Monthly Archives: June 2010

How Many Donkeys?

I was at the library yesterday and came across this book in the “New and Notables” section. I borrowed it.

It is based on an Arabic folklore. The story is retold by Margaret Read MacDonald and Nadia Jameel Taibah. Sister Nadia is from Saudi Arabia and is with the Special Education Department of King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah.

The story is of a merchant and his son riding their 10 donkeys to market. On the way they keep losing one donkey and then somehow finding it again. In this journey the Arabic counting of 1-10 is repeated. Trust me it is repeated.

This book has the actual Arabic numbers and the corresponding Arabic names for the numbers. And the characters count in Arabic. There is an accompanying pronunciation audio on Margaret Read MacDonald’s website. Clearly this book is written for a general readership and not for an Islamic audience. The purpose is of course to introduce Arab culture and not Islam necessarily.

Every time the merchant loses a donkey I said “Innalillah” and every time he finds the donkey I said “Alhamdulillah” as oppose to what was written in the story.

Overall this book did a good job on introducing counting 1-10 in Arabic. It also had kids friendly illustration of the dessert landscape. Worth looking at.

This story will also be a good opportunity to introduce duas pertaining to journey.

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Posted by on June 26, 2010 in Reading/Books


Hopping colours.

Further to the activities we did through Brown Bear, Brown Bear, we have been reading other books with colour as the main theme.

This is a simple book that introduces colours. It is also a great book for older children when learning about colour mixing.

Below is what we did for DS2. Colour hopping . . . keeping with the theme of the bunny and the colour pots.

These were circles cut out from foams (foam is less slippery and do last jumping). I first used about 4 colours and gradually added on. We also had the Arabic colour names on each circle to practice colours in Arabic. We spread the circles around and DS2 enjoyed hopping on to the colour pads when a colour was called out.

As for the older child learning about mixing colours . . .

We used bath fizzies. Kids love these. So we did yellow bath days, red bath days . . . then went on to mixing and making purple bath days an so on. You’ll have to drop 2 to 3 tablets to really make the colour show especially when mixing two colours.


Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Colours, Preschool



Baking Colours

We made these pretty crayons as part of our colour learning, sorting activity. I got this idea from Mad in Craft. It is a good way to recycle broken crayons.

Yo can use a regular muffin pan if you don’t have a silicone one. I however chose to use a star mold. Reason, I figures it’ll be easier for a child to hold the crayon (as in picture) plus I can use the mold for Ramadan/Eid themes baking.

I purchased this mold from Michaels.

Alhamdulillah the children are feeling like “Stars” doodling away.


Posted by on June 16, 2010 in Colours, Preschool


Together We Read – June 2010

Learning Numbers 1 – 10

Insya-Allah this will be our June book for “Together We Read“. This is a counting type book with Islamic elements to it. So each two pages has counting that involves Quran, Muslim sisters, Saf; rows in salah etc.

The artwork is mostly collage and most images use the tearing technique. Definitely different and quite captivating as far as illustration goes. DS2 loves this book!

On the text itself, it’s very straightforward . . . counting objects 1 to 10. The book will give opportunities to discuss many other details of life as a Muslim. For instance making wudhu before salah, giving salaam and using miswaak. I would say this book also presents a chance to introduce various adaabs and duas. Insya-Allah I am hoping to explore these possibilities through out this month. So far these are the activities I’m working on . . .

Activity 1:

I am planning to do the similar type activity as Umm An-Nu’man with Somewhere in the Ocean book. I am Insya-Allah using her number templates. As for the pictures to go with the book, I’ve made a set here Time for Isha’s picture.

Note: These images do contain a “face”. I tried my best, unfortunately I do not have the knowledge on how to eliminate the face without distorting the original image! Appreciate advice from all of you out there. Jazak-Allah.

Activity 2

Numbering our staircase so we can become familiar with how the look and sound (both English and Arabic) while we go up and down.

Activity 3

Salat Time Puzzle from Umm An- Nu’man’s website.

Activity 4

How Many Rakaat game again from Umm An-Nu’man’s website.

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Posted by on June 15, 2010 in Together We Read