DIY Ramadan Sign

Have you started getting ready for Ramadan already? I have decided to participate in #the100dayproject on Instagram with #100RamadanActivities to get my children and I prepared for Ramadan. Ramadan is about 50 or so days away so my 100 day challenge will last through Ramadan insha’Allah. I am hoping to share a blog post to go along with each day so that everyone can benefit, so stay tuned! I might miss some days here and there but I will try my best. For the first day of the challenge, I shared the printable Ramadan Calendar Activity cards, and for the second day I hosted a giveaway on instagram with Learn Little Muslims to win one of my Ramadan Calendars. Today, for the third day, I am sharing this fun craft project to decorate your home before Ramadan. Watch the video below. Let me know if you try it!

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What to put in your Ramadan Calendar

Ramadan is quickly approaching, and I often get asked what are some ideas of things to put in the handmade Ramadan Calendars that I make. So my daughter helped me put together this video just for you! We hope you like it. If you have any other ideas of what to add in a Ramadan Calendar, please share them in the comments below for all to benefit insha’Allah.

 

FREE PRINTABLE RAMADAN CALENDAR ACTIVITY CARDS

If you’d like you can add these 30 days of Activity cards to your child’s Ramadan Calendar

30 Ramadan Activity Cards

DOWNLOAD HERE

 

You can also find some other Ramadan Calendar Activity Cards that I made a few years ago.

DOWNLOAD HERE

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New! Lunar Ramadan Calendars

Assalamu Alaikum,

I am so excited to announce my new Ramadan Calendar line for 2017. As an Early Childhood Educator, I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate learning into my handmade products. My new Lunar collection features the moon phases over the course of the month on the outside of the fabric pockets. Here are some of the colourways I have made so far. SAND, INDIGO, MAGENTA, PURPLE. I have also made BLACK, and WHITE..Β  and I will take proper pictures of those soon πŸ™‚ insha’Allah. Visit my Etsy Shop to see what is instock, or to request a custom order!

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Nightly News with Safa Book Review

I recently read the book, “Nightly News with Safa”, by Helal Musleh to my children. Just by looking at the cover of this book, I knew it would be a hit with my girls! It is a sweet little book about a girl named Safa and her desire to create a joyful news broadcast, unlike the sorrowful news her mom watches everyday. Safa creates her own cardboard box television and tells her mom about all the wonderful things she has done at school that day.

I love how a few lessons are subtley integrated into the story. The reminder to parents to connect with their children when they’ve spent time apart. Children have things they need to tell us and a few minutes of undivided attention goes a long way. Also the idea of trying to cheer someone up who is not in the best of moods, like when Safa showed her mother a happier version of nightly news.

After reading the book, my crafty girls wanted to make their own TV. We looked around the house for things we had on hand and used a piece of foam board, and a recycled cardboard box to assemble our TV. We simply cut a large hole in the foam board with an X-acto knife. Then we hot glued it onto a cardboard box that would hold it up and act as a desk for the girls.

The girls brought out their notebooks and read their news reports to us. We recorded some great family videos of their shows!


For my eldest daughter who is in Grade 4, I printed the free Book Study worksheets that Helal has on her website, My Everyday Classroom. It looks at the key components in Safa’s news story and aids children in composing their own news article, along with other great worksheets.

“Nightly News with Safa” provides a gentle way to start talking to your children about media and the news, and about their thoughts and feelings. My eldest daughter is more aware, than my younger ones, of what is happening in the world and always has a lot of questions. Insha’Allah tomorrow I will show you some of the ways that we teach world events in our homeschool.

Disclosure: I was provided with a free PDF copy for my honest review of “Nightly News with Safa” by Helal Musleh. I only recommend products my children and I truly enjoy and use in our homeschool.

 

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Online Homeschool Convention

Assalamu Alaikum,

I am excited to be speaking at the first ever Online Homeschool Convention, hosted by Laylah’s Classroom. I was invited to do a crafting session for the convention and I am really excited to share some of what I have been learning about textile design and Islamic art. My talk is called “DIY Islamic Inspired Textiles”. My segment will be prerecorded because of it’s nature and the need for closeups and different video clips. This is my first time doing a video presentation but I love any opportunity to challenge myself creatively, and creating video content was something I have always been interested in.

