you get the idea.

We said that Noori is High like Allah’s name Al-Ali means high. A deer is Highest like Allahs name Al-Ala means Highest.

We went on a park walk some days later and saw some birds making a nest. I said that bird is really high. And then asked her the name of Allah that means high and the name that means highest.

As it says in the Quran:

And it is He who spread the earth and placed therein firmly set mountains and rivers; and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.

Quran 13:3

We can notice all these things around us and connect them back to the activities and remember the names of Allah.

I hope you enjoyed this read and if you want more you can read how we learned the names:

Allah- The Greatest Name

As-Sami

Al-Awaal , Al Akhir

Ar-Rab

As-Salaam

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Baby Fish Fingers Two Ways.

Before we get on to the recipe I’d like to share a bit of news. There is a new bloggers campaign called #nowastewithin. Created by The Food Brood who were concerned about the ammount of food waste in the blogging industry. This is the pledge that I am Happy to commit to.

“I promise that no food waste was created by the development, cooking, styling and photographing of this recipe and that, where it wasn’t possible for me to enjoy it myself, I have redistributed, repurposed, retained or recycled the food.”

Wherever you see this symbol you will know that the blogger has taken the pledge.

So on with the recipe. Now Abdi is 7 months old we are well into the whole baby led weaning. He especially loves bread as he can hold it and its easy to eat.

The other night Noori really wanted vegetable fingers and we gave some to Abdi who wolfed it down.I realised this could be a great way of getting more fish into his diet.

I could go out and buy a packet of fish fingers but I have no idea what ingredients or nasties there are in there and it means unnecessary packaging. I can make them myself with very few ingredients and zero packaging.

As I had bought a big fillet of fish I made two different flavours and froze them. I bought my fish from the butchers who only stock Cod and Coley. I chose the Coley as its more sustainable and 3 times cheaper costing me £1.27.

To make both recipes you will need:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 3 or 4 small potatoes
  • one carrot
  • a handfull of peas
  • a handfull of broccolli and cauliflower
  • A fillet of fish

The first thing I did was chop all the vegetables into chunks then steamed them with the fish to lock in all those vitamins.

Steamer

In the meantime I toasted the bread to make it dry out. When cooled I whizzed it into breadcrumbs in the food processer. If you have a bread machine this is a great way to use up the end piece with the hole in .

Toast

  1. When the vege and fish are steamed blitz the fish, half the potatoes ,brocolli and cauliflower in a blender.
  • fish n vege
  • 2. Scoop it out into a dish and do the same with the remaining potatoes , fish, peas and carrots.

Dishes

3. Take one mixture and pat it down into an even square shape. Cut the mixture into finger shapes a bit smaller than your average fish finger.

4. Dip the mixture into the breadcrumbs.

5. Do the same with the other mixture.

6. Grill a few under the oven until golden brown.

7. The rest can be frozen for another day.

I decided not to use egg to stick the breadcrumbs and it worked perfectly without.

Considering there are no herbs, salt or other types of favouring these are still tasty for older children and adults alike.

fish fingers

So here you have a tasty, easy to eat fish finger containing no nasties and no packaging ending up in the bin.

This is the only waste this recipe makes which can be easily composted.

For more baby food recipes read Baby’s 1st Food- Avacado and Turnip and for moving on to textures Baby Weaning- Textures.

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Mud & Bloom A Subscription Box of Nature

My first memories aren’t of sitting at home watching TV playing with toys. My first memories are riding around in a wheelbarrow on our allotment. Or walking through fields of cow pats and giant mushrooms. I remember the smell of tomato plants so well and running through fields of wildflowers.

So it does worry me that my children are growing up in the city with no garden, and can’t even play with a ball outside because of cars.

How will they connect with nature and find their true selves?

Luckily I have found ways around this situation . We plant fruit, vege and flowers in pots outside and in. We go to our park daily , read nature books and notice nature everywhere. Imagine how excited I was to learn about Mud & Bloom a monthly nature subscription box. We can learn about what we have been missing without me doing all the research and hard work.

I waited patiently for our Mud & Bloom box to arrive. I was suprised to come home one day to find it had come through my letterbox. I was expecting it to have been dropped at a neighbours house as it would be to big to fit through the door. But there it was small , neat and no fuss or waiting around.

The small brown box is the perect size if you want to discretely store them in a cupboard or on a shelf.

Inside

  • Organic seeds
  • Activity Cards
  • Craft Materials
  • A piece of pink polka dot material which Noori said is the nicest material she has ever seen.

