We are already half way through the Reading Challenge. Can you believe it? If you haven’t been following along, with 3 weeks to go bows your chance to kick into gear.
We were a little slow this week too. There’s always room to do better I say. Each week comes with a new theme and new chance to get motivated.
This week’s theme is #fivepillars . There’s 5 different things within this topic and hopefully a lot of books to suit. Shahadah, Prayer, Zakaat, Fasting, Hajj. I’m already thinking about the many books we have that would fit perfectly with any of those topics. I can’t wait to see the range of books you all share this week. As usual, remember, even if you aren’t participating you can follow along with the hashtag #littlemuslimsread, and books specific to this week’s theme with #fivepillars.
It’s that time of the week again. Time for a new reading challenge theme. Is it just me or do these come around too quickly? Life seems to be set in the fast lane these days. I guess that’s why something like this reading challenge is so great. We all get so busy, so caught up in day to day life that we often forget to take a little time out. Reading is a great opportunity for this, whether for yourself or your children and the benefits are many.
I hope you’re still with us and continuing to find and read books, even if you’re sitting there quietly following along, without the tags and pictures. However, if you do want to share your finds, we’d love to hear from you, you don’t need to be on social media, even a picture to our emails would be great read [at] readlittlemuslims [dot] com or modestmunchies [dot] blog [at] gmail [dot] com .
How’d you go with last weeks challenge? We didn’t get very far. Hoping to do better in the coming weeks and even share our collections of books without necessarily reading each one, but I’m secretly hoping that having to go through the process of getting out all those books for pictures will be the motivation to read through all of them.
This week’s theme is #MyMuslimFamily. This should be fun! Remember they don’t have to be Islamic books.
As always, don’t forget to follow along on Instagram and look out for hashtags #littlemuslimsread on all social media.
How did you go with the challenge the first week? We did pretty well, I had to pack in a few towards the end. It was great seeing all the other books that are being read and shared.
What motivates you to read aloud to your kids? This challenge is definitely steering me in the right direction. My son always gets a bed time story when daddy makes him sleep, which is every night. However, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to fit in any quality time with him in the day, especially with day to day run of the mill stuff (like housework and laundry) and not forgetting my cupcake, the 1 year old I have strapped to my leg. So, I’m trying to make a real effort to get into some better habits and incorporate some reading time during the day. It will also give him some much needed attention that he’s been lacking lately.
This week’s theme is #WhoisMuhammad. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is an example to every muslim and it’s so important to teach our children about him and his life. Fittingly the second week of the challenge encourages love, learning and reading about the Muhammad (SAW). I can’t wait to see the books you all have for this theme. Don’t forget to follow along with #littlemuslimsread and check out Read Little Muslims for more.
The final guest post is from my dear friend Razeena at Read Little Muslims. I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this, but Razeena and I are not only virtual blogger friends but friends in real life too. We live a few minutes from each other, run in the same circles and have a shared enthusiasm for Islamic books/resources. Even our sons are good friends and are the same age too (they just turned 4, where does the time go, Alhumdulillah). Razeena has put together a great list of their top 5 Islamic Apps. I have all of these and they’re definitely favourites in our house too.
Our TOP 5 Islamic Apps for Kids
There’s no denying the influence that technology has on the children of this generation. Love it or hate, it’s sure to catch up to you sooner or later. Our kids both use the iPad and we have a variety of Islamic and other apps for them to both learn and play. Everything in moderation, we believe. 😉
These are some of our favourites
1. Ali and Sumaya Let’s Pray
An extremely high quality and well designed app. The two characters are just so cute and the little introduction to why Sumaya wants to learn to pray is endearing. We love that it makes learning Salaah so relatable for young children.
The easy-to-follow steps for making wudhu and Salaah make it seem lessdaunting to learn. The animation is fantastic and our kids have learnt so much. We can’t wait to see if there will be any more Ali and Sumaya apps.