So if you haven’t signed up already, I invite you to not miss out on this unique event. There is such a great line-up of speakers, and I cannot wait to listen to their presentations, insha’Allah. May Allah make the event beneficial for all those who attend. Visit the website, to get your ticket http://laylahsclassroom.com/homeschool-convention/

Islamic Homeschool Convention | Laylah’s Classroom from Laylah’s Classroom on Vimeo.

 

Check out Laylah’s Classroom to see more of the speakers on the Convention panel.

GIVEAWAY

Have you purchased your ticket yet? Whether you’ve purchased your ticket or not, you are eligible to sign up to enter the sweepstakes for your chance to win a free ticket to the convention!

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Open Arms Kayseri Project

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I would like to introduce you to the Open Arms in Kayseri Project (OAK), a charity started by some wonderful sisters I know in Turkey, to support Syrian refugee families.

More from OAK:

Our focus is in three areas: Emergency care, self reliance and education for women and children. We provide supplies including food, coal for heating, rent, home essentials, baby supplies, clothing, furniture and toys. Our goal is to create a self sustaining social enterprise, which will enable mothers to work and gain new skills. We want to be able to educate both mothers and children and bring significant improvements to their lives in sha Allah.
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They have opened the OAK Centre where women can learn new skills and create items to sell, and where their children can go to school to learn the Turkish language and other skills that will help them succeed in their new home.

 

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Alhumdulillah I am very excited to announce that I will be selling some of the crochet items that these sisters have made in my Etsy shop. View a tour of the centre:


Allah (swt) said in the Quran, β€œWho is he that will lend to
Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is
Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall
return.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 245]

 

β€œWhoever relieves the hardship of a believer in this world, Allah will relieve his hardship on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever helps ease someone in difficulty, Allah will make it easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter.” Muslim 2699.

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Pants for him

I believe this is my first sewing projects for my boy, Alhumdulillah! I have to say it is a bit difficult to get into the mindset of sewing for boys after having sewn for myself, and then 3 girls, haha. If you follow me on instagram you may have seen my new resolution for 2017.. if not here’s what I wrote…

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When your baby boy outgrows his pants you draft a pattern and make new ones! I had 3 girls previous to this baby boy so there are no hand-me downs for him. I am often tempted to buy him clothes from big box stores…. but I remember the “Made in Bangladesh” documentary that aired a few years ago. I don’t feel right supporting companies that do not use ethical practices in the production of their garments. But I am guilty of buying things now and again. So I really want to move forward into the new year, and from now on, with the goal of only purchasing clothing made ethically or making my own for myself and children, insha’Allah. I hope that I can set a good example for my children, who will be the future generations and the caretakers of our world. I know they will hold me accountable on my new goal! Bismillah!

So with that said here is the pair of pants I made with my homemade pattern above, they fit so nicely and are super comfy for my baby boy. To make the pant pattern I simply based it off of another pair of pants he had with a similar knit fabric. I was also pretty brave and dusted off the good ole’ serger to sew them up so they’d have a nice finish on the inside.

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Also here are two more pairs of pants that I made using the “Big Butt Baby Pants Pattern“. I found it slightly tricky to sew in the round gusset piece but it was a pretty satisfying project, so I made two, with a matching baby bib to boot! The baby bib was also a self drafted pattern. They are so cute masha’Allah but my husband doesn’t agree with my colour choices haha. But that is the fun thing about having babies right, we Mamas get to dress them without any protesting :).

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DIY Wall Art

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Let out your inner artist with these fun to make canvas paintings! You can spell out words or your name or even make fun shapes and pictures.

Supplies:

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Step 1: Cut about a 2 inch piece of painter’s tape from the tape roll. Then cut this piece into 3 strips. You will use these strips to create your design. Repeat as many times as needed to complete your picture.

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Step 2: Be creative and create your own masterpiece!

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Step 4: Paint your picture! You can paint within the lines or go for an abstract look and just apply random streaks of paint all over the canvas.

Step 5: Before the paint dries, carefully peel off the painter’s tape to reveal your design.

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Step 6: Enjoy!

