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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Nature Study in the City - April 2016

Spring is here!!! ...Hurray!

In our homeschool we have been making the most of the glorious weather and observing the changes in nature

Nature study is an integral part of our homeschool curriculum. We make an effort to try to spend at least two hours every day outdoors. Sometimes this is at the park, or nature reserves, sometimes we go for country walks...and when the weather is not great we just do a bit of gardening and play in our back garden!

Nature study in the city

Being outdoors is so important for children. It encourages creativity, concentration, and even improves academic performance! If you'd like to know more about this, please check out last months Nature Study in the City blog post.

But there's more than just the physical and academic benefits... 

I find that being in nature reaffirms my faith! I know it sounds crazy, but witnessing creation in all its beautiful complexity, makes me certain there is a creator, and I want my children to experience this too. 

Nature study is not only for those who live in the picturesque countryside. If you, like our family, live in a city there are many ways you can teach your child about nature too.

Here is what we did for Nature Study this April:

Observing the Seasonal Changes

Change is all around us! We've spent a lot of time taking note of the new flowers that are appearing and teaching the children their names. 

We've paid particular focus to the primose and bluebell, looking at its petal and leaves, and where they grow. 

Nature study in the city

Another focus of our nature study has been bird-spotting! We recently purchased a pair of Children's Binoculars . They have been so useful and a sure-fire way to get the kids involved in our bird-watching.

Nature study in the city
They spotted two jays up there!

It's been a lot of fun looking for bird's nests in the trees and trying to listen out for baby chicks! The kids love creeping up on the nests, and looking for 'clues' on the ground that there might be babies in the nest. 

Nature study in the city
Birds's Nests

We've been using this book the Usborne Spotter's Guide: Birds to help identify the birds we've seen. I'm pretty good at the larger birds, but I need help when it comes to the small finches and tits.

Nature Study in City Homeschool

Nature Study in City Homeschool

Pet Caterpillars

It's a bit of a spring-time tradition of ours to raise Caterpillars and watch them turn into butterflies. The boys were over-the-moon and decided to make them a card to welcome them to the family! They've been named Roy, Joy, Poi, Moi and....Jibreel! Oh I hope none of them die!

They arrived in this small tub, that contained all the food they would need. We have watched them grow bigger and bigger, and we are now waiting anxiously for them to make their cocoons. When they do, we will carefully move them into our butterfly habitat, and watch them emerge. It's all so exciting!
Nature study in the city homeshool

We have set up a small 'invitation to play' in the corner of our kitchen. Along with the caterpillars, I have set up a Magnifying Glass  and a Usborne Book of Caterpillars and Butterflies to encourage independent learning. 

Nature study in the city homeshool

Children's Garden

The children began planting their garden last month. Their sunflowers are growing well...too well! I have no idea what we're are going to do with them all! They also have runner beans growing and we just planted some nasturtium seeds too. 

Nature study in the city homeschool
Planting nasturtium seeds

Nature study in the city homeschool
Watering his runner beans

Nature study in the city homeschool
Sunflowers galore!

Nature Collection

Whenever we go out, my 3-year-old son always insists on bringing a few 'finds' home with him. 

We had accumulated so many leaves, twigs and stones that, instead of throwing out when he wasn't looking!... I decided to respect his interest and give him a corner of our home to store them. He stores flowers, leaves and twigs in one tub, stones in another, and anything else in the other one. 

nature study in the city homeschool
His grownig collection!

It's so wonderful to watch his love of nature grow and to see the pride he takes in his collection.

We have been using this diagram from a Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth  picture book to help us identify the stones he has collected. I'm learning so much myself!

nature study in th city homeschool

I hope this will encourage you to get outside with your children, wherever you live and enjoy the wonders of  Spring!

Do you have any spring traditions in your family? Do your children 'collect' everything they find outside too? I would love to hear about your outdoor experiences with you children.  Please leave me a comment below :)

Nature study in the city homeschool

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Make sure you don’t miss the next in this series!

I'm hoping to get it out the same time next month insha'Allah.

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In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love.

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Do We Really Need Online Islamic Toy Stores?

This blog post was sponsored by IbraheemToyhouse.com

With Ramadan approaching, Muslim mums across the world are starting think about what gifts they will be giving their children. 

The online market place for Muslims is booming! Never before have parents been able to purchase so many products specifically for Muslim children.  

Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store

Ibraheem Toy House has been featured Worldwide in the Press, TV shows and in influential Mummy blogs; but what’s the big deal!

Why is everyone getting so excited about Ibraheem Toy house?

Why do we, as Muslim parents, even need an online Islamic toy store?

This blog post will explain why online Islamic Toy stores are so important, and why your children need them too!

Why should I shop at an online Islamic Toy Store?

Run by Muslims

These shops are owned and primarily run by Muslims.
As such, they better understand what the Muslim consumer wants and what our Muslim children need.

As Muslims, these businesses care about your children and about the future of our Ummah. In fact, many of these companies were started because they felt the needs of the Muslims was not being met by larger corporations.

