Monthly Archives: April 2011

Pattern Blocks

Alhamdulillah we received our pattern blocks. This was from Scholar’s Choice.

These are some website that has pattern block templates.

1. Prekinders has templates of various animals.

Jazakillah to Umm Tafari at River City Homeschoolers for the link above.

2. Making Learning Fun has an alphabet template.

Insha-Allah I plan to use pattern blocks as an additional activity for topics that we do. An example of this is the recent pattern block date tree. These foam pattern blocks are also magnetic. As much as there are templates, I want the children to be able to manipulate these blocks and create their own pattern. Being magnetic, it is great for moving around and experimenting on the fridge door.

Making block pattern "Transformers" apparently 🙂

I also found this wonderful masjid pattern block template. These are patterns for some well known masjids around the world. More for older children.

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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Learning Toys, Pattern Block


Tortoise craft & art work

This week we read and made a craft for the book The Foolish Tortoise by Richard Buckley & Eric Carle.

This is a simple story that demonstrates how we should appreciate what we are blessed with and that there is a good reason why Allah made us a certain way.

In the Qur’an Allah says:

“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know.” (Surah Baqarah: 216)

We made a paper plate tortoise, again using techniques we used for our paper plate whale. This time we used stamping technique to create the pattern on the shell.

Stamping the pattern on the tortoise shell using a rolled up corrugated piece of cardboard

Finised tortoise with head, tail and feet

Since he was having so much fun stamping, I decided to do a backdrop for the tortoise using different painting tools we found around the home.

Stroking up paint to create "grass"

I dropped blobs of green and yellow paint on the bottom part of the page. DS2 used a stalk of lemon grass ends to smear the paint to create grass effect.

Lemon grass

This is a close up picture of the lemon grass stalk that we used.

Dabbing J-cloth scarp to make sky

Using bubble wrap patches to create clouds

Finished backdrop for our tortoise

Paper plate tortoise


Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books


F for Figs

I decided to go with figs for letter F. This is a fruit that has a surah it the Qur’an named after it. We also often have figs for snack at home. Has to be a good choice, or so I thought.

The recipe we made was from Stacey Snacks. It was super easy for us to follow and it turned out great Alhamdulillah. Here are our steps following Stacey’s recipe.

Practicing scissors skills snipping figs

After much whining about sticky fingers, we switched to plastic knife

Mixing the wet ingredients

The only thing I did not follow was using dried rosemary instead of fresh ones. Not a good idea. The smell and flavour of rosemary was infused in the cake. However there were the awful grass like snippets of dried rosemary when you bit into the cake. Not a nice thing.

Fig cake made from olive oil

Half of this cake dissapeared soon after it came out of the oven. It tastes great when eaten warm. The other half . . . well lets say the children were not interested in a fig cake the next day. They rather eat figs as they are.

Sadly DS2 did not enjoy making this recipe. I think he wanted something much more exciting that dried figs. My intentions were to teach him about a fruit mentioned in the Qur’an. However I do realize that the alphabet is what we are attempting here and it has to be fun for DS2.

Anyhow, this recipe is a keeper and I think it will make a great enrichment activity when learning Surah At-Teen, figs and olive (oil) in one cake.


Posted by on April 23, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture


Dates Mini Book & Pattern Block

Following our cooking venture with dates, I thought I will do a little book compiling a few hadith/stories on dates. The website AlMiskeenah has got a whole category dedicated to dates. There are some wonderful photographs of dates trees as well as varieties of the fruits. We browsed through this website to look at the pictures and talked about a few of the hadith on dates.

Here are some pictures of our little dates book.

Cover with a hadith about dates

This is the cover with a date related hadith. It is from Umm Abdul Basir’s Creative Corner.

Ayahs in the Qur'an that mentions dates

Hadith on tahneek & date tree

Story of boy who threw stones at a date tree

Story of crying date tree

I thought DS2 was most astonished when he learnt that the first food he ever ate was dates! He also was fascinated by the crying date tree story.

Date tree pattern block

I made this date tree pattern block template with a hadith on it using printables I found at Teacher Vison Canada. Insha-Allah I have ordered some pattern blocks and hopefully we will be able to use them for this template.


