Monthly Archives: March 2011

Paper Plate Lion

I ordered this book through our school book order. It is a simple read and also has some activities reinforcing reading skills in it.

This was the simple craft we made using paper plate, construction paper, some foam shapes and pipe cleaners.

Gluing paper mane onto paper plate

We coloured the paper plate using the same technique as the paper plate whale we made. Gluing the paper mane occupied DS2 and gave me enough time to finish some cleaning I had to do, Alhamdulillah.

We discussed about how people with more strength must show mercy to weaker ones. Also just because some one is weak that does not mean they are insignificant and that Allah has made each one of us with special traits.

Naturally I started speaking about how Sulaiman (AS) showed mercy to the ants. Insya-Allah, that might be our next book to craft on.

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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books


The magical world of “pixies”









Somewhere is our journey of life we stop sprinkling ourselves with magic dust.

I am blessed to have little “Pixies”. They ever so generously sprinkle magic dust on me, the way only they can. Perhaps time stops just for a moment. A moment when I can drown myself in the magical blissful world that only “Pixies” can create.

You may say, “Ah, I don’t have a “Pixie” of my own.”

Or maybe your pixies have lost their magic dust travelling life’s path.

Don’t despair, it doesn’t take much to find a “Pixie” and share their magic dust. Look around, perhaps in the grocery line, in the doctor’s waiting room or even in the car next to yours at a stop light.

Share a smile, say a kind word and lend your ears, for “Pixies” love to be smothered with attention. And for a moment, just maybe a moment, you’ll be whisked into the wonderful world of the “Pixies”. It’ll leave a smile on your face long after you come back.

Now go look for a “Pixie”.

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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


Spaghetti hedgehog craft

Hedgie’s Surprise has been a long time favourite in our house. The children love looking at the pictures on the sides of the pages to tell their own story of what is on the next page.

This book was perfect in continuing the egg theme. We used what we had on hand and made this simple hedgehog.

Sticking spaghetti into modelling clay

Hedgehog. We used cloves for eyes.


Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books


E for Eggs

Alhamdulillah, reading the dim sum books gave us an idea for letter “E”, egg tarts of course. This is a treat that I enjoyed as a child and still love it. I often make this at home following this simple recipe from Star Kuali for the filling. I used pre made tart shells.

I also chose this recipe as it give DS2 a chance to use an egg beater for a real life task. You can see an example of a montessori tray with an egg beater here.

He also got to practice his pouring skills. He poured the entire first amount of egg mixture I gave him on the tray! After that he was careful and did very well Alhamdulillah.

I added the dusting of nutmeg just to give my son a little extra to do. It does add a nice flavour to the tart I must say.

Beating eggs

Pouring filling into tart shells










Dusting on nutmeg

Swett egg tarts







We followed up this activity with a book.

This is a classic tale that has just been told over generations. This story gives and excellent opportunity to talk about being grateful and thankful to Allah. Using the opportunity of having wealth to give in charity as wealth is a test in itself (in this story the characters don’t spend in charity).

Allah is the ultimate giver and sustainer, He is able to give us things that are unthinkable; like the golden eggs. It also allows for discussions about not being greedy in amassing wealth.

Overall it has been a egg-licious couple of days Alhamdulillah.


Paper Dim Sum

I came across these two books in our library. When I peered into Yum Yum Dim Sum, it was just paperlicious! My instant thought was we can make some of those.









My children are familiar with some of the treats in these books which helped in making the paper treats. For this craft we mainly used different types of papers and modelling clay we had on hand. Here are our creations.

Stuffed basket

Clay fried shrimp

Tissue paper scallion pancake

Clay egg tart

Facial tissue red bean pau

Tissue paper spring rolls





















I didn’t get to snap pictures while me where making these except . . .

Painting "red bean paste" onto pau

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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books


D for dates

We could not have settled for anything else for letter “D” then the blessed DATES. There are numerous verses of the Quran that mentions it and many more ahadith that talks about it.

Aishah (RA) reported from Rasulullah (SAW) that a family which has dates will not be hungry. (Sahih Muslim)

I do make this recipe often as I feel it is a “super snack” for children and adults alike. Plus it is delicious. I did choose to use whole dates and unshelled pistachios to allow for more opportunities to practice on the fine motor skills.

Insya-Allah you can find this recipe is at Chachi’s Kitchen. A truly wonderful recipe blog that has tonnes of recipes that are a fusion of East Indian and African cuisines.

Pitting dates

Shelling pistachios

Measuring cream

Mixing it all up

Sprinkle coconut

Yummy date rolls













Date stone letter "D"



Posted by on March 11, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture


Paper Doily Carrots

Following our carrot juice making, I got a few books from the library. These are the three titles.

You will need some paper doilies, orange and green food colouring/poster paint, paint brushes, yarn.

Paint centre of doily orange and the frills green.