As they share the same moral standards as you, you can be confident that your money is going to support a halal business, and none of the money will be used to support anything haraam. We hope there will be more Barakah insha'Allah.

Learning about Islam through play

It is widely accepted that young children learn best through play. It is through play that they learn their own abilities, and develop confidence and self-worth; and because it’s fun, they will play for long periods of time, helping them to develop the ability to concentrate.

Filling our home with Islamic toys will encourage our children to develop confidence in their religious identity. Instead of Barbie, fill your daughter’s toy box with Muslimah dolls. This will help her view modesty and piety as normal, and encourage her to wear her hijab with pride!

Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store

 Furthermore, Islamic toys can teach everything from Quran, SalahTajweed, to Prophetic etiquettes and Arabic; and all this is done by playing as they naturally would.

A very important aspect of play is its ability to bond; to bond mother to her child, or to build a bond between siblings. What better way to develop these relationships, than through Islamically orientated play.

Everything Under One Roof

Before Ibraheem Toy House, shopping for gifts for Muslim children was so hard, especially if you wanted toys specifically for Muslim kids. 

Thankfully, Ibraheem Toy House has brought all the best products under one roof. I no longer have to scour through 10 different websites, search Ebay and pay for extortionate international shipping! Instead, everything I need for my children is available from one shop. It’s like the Muslim’s version of Toys R’Us!

Ibraheem Toy House, was founded with the aim to serve our children by providing toys and resources that will encourage a love of Islam

They say,

Our mission is to instil the love of faith in young Muslims.
We are passionate about educating children about the teachings of Islam and help parents connect children to their faith.
We believe children should be proud of their religious belief and religious learning should be FUN and interactive.”

Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store

Today, Ibraheem Toy House stocks over 200 different products from 25 suppliers around the world including dolls, books, games, DVDs, prayer mats and more.

Nazia Nasreen founded Ibraheem Toy House from her kitchen table whilst her two children were still very young. She is an inspiration to all Muslim women who dream of starting their own business, and is a testimony to the power of determination, hard work and self-belief.

Since starting her online toy store only two years ago, Nazia has received Awards and international recognition for the worthwhile service she is providing to the Muslim Ummah, as the first online Islamic toy store in the U.K.

So if you are a Muslim woman thinking about starting your own business, I would urge to look for inspiration from Nazia, and take the first step to making your dream a reality.

Ibraheem ToyHouse is constantly on the lookout for new toys and products to serve the Muslim community. 

What would you like to see more of in the toy store? Are there any particular products you are looking for? 

Please let us know us know in the comments and maybe Nazia can find them for you! 

We’d love to hear what toys your children would enjoy. Please leave us a comment down below.

Online Islamic Muslim Toy Store

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.

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In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Homeschool Favourites | April 2016 |

As homeschoolers, we are always on the look out for new products to enhance our children's learning experience.

I thought it would be fun to share some of our homeschool discoveries; things that we've enjoyed using this month in our homeschool.

Please note: You do NOT need to buy any of these products to be a good mum, or give your child a good education!!! The chances are you're already doing a great job with our without these products! However, if you are looking for something new and want to see what we've been using, please read on!

April's Homeschool Favourites

Watch This Video for an overview of all these products:

Rush Hour Logic Game

This game has provided hours of entertainment for our family. It is a classic logic game, where the aim is to get the red car out of the traffic jam by moving the sliding blocks/cars out of the way. 

There are different levels of difficulty, and it come with a handy draw-string bay to keep the pieces together. 

Homeschool Favourite Rush Hour

What I loved most about this game is that even though it's fun, it felt like it was making my son think! I mean REALLY think

It's a great way to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills, and exercise little (and not so little) minds. 

Fun Dough Arabic Letters

This play dough set contains cutters for all the Arabic letters, various shapes, as well as a rolling pin, various molds and tools.

Everything inside is good quality, it's easy to use and the play dough even smells like bubble gum!

Homeschool Favourite Arabic Fun Dough

Homeschool Favourite Arabic Fun Dough

We have used this set in our homeschool to teach our children Arabic. If you are interested in seeing what activities we did with this play dough set, CLICK HERE

Homeschool Teach Arabic With Play Dough

Now that spring is upon us, we are spending more time outdoors. In particular, an important part of our homeschool curriculum is the study of nature.

We've been using these binocularsto identify birds, trees, and also to look at the stars. It has added a wonderful new dimension to our homeschool.

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Binoculars

A Drawing a Day

This colourful book by Usborne is filled with instructions on how to draw 366 different things; animals, vehicles, buildings, food...Plenty to keep your children interested.

It give simple step-by-step directions that make it easy for children to follow along and work independently.

There is plenty of space to draw in the book itself, and the pages tear out easily. It is very child friendly and lots of fun! I would recommend it for children over 5 years-old.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what products we've been using in our homeschool this month. I'd love to hear what some of your favourite products are. 

Please let me know in the comments below.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.

For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love.

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