2. Arabic with Taha and Mariam
A simple yet well-designed board game-style app that makes learning the Arabic alphabet fun and easy. You can choose from four characters and three different levels. The game works by simply tapping the dial and moving your character the number of spaces you have spun. Once on your spot, depending on the level you have chosen, you have to identify the Arabic letter that pops up. Every few turns you are introduced to a new letter and the best part is that you can store your names, and the app will remember you the next time round. A fun, interactive way to learn!
3. Kids of the Ummah
Another high quality app for Muslim kids. Designed by the well-known Peter Gould, the Kids of the Ummah are cute and colourful. The app features 26 kids, each one’s name corresponds to a letter of the alphabet and a city in the world.
There are puzzles of 26 different mosques worldwide and the illustrations and graphics are beautiful. It also features colouring and book mode. This is a fun, interactive app useful for exploring diversity.
4. Arabic with Zaky
Zaky is a well-known character worldwide. Most children will lovingly recognise the familiar purple bear. Our favourite Zaky app at the moment is this one. We love the Arabic alphabet song. It is catchy and useful when trying to teach young children. Also, introducing them to the colours and animals is a bonus with out making things too serious. It keeps their attention unlike some of the other apps that try to teach similar things.
5. Little Muslims memory match
A cute, simple memory match game with an Islamic twist. It has two levels of play – easy and hard – which is great for younger kids. The matching pictures include the Ka’aba, Masjid and Zakat among others. Once you find the match, a little voice gives you an explanation of the picture. This app is a nice alternative to other matching games that can give children that little extra.
Faatimah & Ahmed: We’re Little Muslims is a story of a young Muslim boy’s first day of school where he learns about the beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and shares the story with his little sister. The book begins with an introduction of the 2 characters and provides some background information on the two little Muslims and a few of their interests. The little blurb on spaghetti is both cute and endearing, this along side their introduction facilitates character development and makes the book relatable.
The little girls emotion as her brother leaves and returns from school is heart-warming and though the book does not involve any conflict, the emotions create a sense of depth in the relationship between the siblings.
Faatimah’s love for stories leads to the main portion of the book, which is the story of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The story provides an informative yet relatable introduction to the Prophet (SAW) and would be a good starting point for parents seeking to introduce kids to the life of the final messenger of Allah (SWT).
The story maintains it’s fun and intrigue throughout the book as the children learn more, whether it be on their playroom floor or daydreaming on the back of a camel. The kids are taken on a virtual journey through the Arabian dessert which adds some excitement and also explores some terms and facts.
The story ends with an emphasis on one of the most important aspects of our faith… the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and encourages little Muslims to learn more about him and seek to be more like him (SAW).
The format of a brother/sister duo going through their everyday lives and sharing some basic knowledge of the Prophet (SAW) is truly unique and presented in a format in which any child can relate to. Too much detail in illustrations can often distract a child from the content of the story, but the fun, yet simple and bright illustrations in the book make it appealing to little readers, maintaining their attention and drawing them into the story.
The use of Arabic and common Muslim words and phrases is always good in children’s books and the Glossary at the end of the story is handy for those not familiar with some of the terms. While I had the privilege of receiving a draft copy of this book, I’m sure the finished copy will be the icing on the cake to this well presented publication.
I have to admit the book does leave me wanting more. I want to know more about Faatimah and Ahmed, I want to know more about their time with each other, and more about the Prophet (SAW) through the stories they share, so I am super excited that there will be more Faatimah and Ahmed books to follow.
Faatimah & Ahmed is a simple, well illustrated story that introduces little Muslims to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a fun, relatable way, it cleverly encourages kids to learn about and emulate his actions (SAW) in their lives. With its bright, eye catching pictures, delightful story and sweet characters Faatimah and Ahmed: We’re Little Muslims is a must have on your child’s Islamic bookshelf.
From the Author:
Faatimah and Ahmed – We’re Little Muslims is the latest in Islamic children’s books. Alhamdulillah it is now available on most Amazon sites, Barnes and Noble and The Book Depository. It will soon be available direct from the author at http://www.readlittlemuslims.com.