Cut doilies in half. Roll each half into a cone. Tie around frills using a piece of yarn. Make some cuts in the frills and open up to look like leaves.

Paper doily carrots.

When we read the Carrot Seed book, I added to the story that the little boy made dua to Allah asking for the carrot to grow. Otherwise the story seem to have a very negative tone to it.


C for Carrots

Alhamdulillah we made a very simple recipe for this one – carrot juice.

Scrub carrots clean

Chop up carrots into chunks

Add milk, sugar/honey and blend

Enjoy healthy carrot juice

Playing with residue carrot pulp

C for carrot

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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture


Together We Read – Story of Yunus (AS)

A Muslim Child is Born – Feb 2011 Together We Read

Story of Yunus (AS) from Dar-us-Salam Publications

We decided on this book for Together We Read as it is the current favourite book in our home. Also anyone else interested will be able to use any other book with the same story for the activities.

Things that we discussed:

1) Abandoning Allah’s commandment.

2) Repenting

3) Power of dua

4) Allah is all forgiving

5) Title of Yunus (AS)

Craft: Paper Plate Whale

You will need a paper plate, some markers, craft glue, paint blush, whale tail template from here.

Using markers to colour the paper plate.

Pour some glue onto coloured paper plate and use a paint brush to smear ink around.

Add fin, tail and eyes if you want.

Math: Boat Tangram

Tangram boat out on stormy sea.

Tangram template was from here. Using construction paper, I made a scene with the BW tangram pieces for a boat in a stormy sea. I then printed the coloured pieces for my son to place over the BW pieces.

We also did simple counting using gold fish crackers.

Rhyme time: Ocean creatures action rhyme

Ibn Jareer has narrated in his book of Tafsir that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “When Allah wanted to keep Yunus in the belly of the fish. He revealed to it: ‘Take him inside, but do not scratch his flesh or break his bones.’ When the fish went down in the depth of the sea, Yunus heard a voice. He thought of it in his mind and said: ‘What is that?’ Allah revealed to him that it was the glorifying acts of sea animals. Then he glorified Allah in the belly of that fish, which the angels heard and said: ‘O Lord! We hear a very weak voice in a very unusual land!’ Allah said: ‘This is My slave Yunus, who disobeyed me, so I detained him inside a fish in the depth of sea.’ They enquired: Is he Your pious slave from whom every day and night a good deed ascended to you?’ He replied: ‘Yes.’ So the angels then pleaded to Allah on behalf of Yunus, so Allah commanded the fish to throw him out on the shore.”

I wanted to include and activity where in the mind of my son he can imagine how Yunus (AS) would have seen and heard other sea creatures singing praises of Allah. Below is a modifies version of a favourite action rhyme of ours. We sometimes use little stuffed toys to act out this rhyme.

Ocean creature praising Allah song

We also have the CD below that has a very catchy song about the story of Yunus (AS). This CD only uses voice talent. My children love to hear the splash part. The Nasheed Shop has this CD.

Allah’s names

We discussed about Allah being Al-Ghaffar and Al-GhaffurThe Forgiving and Al-GhafuwThe Pardoner. He forgave the people of Ninevah and also Yunus (AS) because of their sincere repentance.

We spoke about Allah being As-Sami – The All Hearing and A-Mujeeb – The Answerer. He heard the dua of Yunus (AS) from a very unusual place and He answered the dua. I made a print out of the dua for us to Insya-Allah memorize.

As for what Yunus (AS) ate when he was thrown out, my children are still not fans of gourd/pumpkin ;). You can read our pumpkin post here.




B for Bread

B for Bread

There is definitely something special about baking your own bread. This was an excuse for me to try a recipe that was published in our local newspaper awhile back. “No need to knead” was the title. What better recipe for a clueless baker like myself 🙂

Having said that, it sounded so simple that I had faith in myself and my four year old that we will be able to make this. It only required measuring and mixing of four basic ingredients and a lot of waiting. It’s based on Lahey’s method. You can read more about his work in My Bread by Jim Lahey. He also is the owner of Sullivan St. Bakery, where he has got some of his recipes posted.



Cling wrap and wait . . .

Mmmmmmm . . . bread

It does take waiting for the dough to rise. That is the only down fall to this recipe.  Made ours the night before and baked it the next day.

I made a colouring page to with this recipe. I might make a recipe card soon Insya-Allah.

B for bread colouring page.

Story: The Little Red Hen

I downloaded this from Scholastics.  Simple repetitive story. It was a good way to introduce how bread is made. I like it that this story goes one step before the making of the bread to the actual wheat itself. We also discussed about how everyone should help out when we live together as a family or community.

There is a set of sequencing cards for this story at Green Education Foundation.

This wonderful Blueberry Banana Bread recipe started this whole AlphaFood Venture. While making this recipe sometime ago I couldn’t help but notice how many ingredients started with the letter “B”.  It is a keeper, especially with blueberry loving kids.

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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture