Top Ten Free Apps For Toddlers – Smarter Screen Time

When I was pregnant I said “I will never let my child  have any screen time.”

When she was 6 months old and actually awake for most of the day, so I said “I will let her watch educational videos only.”

By her first birthday, my toddler had taken over my old iPad.

Though some parents are able to keep screen time to a minimum, I don’t see it as a realistic expectation for myself.

Instead I have “smart” screen time.

I deleted youtube and other video apps from my daugher’s iPad because I wanted her to actively engage with the activities.

There are so many apps out there that it’s hard to tell which app is actually worth your time. Mehvish, at the The Young Learner, and I are here to help! We both picked out our favorite FREE apps for toddlers! (more…)

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Florida Shooting – An Immigrant Mom’s view

An alert from the New York Times about a shooting in at a school in Florida popped up on my phone. It wasn’t where I lived; I thanked Allah and dismissed it. I didn’t want to think about it any further because I would have to acknowledge my feelings about yet another school shooting. At night, when the day was over and I could no longer avoid it, a silent tear fell down my face.

I wasn’t crying out of anger, but because of the helplessness I felt in that moment. The thought that resonated in my head was: where will we go now? When Pakistan became unsafe for us, America was an obvious safer place to turn to.

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Top 10 Muslim Books for Toddlers

Me and my husband love books, so even before my daughter had her crib assembled, she had a little collection of books ready to go. As naïve first time parents, we used to love walking into Barnes and Nobles and pick up books that appealed to us rather than my daughter.

Fast forward to three plus years later and I have only bought a few books to add to her collection. “Children’s Books” is such a wide category because “children” is a wide age group. Not all books that fall under this category are well suited for all children.

I struggled to find good Muslim books geared towards toddlers for my daughter.

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Christmas as a Muslim Mom
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Christmas as a Muslim Mom

Christmas just passed, then Valentine’s Day and now Easter is just around the corner. Living in a predominantly non-muslim country, there is no denying the fact that we will be surrounded by holidays that we don’t celebrate or believe in throughout the year.

My parents’ attitude towards it was to avoid it. It was almost taboo. We didn’t participate in any community activities involving holidays we don’t celebrate. And that worked then because I was a first generation immigrant. Being a first generation immigrant, meaning the American in me came second to being a Pakistani. Those holidays and that culture didn’t resonate with me since most of my peers growing up didn’t celebrate them either.

But my daughter is primarily an American.

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I Didn’t Pray for 10 Years Part 2

It’s February, and for a lot of us that means the motivation to keep up with our New Year’s resolution is starting to dwindle. Unfortunately, building a habit isn’t as simple as “just doing it” but it’s not impossible either.

With Ramadan around the corner, one of my goals is to consistently pray on time so that I can start to feel the spiritual benefits of praying.

(Allhumdolilah, I received some amazing messages after I shared my experience about building a prayer habit in part 1 of this post.)

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Happy World Hijab Day From a Non Hijabi

Happy World Hijab Day! But I don’t wear hijab. Most people that meet me assume it’s because I don’t want to, when the contrary is actually true. I really want to get to the point where I can wear the hijab. Today, I want to reflect on why I don’t wear hijab.

There are a few things that hold me back that may or may not be valid, but these are my own personal vices. Throughout my life I was told by multiple people, at multiple points in my life to just put it on. It’s not that hard they would say. It doesn’t mean much. At the end of the day it is just a piece of cloth, they would say.

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Valentines Day with Allah

So Valentines day is around the corner, and it is literally EVERYWHERE! From the grocery store to my mailbox. I see little pink and red hearts on everything I touch. I like the idea of Valentines day but the commercialization of it makes me gag. To me, Valentines day’s sole purpose is to just buy gifts.

It feels like an empty holiday with no real meaning behind it.

My first instinct was to simply not celebrate it. My family and I were going to boycott valentines day! But then…my daughter came home from school with a bag full of pink construction paper. That’s when I realized boycotting wasn’t the solution because I can’t hide it from my daughter every second of her life. I might be able to control her influencers right now, but as she gets older I won’t be able to. But what I CAN do is add meaning to the holiday. I can give her a tool to make the holiday more meaningful.

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I Didn’t Pray For 10 years…

Growing up in my parent’s house, I prayed regularly. But it was mostly because my mom told me to. It was easier just to do it than argue about it. However, when I lived alone in undergrad, I just stopped.

I had no real explanation for why I stopped. I just wasn’t motivated to pray. I didn’t feel that “spiritual renewal” people talked about during prayer. I didn’t feel an urge to pray. What I did feel was guilt. I felt guilty because I knew the importance of prayer, but I simply didn’t understand that importance.

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Pixar’s Coco and Shab-e-Barat

Shab-e-Barat occurs on the night of 14th Shabaan. It is celebrated by Muslims around the world differently, however most agree on the importance of prayer throughout the night.

So let me explain my relationship to Shab-e-barat (in a Pakistani culture).

Growing up Shab-e-Barat (Night of 14th Shabaan) meant my mom would pull out a long list of our ancestors who had passed away. She would stay up all night praying, but the part that I saw before bedtime was the part that involved this precious list.

(more…)

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