Thursday, March 31, 2011

Popsicle Labels

On the bookshelf I used colored-popsicles and wrote on them with permanent marker. This way all the subjects remain separate and easily accessible. I have all math related books, workbooks, activities and puzzles in one shelf and so on.

I use this "paper tak" to stick things on the walls and things. I like them more then tapes or double sided tapes because it doesn't effect the walls/leave marks on them. They even stick Bristol Boards!!

What are some ways you label your items at home for your children and adults? 

Laminated Labels

We have been working on some labeling items around the house. My goal is to label as many things as possible for ALL the family members to know where things go. For the Rawdah and children's play-room I made labels with pictures to help them see the images and know where something belongs, since they cannot read yet and even H can eventually catch on to the idea. This will inshaAllah be good phonics practice as well.

To tie the labels I used rice bag yarn from the rice we bought to give the labels a shabby vintagy look.

Our color printer is not working so I used pictures from the magazines and did some free-style drawings. We looked for pictures together and then cut & paste them on the labels. This became a good learning experience for AR. I also laminate them to make the more durable.

Car obsession!

AR has 2 obsessions! one is the above and the other is books (alhumdulillah)....when he was younger he loved shoes too but not as much anymore.

We bough him this rug for the Rawdah and...the first thing he thought of doing with it was park cars on it! LOL! I love his creativity on the parking. He called me to show me how he had parked the cars on the carpet and he called it "the color pencil parking lot". I like to sometime plan his lesson around cars...he really enjoys them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beautiful words

Beautiful words from a little girl's mouth. I love the Emaan this girl has MashaAllah at such a small age!! May Allah strength her eman with her age and make her a sadaqah Jariyah for her parents (ongoing charity). MashaAllah it shows her parents efforts, may Allah accept their efforts and reward them endlessly and truly make their kids coolness for their eyes. I am in love with her Dua she gave to the Ummah "I pray the the Ummah shines soo bright the people go blind" AMEEN AMEEN AMEEN!! to your dua khadeejah! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

I pray to Allah that He gives us tawfeeq (ability) to be parents who are able to instill love of Allah and His Rasool and His boo. May He make us ALL humans who strive collectively to seek His pleasure and "Hayatut Tayibah" A pure goodly life" Ameen!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Calendar Activity

This is what we do every day for the calendar activity.

  1. Put the date on and then say the date
  2. Sing the Days of the week
  3. EXERCISE to the months of Islam/year. In our highschool daycare we would do months of the year to "The Macarena" song, I asked a around about this from some students of knowledge and concluded that there is nothing wong with it as long as you are not doing it with the intention to dance. I decided to do it without telling AR anything about the "Macarena". I simply just say "Morning exercise" time. I have to say that MASHAALLAH he memorized both sets of the months in 3 weeks with this great technique! now even H tries to imitate us.
  4. Recently we added the weather and seasons in Arabic and English.


Our calendar is Alhumdulillah almost complete now, we still have to add the Arabic months, days and dates to it. I have the months ready from Talibiddeen junior but our color printed is not working with Linux. Here are some details for the details we added to it

    1.   I simply LOVE the fact that I forgot to print the date 17!! That is because it shows (to me at least) its genuity of it, It makes it real for me that WE made it with our hands, and that we are humans and we make mistake and ONLY HE IS PERFECT! (ALLAH SWT)

    2.  We used oil pastels to color the months, days and year. The reason why I chose oil pastels was to give AR a different medium to work with and explore. He specially enjoyed the smudging it with the tissue paper part. I have always loved them.

    3.  We used stencils and acrylic paint for the weekend (Thursday and Friday) to make them stand out and easier for the kids to catch on. now he knows that the blue stencil wine is Friday so on Thursday he gets really excited about Friday Alhumdulillah! He did the stenciling with me too, he choose the wine style and also the colors. I think its really important to let child speak up on there choices even though they might not fit in with the latest trends and styles. A lot of times people focus on fashion and latest Home decor so much that they ignore the child's choice and also and what their comfort!!
    btw, I bought these stencils from DOLLARAMA!!

    4. This is the box of a some frame we had that we used to hold the months and dates. 

    I had to add the stencil to the box too! 
    5.   These the symbol of SPRING!! 

    I made these for our little girl from my some scrap pieces of fabric I got from my tailor who told us that they through them in the GARBAGE!!! I was like WHAT!! The 2 garbage full of fabrics he gave me had meter and meter and a half of pure silks, pure chiffons, cotton, beaded fabric pieces and many more. he beads I had from my bead collections! I have some other projects I am doing using the other fabrics which I will sharing inshaAllah later on. So these are just some of the flowers I put up that I had made of H. 