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Arabic Alphabet Wall Mural

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This was a collaborative art mural project that I set up for my 3 girls. It was definitely a lesson in teamwork and there were a few tears, but I love how they learned about the importance of sharing, kindness and patience with their siblings.

Supplies:

  • paper
  • pencil
  • tape
  • crayons

Step 1: If you don’t have a sheet of paper large enough for a mural, then tape a few together, like we did.

Step 2: Draw bubbles letters from Alif to Ya with a pencil.

Step 3: Tape your paper to the wall.

Step 4: Colour!

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Arabic Number Glitter Rocks

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We had collected some smooth rocks by the shore earlier this summer. We weren’t sure what to do with them but I noticed my two preschool girls love to use them for counting. They can both count in English up to 20 or more but I would like to teach them some Arabic as well. These are super easy to make and a lot of fun to play with.

Supplies:

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All you need to do is write the numbers on in Arabic using glitter glue. I found it helpful to draw the outline of the numbers first before filling them in. You can also get creative and draw some pictures on the rocks to create story stones (that’s what we plan to do next!).

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Here are some ways you can use these number rocks in learning:

  • COUNTING: Counting with gems or other small counters (see below)
  • MATCHING: Writing English numbers on a piece of paper and placing the stones on them to match OR drawing dots on a piece of paper and placing the stones on them to match.
  • GAME: Placing the stones in a bowl and each player picks a stone, if they say the name correctly they get to keep it. The one with the most stones at the end wins!
  • MEMORY: Making two sets of stones, place them all face down and play a matching memory game. Say the name of your matched numbers correctly when you flip them over, and you get to keep them. The one with the most pairs at the end wins!

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Moon and Star Mobiles

 

img_6855dIt’s funny having toddlers again. There was such a big age gap between my eldest girl and my second two girls that I almost forgot all the fun toddler type activities I used to do. So I decided to do an art activity with my two little girls (aged 2 and 3) and we made mobiles with things we already had in the house. If you’d like to make one as well, here’s what we did.

Supplies: (also required- hole puncher!)

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1. Trace moons onto the piece of cardboard using the tape as an outline. Draw stars onto the cardboard as well. I just drew the stars freehand, I like how each is slightly unique adding a bit of quirkiness to it.

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2. Cut out your shapes (may require parent’s help for this step).
3. Find a place to paint that you don’t mind getting dirty. Also advisable- wear old clothes! Paint your shapes.

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4. Punch a hole in the top of each shape using a hole puncher.

5. Wrap the sticks with coloured yarn of your choosing.

6. Cut varying lengths of string to attach to the holes in your shapes and then to the stick. Make sure to knot them twice.

7. Add a piece of yarn to the top to hang.

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World of Threads Festival 2016

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It was a funny coincidence that just when I started to have a growing interest in textile art, I came across a flyer for an upcoming textile festival- the World of Threads Festival! I feel a little sad that I missed so many years of this festival in the past and only came to know about it this year. But nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the show! I brought my eldest daughter with me and my little baby boy in my sling. We arrived just in time for the opening ceremony and got to hear a little bit about how they started and see some of the artists from all over the world.

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The creativity and use of materials was so fascinating. I particularly liked the woven acrylic paint pieces (weaving with paint! Amazing!) and the cotton thread and wire pieces that seemed to pop out at you! I think my favourites were the fabric collages that involved handstitching and free-motion embroidery, this is an art method I am really keen to get into.

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I also really enjoyed the fashion pieces, such as the kimono walk – a hallway featuring unique kimonos hung from the ceiling. They left me thinking about how mass produced our clothing is these days. You rarely see individuality and unique one-of-a-kind pieces of clothing on the market that are produced in an ethical slow fashion way. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be if everyone wore clothing that was thoughtfully made with each item being a carefully designed piece of art. That makes me think about what the clothing in jannah will be like, Allah knows best, but definitely something beautiful.

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Oh the weavings! My daughter and I left feeling filled to the brim with inspiration. Our hands and hearts just aching to get started on our own projects, with the dream of submitting our own works into next year’s show, insha’Allah. We didn’t get to see everything, as it was a little difficult with the baby, so we will most likely make another trip to the centre, maybe once our cups start to feel empty and we need another dose of inspiration.

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