It was last Ramadan that I had seen this brilliant post by Parenthood: Muslim Style I loved the idea and wondered why I hadn’t thought of something so amazing (because Sara and I like to joke about being doppelgängers – private joke filled with sisterhood love).
I loved how 30 simple words were picked from the Quran, words children very easily can relate to and words that are short and simple. Somewhere in my mind, I even thought about how many of them I actually knew myself.
Yusra was a little young to take part in the activity last year so I didn’t print the cards off.
Later on in the year when Yusra started showing an interest in recognising words such as ‘Ahad’ ‘Rahim’ amongst a few others – I thought about this activity. Although initially designed as a 30 day Ramadan activity , it is perfect to use at any other times of the year. And that’s exactly what we did.
I printed a set and laminated them – they are so colourful with pictures on each of them that any child will be drawn to them. I like that about them.
I tested myself again – did better this time. Abu Yusra (the show off) knew them all.
We played different simple games at home. I put them all out on the floor and asked Yusra to find different cards – the pictures helped her. We then spoke about the Arabics word.
I even used them at the masjid with the 10-12 year olds I used to teach. Although, they were much older, a lot of them had never heard of these words so it was a perfect way of introducing the words through a quiz like game. They actually enjoyed it and expressed how they had never realised how simple the words were.
Moving on, I’ve decided to ‘teach’ Yusra these words through different activities and crafts. She loves her crafts and usually pays more attention.
Below are some of the things we’ve done – whenever we’ve done this, we only take the one card out. The crafts were almost always requested by Yusra – ‘let’s make a sun’ ‘I need a camel’…
We’ve had a lot of fun and the best part is that the cards have the Quranic reference on them – so I’ve highlighted each word on my mus’haf. Whenever we have picked a word we look at it in the mus’haf too – not forgetting the purpose of using the cards in the first place. I have thought about using a few more cards this Ramadan – with crafts or games. I will share them all on Facebook.
Do check them all out if you’re interested in using the cards this Ramadan or maybe even later on. I cannot express enough how handy they are.
It is so important to make the words in the Quran real for our children, and more so for those of us who do not speak Arabic. I really don’t want to the Quran to become a book that is special but carries no meaning other than recitation. And even the recitation has a positive action when we know the meaning behind the words. So instead of Yusra struggling with Arabic lessons in her adulthood, I’d rather I set the foundation for her to start her Quranic Arabic learning now. A long journey but one that is very important for us.
How can we love Allah if we don’t know what He tells us? How can we appreciate the beauty of what the Quran holds? Connecting with the Quran is far more amazing when the words aren’t alien to the mind.
Finding the words in the Quran – this became an activity in its own regard. More for me than Yusra but she loved how these colourful cards could be matched to words in the mus’haf. As she is able to recognise a lot of the letters – she joined in.
The Ant – oh how detailed this activity turned out to be for us – we thoroughly enjoyed learning about this word. If you have a bug explorer then try this – you’ll have your whole day set up on this one word.
Spider – I’m still unsure whether Yusra likes spiders or doesn’t. But the day she showed an interest in how many legs a spider has, it called for us to use this card. She now knows Allah calls a spider ‘Ankabut’ and we often hear her shout the word out when she spots a spider somewhere in the house.
Play-doh words – When we got our arabic alphabet cookie cutters, it was a must to try out some words and what better words to pick than those in the Quran. Simple yet effective way of learning words for kids who are absolutely obsessed with play-doh (like my child).
The forced camel craft – This came about after Yusra’s concern that she doesn’t have a camel and has all the other animals mentioned in her book ‘Dear Zoo’. She came up with a perfect solution to this problem by forcing me to make her one. When I told her I didn’t know how to make one, she told me to “look on youtube, mummy. Other mummy show you.” How could I not at least attempt to make one. I decided that it made perfect sense to take the camel card out for this craft.
You could also try what the creator of these cards did with a group of kids – looks like a lot of fun. We will do this too when Yusra sees her cousins. Check out their video here.
Shams-catcher aka sun catcher – we learnt the word for sun a while back but when Yusra was bored one afternoon and kept asking to make something, I though a sun-catcher would be nice to put up. We called ours a shams catcher.
The best part is, these crafts hardly took any time. They are like any other playing time we spend with our children. These are not lessons, they were not planned. We did them and used the cards because we had them at hand. Do check the cards out and I believe much older children can make use of them too.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do – and don’t forget they will go beyond the month of Ramadan.