    I would just like to add, for those who see this and think...we don't have time do these things! I would just like to say that this is ALL done following my 20mins (read here) for the house/me time. It took me a while to finish..."slow and steady wins the race". I cant devote my entire self to all this because I am the cook, cleaner prime caregiver for the kids, laundry woman and now with the new role of a full time (247) on duty teacher/nurture of the kids, it not justifiable. I know, as is the case of most of you as well. 

    After seeing the final result I was content with my 20 mins a day decision Alhumdulillah. 

    Counting Practice

    I have tried to teach numbers to AR a few different ways... so last week I wrote numbers down on our white board from 0 to 9 and then 10 to 19 and 20 to 29 and so on to explain the concept in brief words... he seem to get it alhumdulillah! So then I thought a lot of how to make it fun but also a good learning experience with numbers. I use our numbers for calendars but I kept thinking of some idea and then i thought of the above Be'dhnillah (by Allah's permission). While making it I thought about making the font color lighter so he can practice tracing on them too. Alhumdulillah he really enjoyed making and using it with Mama.

    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    Number Puzzle

    Jumbo number puzzle train. Its a great puzzle we picked up last summer from States for $ 2!! Its great for Boys!

    Friday, March 25, 2011


    Counting Practice, Phonics cards my dear friend let me borrow!

    AR had to match all the numbers and pile them all on the top.

    Straw Painting

    Okay so today after a normal routine stuff we had some great paint fun! We did straw painting! AR loved it but got REALLY tired since it required a lot of facial muscles for blowing in the sttraw reall hard to get the paint to spread.  It was a very creative type of painting and of course lots of fun He was very fascinated by how the colors were blending. He then suggested if we could use a dark color paper and use white paint...I added some purple to it too...It turned out beautiful! Definitely a keeper! My friend suggested on getting the keepers laminated...I am really considering that since he really enjoys painting and paints.

    After the colors were all dried! I love it! Such a master piece!

    After the kids went to my "ME" time I pulled out my canvas paper and did the straw painting myself. I have always really enjoyed painting so it was a lot of fun after a LONG time! Alhumdulillah!

    Mama's Masterpiece. Doing this reminded me old times!

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Times of prayers

    I have been working on the times of prayer times and the number of rakkah each has salah(prayer) has. After he is little bit aware of the two, I will inshaAllah take them of the wall and make it a matching game. He will match the salah with the number of rakkah. For older children you can also add a set of names of prayers in English and Arabic.

    The cards are from the "what's next?" box of "Learning roots"

    The rakkah images are from one of my favorite blogs Umm Nuaman's "A muslim child is born". The rakkah printables are available at her website' freebies section Click here. Jazakillah hu Khairan for the link sister UmmUmamah.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011


    Kids love Messy play so... we made Goop! Both the kids had a great time, even I had a great time playing with them and watching them. Its really messy! and loads of fun. I let them get there hands and feet involved so it turned out to be a great experience for them. Do give it a try, but remember it wil require some good cleaning up afterwards.

    What you will need: 
    1. 2 cups corn flour
    2. food coloring (or you can use the natural dyes)
    3. water (add until you get the desired consistency)


    Mix the food color with the water and mix it with the c.flour. Keep adding water until you like the consistency of the goop...make sure to not make it watery!

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Arabic letter puzzle

    We bought this Arabic puzzle for the kids... it was a bit expensive (by that I mean $5) but they will inshaAllah benefit from it. I was looking for the pegs one but didn't find it!

    I find puzzles a great learning tool, wouldn't you agree?? InshaAllah we will be sharing it with him on Friday... this will be his Yawm ul Jummah special!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    The power of time!

    We all struggle with Managing TIME! Wether you want to accept it or not! I can literally count on my fingers the few people I have met that really inspired me with their skill of Time Management. I thought it would be nice to share the few things that have worked really well for me. (Alhumdulillah). Since we started to HS, I thought I really need to work hard towards setting clear and achievable goals. In order for us to achieve our goals we have to work on managing our time and get control of it, or at least try to get control of it. The other things that one really has to focus on is "prioritizing". 

    So, let me begin with some things that I tried to do that have helped me enormously! 
    1. To me the ULTIMATE secret to time management is "Timing yourself". What I mean by this is, for the next couple of weeks make a dairy that you can keep with you at all times. In it you will have to jot down ALL your activities and the time it takes you to get those activities done. Activities could mean anything and everything, from taking a shower to grocery to giving the kids a bath and so on. I did this for about a month! so I would recommend a month but its up to you...whatever is convenient. The benefit of timing yourself for a month is that it gives you more accuracy about how long each task takes you.
    2. After this is done, then, sit done (AFTER the kids are asleep!) and analysis it... you will most probably notice a pattern of how long it takes you to do a particular activity/task. 
    3. NOW--> prioritize! Make a list of your activities on a normal day. Then look through them VERY CAREFULLY and choose your prioritize. Once you have done that, try to focus on your priortize first thing when you wake up and get them done. (This could include things like...Ishraq/duha, Quran recitaion, kids HS work (if you HS), email, important phone call.)
    4. Once the priorities of the day are out of your will have SOO much STRESS free time left.
    5. For the rest of the time you have, go through your list (the activity and time list), and see how long it takes you do a task on average. Once you have done that...try to stick to one time or allot yourself some time. Meaning...lets say it took you 10 mins to vacuum the floor one day the other day it took you 15  and next day it took you 12. Now, what you will need to do is give yourself a FIXED number of mins alloted to Vacuuming! Such would be the case for all other house chores and things you need to do.
    6. AFTER all this is done, these are somethings I did that have been really helpful for myself..."My time". We all need this time to avoid from going crazy! 
      • Taking out sometime for myself <3
        • This has been so much fun/productive!
        • everyday I have given myself 20-25 minutes for doing something I enjoy doing. I love painting, calligraphy and decorating (I take a looong time to finish my projects because I have an obsession to small details and perfection). Since the start of this year I have been doing this, I have done things I have wanted to do for the LONGEST time but never found time to do them. My first project was setting up the kids "Rawdah". Alhumdullilah I have gotten the room in a really good functional children's area, I am still working on the setup (due to lack of resouces it take me longer to do things). I have some other projects I have started as well. I have to add that...since, these things are not priority there were days that I did not touched my projects. You have all heard the saying "slow and steady wins the race"...By the izan (permission) of Allah I have really accomplished/done a lot of things I have been wanting to do. Someone recently asked me: "Does it not bother you if you have somthing in the middle of the livingroom whcih is half done!?!?" I thought for a sec and said: "No, because I have always been a person who does these things for herself(not in a selfish manner). (I went on explaining). If I decorate my house I don't do it so other people say 'o that looks nice' I do it because I enjoy doing it. Or, when I give a gift I like to wrap it well...ESPECAILLY for family...I do it because I love them (and to implement the hadeeth "Exchange gifts and you will love each other"). It makes me soo happy to see that look of there face"
          • Talking about gifts (I am going to go of the topic at hand here) I have always loved giving gifts...I have always tried to choose good useful gifts and give them with Ihsan. This hadeeth (above) REALLY works...if you ever have a problem with a family member be the BIGGER person (by action not by age that is) and give a gift and apologize even if you are not at fault...and KNOW that you have indeed planted a tree for yourself in the middle of Jannah for breaking the fight (this is a jest of the hadeeth). Most of the time people are VERY nice in giving gifts to others but when it comes family...they ignore/disregard them in this matter...or if they do give gifts its like a burden for them. You will see that people will give expensive nicely wrapped gifts to others just to gain praise. We should try to do these acts for Allah pleasure and to strengthen our bonds with others.
      • Give 20 minutes (including setup and clean) for organizing or reorganizing the house (I mean wardrobes, kitchen cabinets. bookshelves and so on.
        • I started organizing one room at a time and alhumdulillah I have covered a lot of things that I was not able to TAKE time out for.
        • My goal is not exceed the time limit. I leave the thing in the middle if my time is done and clean up and come back to it tomorrow.
      • Reading - Initially this was not something I was intentionally doing for myself...but while doing it I realized how much I am benefiting from it...and how this was the best thing I could have done for myself.. 
        • I fixed 15 minutes everyday to read... this reading was under my gaining knowledge goals of the year. This reading was aside from all the other stuff I read (articles, HS or parenting books). This was the reading about the Life of our Beloved prophet (saw)...reading the seerah after a really long time has been an experience that I just can not put into words...I feel like I am changing in my actions, thinking and living without really making the effort to change! (Alhumdulillah). Reading about the calmaites and hardships the prophet (saw) went through, helped me overlook the petty things of this temporary life the would otherwise affect me! 
        • Since the beginning of this year I started reading "The Noble life of the Prophet (pbuh)" everyday while I am putting H to sleep for her nap. 
    I will inshaAllah soon post about how a normal day in our house is.

    Before I end I would like to make my intentions clear... I JUST wanted to share somethings that I have found beneficial and productive for myself and my family since we have made this decsion for HSing. These are some ways of Time management that have worked for us to ran a smooth day. Everything here might not suit your way of life... Remember that this tip about timing yourself and allotting yourself a time frame to do a task is what most professional management trainers teach and emphasize!!