Posted by on April 23, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Pattern Block


Spring Signs – Jackrabbits/Hare

Today the children were very excited to see our resident bunny, Mr. Arnab, sitting in his usual spot, basking in the sun. They immediately noticed that he was not his usual white self. I pointed out to them that it was just changing colour to be able to better camouflage itself in the spring and summer landscapes. Subhanallah how merciful is Allah to his creature, each blessed with its special features.


Mr. Arnab sometime in January
Mr. Arnab today, becoming brown

I wanted to get some idea on more nature type activities to do with the children. I came across this wonderful websites called Nature Detectives. It offers many printable resources according to seasons. It is a UK based organization. I am sure many of the ideas can be easily adapted to other locations.

NOTE: Thanks to Umm Tafari’s question below, I have changed the title of this post. I do not want to confuse others.


Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Nature


Spring Signs – Melting Snow

Even though spring has come, where we live there’s still lots of snow. However as the days get longer and warmer, our snowbanks are slowly melting away. I wanted to do something fun with melting snow.

First we decided to do some snow painting. This is jus some water with food colouring in a squeeze bottle.

Snow over a sheet of paper

Snow painting

I placed the paper hoping when the snow melted, the food colouring will dry on the paper. Unfortunately it did not. We got carried away piling too much snow onto the paper that the dye just washed away! Something to keep in mind next time Insha-Allah.

We also did a little experiment. We filled up three jars with snow. One clean, one slightly dirty and the other quite dirty. DS2 watched for about half a day patiently for all the snow to melt.

Jars of snow

Melted snow

Once the snow melted, we observed the deposit at the bottom of the jar.

Less dirt

Quite dirty

And we had one jar that was completely clean. We talked about how the dirt was more heavy and settle at the bottom. I also reminded my son that all the three jars of water are considered pure even with the dirt in them and can be used to made wudhu. His reaction, “It’ll be freezing, Mama.” 🙂

Snowman Melting & Water Cycle mini books

I also printed a simple water cycle book from here. I chose this one as it mentioned of snow as well as rain. I added these two verses of the Quran about rain to the book as well.

I found a simple counting rhyme on melting snowman here.  DS2 was completely enjoying this book. The snowman he and his brothers built also just recently melted away. He identified with the rhyme.

DS2 Alhamdulillah understood that snow melted and turned into water. Where did the water go? With the ground still partially covered in snow and wet he did not get it that in went into the ground. To demonstrate this fact, I left the only indoor plant we have to dry out a bit. Then gave him a container of water to pour into the pot. He was so amazed at how quickly the water disappeared into the GROUND. The second verse above completely supports this.

We also took a walk in the nearby park which has a river that runs through it. The children were able to see chunks of ice floating in the river. Subhanallah, this was a perfect way to show them how water (rain & snow) that Allah sends down runs as rivers. Snow is really a form of water from the sky. And it’s a mercy from Allah.

After completing these activities, we had 30cm of snow overnight. Alhamdulillah, we all bit our tongue and did not complain. Snow is a mercy of Allah to dry Southern Alberta.


Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Nature


Egg Carton Ant

Alhamdulillah this week we read a book about Sulaiman’s (AS) encounter with some ants.

The first part of this book is about how Sulaiman (AS) resolves the dispute between two farmers. Than it continues with his (AS) encounter with the ants.

We spoke about how Allah granted a special ability to Sulaiman (AS) that he was able to understand the ant’s speech. Sulaiman (AS) made dua to Allah that he may be grateful for this special gift and was not haughty and arrogant (like the lion in last week’s story). He then showed mercy to the ant by asking his army to avoid the ant hill.

Painting egg carton

This is the ant craft we made after reading the story. Is was just three segments of an egg carton painted black. We threaded some pipe cleaners for legs and antenna. We glued black eyed peas for eyes and foam for a smile.

We also read the Little Ants story from the book above. This story is from the live of Rasulullah (SAW). It teaches us to show mercy to animal, even those that are small like ants. Insya-Allah you can find more books on ant at Ummah Reads.

We watched this video to further reinforce being merciful to creatures.

This was another book that was part of our Usborne pack. This had a different moral to it but still around ants though. This book is great for a bug theme. My son was pretending with a plastic grasshopper and and while we were reading this book.

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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books