Monthly Archives: July 2011

P for Pineapple, papaya, pear . . .

Initially I just wanted to make a Pizza. However there is just such a variety of fruits and vegetable that starts with letter P that I had to use them, at least some of them. Take a peek at the list of fruits that begin with letter P here.

These were our letter P fruits.

Pineapple, papaya, pears, peaches, persimmons and plums

We started of by examining each fruit. We discussed the colour and shape, feel of the skin and of course the smell. I then cut the fruits (except the pineapple) to show DS2 the inside of each one.

Scooping out papaya seeds

The touch and feel activity using papaya seeds are really fun if your child does not mind a little mess. My son is not on of those, so he touched the seeds for a bit and that was it. I was having more fun! The seeds are slippery and mushy when you hold.

Since we had done some seed planting, I wanted to take the opportunity for us to examine the seed of each fruit as well.

Clockwise - plum seed, peach seed, pear seeds, papaya seeds and persimmon seeds

We talked about the size of each seed. DS2 arranged them from big to small. We also discussed about how all of these fruits grew from seeds with the will of Allah. And then came the question about the pineapple. Where are the pineapple seeds? To be honest I had no clue. I then removed the skin of the pineapple so that DS2 could at least see the pineapple eyes.

Pineapple eyes. DS2 did not enjoy looking or touching this

To incorporate all the different fruits, we made fruit kabob.

We skewered the fruit pieces. DS2 glazed them and Papa grilled them.

Letter P fruit kabob

The one letter P fruit that I just could not find was pomegranate. I wanted my son to know that this fruit is mentioned in the Qur’an. Insha-Allah I might make and activity just for Ar-Rum.


Posted by on July 31, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture


Seed art

To continue our activity of planting seeds I wanted the children to create some artwork using seeds.

Material for the activity

I just picked out some seeds I had in the pantry for this activity. The idea was to glue the seeds on to the paper plates. I used a line patterned paper plate for my four year old to practice squeezing glue onto small areas before dropping the seeds on.

This activity turned out being more of a sensory activity than art for the children. Touching and feeling the different size and coloured seeds, squeezing blobs of glue onto the paper plate and playing in a gooey mixture of seeds! It was all fun Alhamdulillah. We did this on the deck, so clean was also easy for me.

Our seed pie artwork!

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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Art & Craft, Nature


Planting seeds

For this activity we used the Nature Study document prepared by Umm Tafari as a guideline. Seeds are the theme of Day 1, Week Four (Plants)

This book was a great start off point on learning about plant growth. It was a little late into the season for us to do planting. I still went ahead and got some fast yielding lettuce seeds and sunflower seeds just to get the children to experience the different stages of plant growth.

Verily! It is Allah Who causes the seed-grain and the fruit-stone (like date-stone) to split and sprout. He brings forth the living from the dead, and it is He Who brings forth the dead from the living. Such is Allah, then how are you deluded away from the truth? 

Surah Al-An’am, Verse 95

The above Quranic verse is the foundation of this activity. It is Allah who causes a mere seed to sprout into a plant. Allah is Al-Muhyi the giver of life.

Planting lettuce seeds.

We used eggshells to plant the seeds just as in the book so the children could relate to the activity. However I did not number and pull out the seedlings to observe growth as per the book. Lettuce seeds are too tiny for that.

Growth on day 3

Growth of day 7. Some of the eggshells had no sprouts at all.

Our sunflower seed sprouting Masha-Allah

Our little gardeners have been doting over the eggshells a little too much.  I am hoping the plants will make it.


Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Nature


Charity Artwork

Recently I asked DS1 to come up with a drawing that showed acts of charity. Masha-Allah below is what he came up with. He got the idea of the layout from a picture book we had.

The bottom box on the left apparently shows someone helping an elderly person cross the road; and act of kindness.


Posted by on July 10, 2011 in Adab/Akhlak, Art & Craft


O for Orange Pudding

Letter O, the most easily identified letter. I would have loved to  pick something that had olives in it. However I restrained myself as I knew DS2 would not enjoy it.

I found a simple orange pudding recipe here and as I had all the ingredients on hand, I decided we will make it.

We started of by me scraping some orange rind for DS2 to smell. He liked the smell and tried describing it in his own words.

Juicing orange

The recipe did not call for orange juice. I thought just adding couple of tablespoons would not be a bad idea. Afterall our star is orange.

Behind the scene shot . . . drinking milk straight out of the measuring jug!

We added all the ingredients into a water bottle. We used a funnel to avoid spills.

Vigorously shake the ingredients. Using a bottle with a tight cap will be a good idea.

Pudding served in an orange cup.