    Whatever good you get from this post is from Allah and whatever bad you get from this is from shaitan.
    Allah knows best! <3

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Home lamination

    I used to home laminate sheets and book marks with the clear vinyl book covers aside from just covering books with them. They would do a great job for me but now with kids I don't find them too durable so, I started home laminating. It very simple, easy, quick and cheap!

    What you will need:

    1. Laminating pouches/film (you can get laminating film in any size)
    2. Iron
    3. Two 10' by 13' bristol board 
    4. A safe place to iron

    I will let the picture do the talking.

     Open the pouch, which will have 3 sides open and one affixed. Place the material that needs to be laminated in between the  laminating sheets. 

    Gently close it making sure that they do not move and then carefully place the laminating pouch between the two pieces of bristol board. Now, simply iron on moderately hot iron setting (I had our iron on 4.5, it goes till 7). Make sure to start from the side that is closed to avoid any bubbles or bumps to form. IF...the iron is too HOT it will simply make the film to curl the whole game is on getting your hand set on the right temperature.
    After you are done very careful because it will be hot, give it a minute to cool and get hard.

    Our finished product cut.

    We had many other things laminated...

    Did you know?!?

    That... on laminated sheets you can also use WHITE BOARD markers! It works great for checklists, daily schedules, chore charts, GROCERY lists and reminders. You don't have to worry about wasting paper, recycling and it also eco-friendly (if you get the biodegradable laminating film/ pouches) :). Isn't that great??

    I know some of you may be thinking right now...why waste so much time?...why not go to the stationary and get it done! Here are some reasons I do it at home

    1. It ACTUALLY takes less time to do-it yourself at home then to get yourself (a muslimahs that could mean hijab, abaya, or even niqab) and the kids (1, 2, 3, 4) ready.
    2. KIDS will love it... Children tend to like and feel attached to things that they see done in-front of them. Its a great learning experience.
    3. If you have older children it could be a great practice for them to iron.
    4. Its a great creative can laminate leaves, make bookmarks for gifts, make labels, laminate a great art work of you child to preserve it and many other things.

    Aromatherapy Play-dough

    Next thing with play-dough I would like to do/try are the essential oil play-doughs, buy them or even better try to make them at home. Will share if I do make them, meanwhile checkout these aromatherapy play-dough. You can even find gluten free play-dough for children with allergies.

    Fuzzy science experiment

    We also used the left over beetroot water for another fuzzy experiment. After we were done the experiment I used the vinegar and baking soda mixture to clean the kitchen sink and the tap.

    Homemade play-dough dye

    Forest berries (color and smell), turmeric with mango essence, green tea leaves and beet root.

    Yesterday I was boiling beetroot for my daughter to eat. Since I was young I use to love the beautiful color of beetroot. So, while it was boiling I thought why not use this water to make PLAY-DOUGH! it would make a like a natural food dye. So I followed the play-dough recipe and made the play-dough. It turn out awesome! It gave the the play-dough elegant twist! I also added rose water to make it smell pleasant.

    Beetroot...SubhanAllah... isn't the color just sooo AMAZING!! NO artificial dye could be compared to this!!

    Add caption
    After this I wanted to see if I could come up with more natural dyes. I could only think of Turmeric and strawberries. So I went on the net and guess what I found!! this awesome blog "Mini Eco" she has the most amazing ideas! She has a fuzzy experiment that I had posted about earlier as well (with better illustrations of-course). I am in love with her ideas (Allah yahdeehaa), can't wait to try them. I really enjoy Eco-friendly and toxic free things for the house and kids

    Go check out the blog!

    Please share any ideas you may have!

    NOTE: in her recipe she says to cool the dye water, I poured it hot into the dry ingredients, it turned out great...make sure to knead it well.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Learning names

    Prophet Muhammad (saw) said "Keep the names of the noble Prophets, Allah loves most the names Abdullah and Abdur Rahman. The most truthful names are Harith and Humam, while the most disliked are Harb and Murrah (war and bitter)."

    Well considering this hadeeth we decided to name our son Abdur-Rahman. MashaAllah it really suits him <3. 

    I have to add that its been a challenge to teach him his names spelling. So these are some things we have done to make learning his name fun learning experience.

    I made these to togehter with AR, we spelled the names  and stuck them on the foam boards.

    He loves hand and foot prints (I let him do them but i personally don't find them too educational). We did this one on a black construction paper with white (non-toxic) water acrylic. Ad the end I added hi name and we spelled it out together a few times.  

    This one was a lot of FUN! I printed his name out in ful and with it I printed each letter of his name separately. First he glued his full name (we sang the spelling of his name). Then under it he had to glue the letters by looking at the full name... first 'a' then 'b' so on.

    Had some glue and glitter fun.
    I am doing more things with him, I will be adding about it.