We looked at all the contents and activities and chose the sprouting seedlings to do first. I am intruged to see what happens as usually seeds come in packets full of the same seeds. These seeds are 100% Organic ( a good starting point for a conversation about what organic is) . They are a variety of different seeds that you will find around your house including lentils and chickpeas. I would never have thought you could sprout a lentil.

The instructions are easy to follow. Noori has just turned 8 and is starting to make the effort to follow instructions independently. She put the seedlings in the water and secured the muslin cloth over the top of the jar. I helped her to tie the bow as she insisted on using fat ribbon. And here it is. A truly girly jar of seeds.

After 2 days the seeds started to sprout.

We now have a jam packed jam jar full of a variety of seed sprouts.

As they were bursting out of the top I thought it about time we take them out. We had a good look and taste. Noori was absolutely fascinated with all the different shapes of sprouts exploding from the seeds and beans. Her absolute favourite was the chickpea with what looked like a caterpillar emerging from it.

We sorted them into groups and googled what all the seeds were. I have never before heard of an Azuki bean and had no clue what a mung bean looked like.

Surprisingly Noori proclaimed she had eaten a sunflower seed. I didn’t realise there were sunflower seeds in there. As she has a good palate we did a blind taste test. She guessed 40% correctly. Me 10%. This was a fun spontaneous activity.

We then stored them in the fridge to keep fresh to sprinkle on salads and see if they continue to grow.

I’m sure we will find more seeds in the cupboards and see if we can replicate this activity.

Avacado Tree

Avacado seed

A few days after the sprouting seeds we started off our Avacado tree.

I have tried this experiment before but didn’t realise it takes a good few weeks to see any signs of life. We buy the Morrisons wonky Vege avacados as you get 6 or 7 small avacados for the price of one large one. We set up our small avacado seed following the instructions. Lets see if these small seeds will work the same. We will have to learn alot of patience before we see any action.

Twig Boat

This was slightly complicated for Noori as it required alot of intricate knot tying.

We collected some twigs from under the trees on our road and had fun snapping them to the same size.

After making the boat Noori decorated it. As it was nighttime we didn’t get to go outside. Noori really wanted to see if it could float so we put it in a bowl of water.

A nature box is a great way of getting outdoors. We don’t have a garden so we had to be creative with how we did our activities.

It meant we had to go outside to find some twigs , go to my Mum’s for the birdwatch and the park for water to float our boat. Here she is in a giant puddle.

We found moss on a walk to town showing us that nature is hidden all around us.

Moss

We used our nature spotting cards on a walk to the park. Unfortunately we saw non of the birds on the checklist but Noori thought she saw a blackbird. With a little investigation she saw it wasn’t a blackbird as it didn’t have an orange beak.

Ask we were walking I made a challenge , Who can spot a bird or flower first? We saw some snowdrops

and this beautiful plant that looks like ‘roses’. If you know what it is do leave the answer in the comments.

Mud and Bloom boxes are available for £7.95/month. The boxes are aimed at ages 3-8 years as they are linked to the national curriculum but I would say they are ageless. I have learnt alot and had fun doing these activites as a 30 year old.

How do you take time to connect to nature?

Nanni’s Hijab-Book Review

Nanni's Hijab by Khadija Abdul-Haqq

Nanni’s Hijab by Khadija Abdul-Haqq

When I was given the opportunity to review this book I could not refuse.

The story is of Nanni, a little girl with a passion for hijabs. The little fashionista wears a different colour hijab to school everyday. Everyone at school loves to see what she will wear next. Apart from the new girl Leslie. She hates the attention everyone gives Nanni because of her beautiful scarves. Leslie shows her hatred in many ways. How will Nanni react?What actions will she take? The answer may surprise you.

I found the concept of this story interesting.I haven’t read a story about the hijab before so didnt know what to expect.

The first time I read this story was late at night. Me,Noori and Abdi were laying in bed and they were trying not to sleep. The perfect time to read a story (or was it?). We were sent this story to review as an E-book,so we could all lie under my phone reading it together in the dark.

I had patiently waited to sit down and read it with Noori before looking at he book. So when I opened it I was pleasantly surprised.

I find when reading books to children they have to keep my attention aswell as theirs ,either with a good storyline or nice illustrations. If not ,I don’t want to read it, meaning I go to fast and miss out pages on purpose ( we all do that don’t we ?) . This book has a great storyline and beautiful illustrations.

Nanni's Hijab by Khadija Abdul-Haqq

The illustrations in this book are bright , vibrant and bursting with energy like Nanni. The illustrator uses bright watercolours which give a flowing effect just like Nanni’s hijabs. I have seen the covers of other Hijab themed stories and most of them are old fashioned looking and unfriendly. Nanni and her friends look cute and friendly in these modern illustrations.