I have to be honest about this recipe. It was easy and fun to do. However it was really not great as far as taste goes. Vanilla and orange just did not seem to pair well, at least to us.

We found this book at our local library. It made up for the disappointment of the recipe.

The title is a question any child can present to you. The book goes about asking the question and answering it in a very delightful way. It is a very cheeky kind of book that truly suits DS2 personality and he really enjoyed it Alhamdulillah.


N for Noodles

Asian noodles are a staple in our home. And it is amazing the variety that is out there.

Variety of noodles

We started off by examining a variety of noodles I had on hand. With all the different textures, it was definitely sensory simulating.

Exploring fresh won ton

The fresh won ton received interesting reactions. DS2 just did not want to unravel it. He complained of the smell. While DS3 as you can see was having a blast.

Ingredients for noodle salad

Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss away.


Noodle salad

We did a little noodle gluing using a colouring page I found here.

Gluing noodle.

The children had fun doing this. They enjoyed squeezing out tonnes of glue. And every time they tried pressing down the dried chow mein noodle on to the paper, the could hear and feel the noodles cracking under their fingers. Subhanallah, they thought this sensation was very cool and amusing. The simple things chidlren relish 🙂


Posted by on July 9, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Cooking/Baking


Twig weaving

There was still plenty of weeping birch twigs lying around. And I thought it’ll make a good weaving material. And really I was inspired by the beautiful weaved baskets in my home country and more motivated by the stickwork sculpture picture posted by Umm Tafari here.

I had this somewhat sun-shaped cardboard that I has saved from some pot and pans packaging. I felt that this would provide a good base to weave the twigs around to form a basket.

Twigs and cardboard base

We started weaving. DS1 figured that he needed to weave the twigs in and out of the flaps. What was challenging about doing this was that the twigs just would not stay in place.

Weaving in progress

Side view of the basket

By now I had a really sad boy. His weaving was not yielding a basket.

Allah provides hope in times of despair Subhanallah. A ball of T-shirt yarn on the fridge!

T-shirt yarn is basically old T-shirts cut into about 1 inch continuous strip. They make very good ties around the house.

Weaving using T-shirt yarn

We used the same cardboard as a base. This time it was way easier as the material was easy to handle and it was a continuous string as oppose to bits of twig.

Also notice that the cardboard base had eight flaps. This is an even number of flaps that when you weave around would produce a pattern that will not hold up the flaps into a basket shape. Alhamdulliah DS1 figured that he needed to just make a loop at the starting flap to skip a flap and continue weaving.

He also figured that based on the tension of the yarn, he can control how wide the basket opened up. He decided to make it really tight. Reason, when he was done it could be flipped and worn as a Turkish tarboosh!

We started weaving twigs hoping to produce a basket. We ended up with a very happy boy wearing a T-shirt yarn tarboosh, Alhamdulillah.



Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Art & Craft, Nature


Twig painting

We had a storm sweep through our city. The aftermath of the strong winds were a lot of twigs of the weeping birch trees scattered in our backyard.

Perfect material for some painting. Tape down large piece of paper. Put blobs of paint. Tie twigs into small bundle. And let the little artist work their magic.

Painting with twigs

Twig painting

Insha-Allah I am saving this for a wrapping paper.


Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Art & Craft, Nature


M for Mango Maple Milkshake

For letter M I decided on milk as a main ingredient.

And indeed, for you in grazing livestock is a lesson. We give you drink from what is in their bellies – between excretion and blood – pure milk, palatable to drinkers.

Surah An-Nahl, Verse 66

To make it more M-ish, we added mangoes and maple syrup.

Ataulfo mango and Tommy Atkins mango

We started off by examining two different mangoes. We compared their shapes, size and colour. Then I cut them up and let DS2 smell them and taste them as well.

Scooping mango flesh

Adding some milk. Add maple syrup for sweetness

Blend away. Alhamdulillah DS2 has overcome fear of blenders.

Yummy mango maple milkshake

Just one complain, while tasting the milkshake, “This was too easy Mama.” What have I got myself into!

We read these books to compliment the activity.

This book was about and aunt supposedly trying to teach her nephew about how yummy milk really is thinking that he hates milk. What is nice about this title is that is revolves around making a milkshake. Perfect for this activity.

This is a classic book that is more about imagination that it is about milk. But for every page, I asked my son, if the picture looked liked spilt milk to keep the milk theme going. Insha-Allah this book will be a wonderful start off point for some imaginative artwork.

I would have love to have read a book about where milk comes from and how it gets into our fridge. Just could not find a suitable book.


Posted by on July 9, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Cooking/Baking