Monthly Archives: March 2012

stART – Penguin Craft

This week we continued with our Antarctica animal theme. We read the two books we had on penguins.

The first books wan entirely on emperor penguins. The second was about one penguin’s quest to find a million. We did some counting activity with fish crackers as well as used measuring tape to measure and compare our sizes to the size of a penguin.

These we the materials we used for our penguin craft. These are jello container. The bell shape was perfect for this craft.

We started off by filling one container with fish. The boys enjoyed pretending being penguins and eating up fish. We talked about some of the other things that penguins eat.

Then I applied glue to the mouth of the container. The boys placed the other container onto the first one to form the body of the penguin.

Next I cut out flippers, eyes, beaks and feet for them to glue on. Lastly, we squished some white paper into a ball for egg that rest on the penguin’s feet, just like the emperor penguins.

(Looking at the picture now, we probably should have lowered the flippers!)


Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books


stART – Leopard Seal

Since our world map was placed on the table top, Ilyaas (4) has been fascinated by Antarctica. From some other books we have, he discovered some of the animals that live in the Antarctica. He is most fascinated by the leopard seals. This was the one book I found at the library on this particular seal.

The book has very detailed photographs of the seal and its habits. The book follows the life of a female seal.

We tried foam painting for this week. To make the paint, mix equal amounts of white glue and foam shaving cream.

Foam paint

So engrossed . . .








This was a coloring page I found here. Ilyaas wrote the name of the seal. He is still trying to form letters and often flips them.

He added the whiskers and spots to the seal.








This was a template I created from images I found. We used this picture to talk about the concept of predator and prey that was introduced in the book.






This was coloring page from here. Antarctica looked pretty real with foam paint on it.

I took the chance to also discuss about the different types of penguins in Antarctica. In the book itself several species of penguins become prey to the leopard seal.




We watched this video as well.

Crittercam: Leopard Seal




Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books


Bulletin Board Table Top

We had our kitchen table top sanded down so that it could be restained to a darker tone that my husband wanted. Sadly the person hired to do the job did not do it quite right. We were left with a rather rough surfaced table top.

Now we did not mind the looks, however it was effecting the functionality of it. Food often got stuck to the rough top. To solve the problem, we got a glass cut out for the table top.

It was only after awhile, it came to us that we could actually use the table top as a sort of bulletin board that will interest the whole family.

This is our very first display; the world.

So far it has been a conversation starter, question trigger, story board . . . and I guess the possibilities are endless from now on.

What we thought was a disaster, Allah inspired us make it into something beneficial.


Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Nature Study – Courtesy of Umm Tafari

Umm Tafari of River City Homeschoolers recently posted on revisiting nature study with her children. It’s when I read her post that I remembered that we used her Nature Study unit as a guide late last summer and did many of the activities that she had suggested. Subhanallah we immensely benefitted from all of the activities that we managed to do.

Insha-Allah, I am posting a few activities we did that relates back to Umm Tafari’s nature study unit (week, day and title cited) with the hope that others will try their hands at it. Warm weather is just around the corner, it will Insha-Allah be both fun and a wonderful way to appreciate Allah’s many creations.

WEEK 1 – DAY THREE – Tree Rubbing













We did this activity at a local park. Most of the trees had really rough bark. Only one was suitable for rubbing. As Ilyaas was doing this, it attracted other children to join in as well 🙂

I made some of these circle crayons just for this activity. It made it so much easier for the little ones to hold and do the bark rubbing.

To add interest to this activity for Ibraheem and his friend who came along, we did a tree measuring activity. We found this activity on Nature Detective labeled as Tree Giants. It proved to be fun for the boys as the competed with each other to find and even taller tree in the park.


WEEK 4 – DAY ONE – Seeds

We did these observation while on our road trip during summer. We were not able to do the actual seed hunt using socks as suggested.













We explained to the children how seeds can actually be within different parts of the plant; the fruit (berry), the leaf, the pod or the flower. We also explained how agents like animals, wind and rain water can then transfer these seeds to a new location.

I must say that the spores on the fern were the most intriguing one for the children.

Our planting seed activity can be found here.

We also did many of the leaf related activities well into fall. Insha-Allah I am hoping to do the bird themed activities this year.

May Allah reward Umm Tafari for putting together this study unit.


1 Comment

Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Nature


stART – Popcorn Snowman

With all the snow we had, I thought this will be an appropriate book for a craft this week. We will be participating in stART after such a long time. I miss crafting with the children as often as we had in the past. stART is a good motivation for that 🙂

The children enjoyed reading this book and spotting all the different items that went on the snowman. This was a good introduction to the kinds of things we can put out in our backyard to attract birds.

We did try building a snowman, unfortunately the snow was too powdery. When it was good for rolling, the temperature was already in two digits Subhanallah, that it was just melting away.

We just went ahead and made popcorn snowman instead using the recipe provided in the back flap of this book.

Popping the kernels was a fun thing. We counted all the way to 64 before the first kernel popped. The children were just so thrilled about the popping sound that came out of the pot.

Pot of popcorn

This ended up being a very tasty craft. The boys were so busy eating the sweetened popcorn that they only managed to roll a few popcorn balls! Also you have to work quickly as the syrup hardens very fast.

We assembled the snowman on a skewer. It was rather tricky to attach any sort of finishing to the snowman due to the bumps on the popcorn ball. Here are our tasty snowman.

Popcorn ball snowman


Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Art & Craft, Reading/Books


Spring colours in snow

Alhamdulillah we were blessed with 15 cm of snow couple of days ago. Rather than sulk about it, I embraced it, with the help of some food colouring.

Food colouring in spray bottles.

Our neighbour's tree getting a makeover.


Snow angel.

Alhamdulillah, thanks to chinook winds the snow is melting away as fast as it had piled up.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Nature


Lego Mosque

I registered Ibraheem (9) for a Lego contest at our local library. The rule was to build something that was not bigger than 2X2 feet and not something that came out of a kit.

Ibraheem was so excited about the whole affair. He researched, imagined and planned some brilliant designs. He set out to build this super aircraft. Something that looked like it was out of a Star Wars movie.

Subhanallah, he did build an aircraft . . . that got promptly shot down by the evil forces a.k.a two younger brothers. The younger boys just could not keep their hands of it!

After several days of being awfully sad and frustrated about the whole affair, Ibraheem’s mind switched into its default setting. “I am gonna build a masjid!” he announced. Alhamdulillah this was what he created.

Ibraheem's Lego masjid

Masjid dome

We did not have similar colour blocks to create a uniform dome. The instructions for the dome was from the YouTube video below.


It was wonderful to see all of the quite imaginative creation that was displayed. The child who won the contest, built a multi teared treehouse like structure with all sorts of Lego man running around in it. It was some sort of war zone.

As for Ibraheem, he was proud of what he had built. He represented his creation well and answered questions from viewers and judges quite confidently. He was analysing all the other creations there for ideas and is geared up to enter another competition. When we got home, he was duly rewarded $10 by his Papa for his efforts 🙂


Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Art & Craft, Learning Toys