This one reminds me of Noori’s school teacher.Imagine how empowering it is to hear your hijab described as a princesses crown.

Nanni's Hijab by Khadija Abdul-Haqq

This is a story of bullying and resilience which some girls may have experienced. If not they may learn something from this book.

When Nanni decided not to retaliate by punching Leslie , Noori really wanted to know what would happen next. So did I . I couldn’t think of a way to stop Leslie from bullying Nanni and neither could Noori. But Nanni could. Her Mum offered to help her but she decided to settle the situation by herself. This is a really great way of dealing with the situation teaching kids that they can defend themselves and be confident.

So I decided to ask Noori about the person who dosnt like her wearing hijab and how she can stop him doing it. She said she will get him a ‘topi’ to wear . I don’t think that would work in this situation but this book really got us thinking.

Whislt I was looking through my phone I found a photo of my daughter in her hijab 2 metres tall proudly pasted across a wall at school. If anyone ever makes her feel bad about wearing her hijab I will remind her that the photographer must have thought she looked beautiful to chose her photo to make into a school wallpaper.

Now when I see that photo at school I will look at it with even more pride. I always saw a photo of my little girl . From reading this book I now see a little girl happily wearing her Hijab and that must be how other people see it aswell.

This book has made me feel proud of wearing hijab and I hope will make our daughters feel the same. It tells us to be bold, bright, confident and to put our trust in Allah.

It would be a nice idea to have some question prompts at the end so we can ask our kids about the story and what they have learnt.I asked my own questions instead.

Me: If you could design your own hijab what would it look like?

Noori: It would be galaxy style with yellow and white flowers stuck on and colourful diamonds.

Me: What was your favourite part of the story?

Noori: When Leslie snatched Nanni’s hijab , danced around with it and stamped on it, because it was an interesting thing to happen in a story. I have never read a story like this.

It would be so nice to have this book too hold in our hands, smell the pages and feel the paper. It is available to buy at Amazon and djarabikitabs.

If you would like a ‘hijab as regal as a princesses crown and as vivid as a rainbow ‘, then take a look at our Hidden Pearls review.

If you are a bit of a book addict like me you may enjoy My top books of 2017 which includes recomendations from other wonderful blogs aswell.

Nanni's Hijab by Khadija Abdul-Haqq

***This E-Book was sent to me free of charge and all views are my own***

Amazing Ayats-Al Kahf 18:23

Our Amazing Ayat of the week Surah Al Kahf 18:23. The next Ayat talks about how we should say Inshallah if we talk about doing something tomorrow.

We know about saying Inshallah from our Dua books. But this Ayat only emphasises it more. We talked about how Inshallah means If Allah lets us.

For this Ayat we didn’t do a craft or activity because I decided to do a list of goals and aims for self improvement as this is a way of using the Inshallah Dua

I like the idea of self improvement but didn’t really have a way of focussing on it or putting it into action.

Over the past year I have become a list girl. Its better to take those jumbled up thoughts out of your head and give them to a piece of paper to remember for you. It really frees your mind from the task , and the task of remembering to remember the task (complicated).

With my new love of lists I wanted to fight some issues.

The main causes of tension in our house is going to school. I get up late, she gets up late. I make breakfast, we eat it then rush around shouting at each other angrily getting ready. This is not good for me and I can’t imagine how it would effect Noori when she gets to school starting her day in anger.

I sat Noori down and read the Ayat in Arabic and the meaning in English. We discussed what it means and how we can do this in everyday life. Then we wrote a list.

Al kahf

I wrote Inshallah in big and wrote my problem and the solution with a sun next to it.

Inshallah to Do List

My problem is going to sleep too late. Meaning not being able to wake for Fajr and being stressed out all morning.

The solution, to go to bed early and wake up in the morning early. Inshallah.

My other problem is being very bad at ironing. I dream to be as good at ironing as those army people with perfectly neat crisp seams .

My solution is to pick up some tips from youtube.

I got Noori to write the same morning intentions and choose one thing of her own saying Inshallah each time.

She chose to be nice to MAP ( Mummy, Abdi and Papa).

We set too our tasks that very night by going to bed at the right time. I tried not to mess around on my phone all night and it worked.

The next morning I woke up nice and early on time for Fajr and got some housework done afterwards. Noori got up ,uniform on and everything went smoothly according to plan. Stress free!!

We will also make a big deal out of saying Inshallah after making plans.

I’m trying my hardest to keep up my side of the deal. Noori is doing really well. I still haven’t learnt how to iron properly 😉 But I will get there Inshallah.

We have also had fun learning about Surah Az-Zukruhf and Surah Al-Anam. Let us know what you think.