Simply Google it, or email: read[at]readlittlemuslims[dot]com for more information
It’s December, yes, the last month in the calendar. Can you believe it? December means the start of Summer and holiday season here in Australia. It also means a lot of people bracing airports and travelling abroad or even locally. We usually have an annual break, sometimes closeby, Melbourne is a favourite or sometimes abroad where Malaysia is usually our pick.
This year, however, we’ll be travelling to India and not just for any holiday, for a wedding, my sister in law’s to be exact. While thinking about what to pack during our travels, I thought, why not put together a list to share.
Here’s my 10 essentials for the Muslim Mum Traveller:
- Dua for travelling and a travel praylist – Don’t forget to memorise or take a copy of the Dua for travelling (there’s a few different version, a google search will bring them up). Also make a ‘praylist’, list all the things you’d like to pray for while travelling, especially all those dua’s you’d like to make for yourself and the kids. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler.
[al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi – Sahih]
- Istinja and wudhu bottle – I don’t have to go into too much detail with this one, it’s an important part of your travel artillery, you know why 😉
- Flushable wipes – it’s not the best option but it’s better than nothing. Especially handy for wiping up little ones and their little messes. You have the comfort of knowing you can safely throw it down the toilet without worrying about clogging anything. These are also great to keep handy when out and about, great for public toilets too and when you don’t have a bottle handy.
- Pocket/travel prayer mats – These are an absolute must have. It is part of our everyday prayer bag. It ensures a clean place to pray no matter where you are.
- Pocket Quran/App – when you’re away it can get tough to keep up with Quran reading, but having it in the palm of your hand makes it easy and convenient.
- Compass/phone compass – when you travel you appreciate the fact that this earth has been made for us as a place of worship. You often find yourself praying at the airport, in a corner somewhere or at your destination so a compass is always handy. Smart phone apps do the trick but we still carry a compass in our travel prayer bag. Make a note of the correct Qiblah direction in degrees from your travelling locations for convenience.
- App for prayer times – You could download a location based prayer time app or you could research the times before hand. I’ve found an app works really well, it finds your location and gives you accurate timings for your location. Keep in mind you may not always have Wifi or 3G coverage, so best to have a back up plan.
- Jilbab and Abaya – Abayas are so easy to throw on, they provide comfort and coverage. I especially like throwing them on for breakfasts at the hotels. When you have kids who are hungry as soon as they wake up, you may have to stall that shower so they can be fed, throwing an abaya over your pyjamas makes it a much easier task. A jilbab is an essential for me in my carry on luggage. Between airport prayer rooms or finding a quiet corner to pray, throwing on a jilbab helps get me in the prayer mindset and gives me the required coverage for praying. I’ve recently found sleeved jilbabs and I’ll most likely be carrying one of those with me. Not only will this serve it’s purpose, it will also enable me to use my hands freely. Aside from that, since I’ll be travelling for a family wedding, we’ll be staying in a hotel with rooms close together, having a jilbab handy means I can run from room to room easily while maintaining my modesty.
- Islamic books or toys to keep the kids busy on the plane. We can carry a tonne of things and it may work wonders or it may not work at all. The excitement of being on a plane, seeing different faces and a different environment can be tough. I highly suggest packing one toy you know they love and will play with as well as a few other new little things that can intrigue and excite throughout the journey. It might be a good idea to pack some Islamic reading for yourself too. Highly unlikely, but for that slim chance the kids sleep and you have a spare minute, it will be handy.
- Snacks – Kids need snacks and lots of them. Don’t pin your hopes on plane food, it’s not always great and you don’t want to risk not having anything on hand. Pack snacks that will last and are healthy, hungry kids make cranky kids and that’s a definite no no while travelling. Don’t forget to include some energy packed snacks to keep you going too.
So there’s my list of essentials. What are your absolute must haves for travel?
On a side note, I usually travel with my husband, Mr Munchies but this post was specifically written for the mum stuff