A Sensory Story With Chickens Can’t See In The Dark

chickens can't see in the dark story.jpg

After browsing the internet one night I came across a book review of Chickens Can’t See In The Dark by Kristina Litten. Only a few days ago I had put the book in the charity box.( My daughter came home and immediately took it out). This review made me see the book in a totally new light, a feminist light.

I had to go and re-read it straight away and all these ideas started going through my head .

One lazy Sunday we got lots of carrots and settled down to read the book.

Little Pippa is a problem solver. It all started when her teacher said chickens cant see in the dark. She really wanted to see in the dark. How will she do it? What will it take?

Chickens Can't See In The Dark

She went to ask a wise owl for help, showing its good to ask for help when you really need it. He was very closed minded and said its impossible.

chickens cant see in the dark library

If the wise owl wouldn’t help she would find out herself by going to the library. This shows children all the ways you can find information other than google and to never give up or listen to negative people.

chickens cant see in the dark full

After finding her answer the determined chicken tested her theory by eating lots of carrots.

At this point we got our carrots to experience what Pippa would be feeling. We looked at:

  • colour
  • shape
  • texture
  • smell

Then we ate it discussing

  • taste
  • texture
  • the sound it makes when you bite it.

chickens cant see in the dark picnic

The picnic page is where it gets exciting. Pippa makes lots of wild and wonderful recipes using her skills.The things I found easiest were the cookies and juice.So we made some yummy carrot cookies from the story to see what the chickens ate.

These cookies have become a bit of a staple recipe for us. They are the perfect texture and taste like the biscuits of my childhood. I adapted this recipe from Genius Kitchen . I have read that this is a wartime recipe using carrots as a sweetener to replace some of the sugar during rationing.

Carrot Cookies

  • 2 cups of carrots
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  1. Wash your carrots and chop them into rough slices (No need to peel) put them in the steamer.( save your carrot tops for a fun experiment later!)
  2. Cream together your butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in your egg.
  4. When the carrots are soft mash them up and add them to your mixture.
  5. Now mix in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
  6. Add your raisins. I like to do this at the end as its easier to see if you want to add more.
  7. Dollop them in equal sized ammounts onto your baking tray keeping in mind they will expand.
  8. Bake at 180° for 15-20 minutes until firm.

We ate ours with some carrot juice.

Whilst we were waiting for our cookies to bake I set up some waterplay.

I found some toys around the night sky theme. Some carrot tops, a clanger (they live on the moon which comes out In the dark). And a telescope for helping us see the stars in the dark. I put them in a dish of warm water. Both my 8 year old and baby love waterplay. My daughter finds it theraputic and the baby improves his motor skills by trying to grab the toys. The water makes it more of a challenge as they float away.

This activity always keeps them quiet for a good 20 minutes.

I wanted to carry the theme on about seeing in the dark. I asked Noori the question, “How can we see in the dark?”.

The answers mostly involved technology, lightbulbs , torches and phone lights. Then we thought about the moon and telescopes. I wanted to make this into an activity so got on Pinterest. I came across one idea and adapted it to make a stary sky.

Stary Sky Ceiling

You will need:

  • A torch
  • A metal vege steamer
  • A dark room

Put your light source inside the steamer and turn it upside down.We tried using these LED fairy lights first but the light wasn’t strong enough.

It would be a good idea to use different light sources such as candles, better fairy lights, different colour lights or a wind up torch and see how they effect the experiment.

I then put my phone light underneath and lots of lovely lights filled the ceiling like stars. We had the steamer fully open so the lights were big and undefined. As Noori closed the steamer up the lights got smaller and clearer. It was a good way of exploring light, shapes and sizes.

Some questions to ask your child:

What happens if we move the steamer?

What happens if we add flashing lights?

We made a beautiful ceiling full of stars and the baby was fasctinated. We found our own way to see in the dark.

You can’t chop up a carrot with doing the carrot top experiment.

Carrot top experiment

This experiment is so easy and gets results in 2-3 days.

When you have chopped the top off you carrrots find a shallow dish or plate and pop your carrot tops on. Add a tiny bit of water so the carrot is half underwater.

After a few days little green signs of life should appear.

The longer you leave them the taller they will grow.

You can eat the leaves and add them to salads,sandwiches or dry them like herbs. After a few weeks you may even get small white flowers. When they seed you can plant the seeds and see if you can grow anything.

If you enjoyed this sensory story you can read our Sensory Story with Peter Rabbit and try another old fashioned recipe.

Check us out on Pinterest

chickens cant see in the dark

The ladybirds' adventures

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.

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.

brocolli baby food

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 baby food

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