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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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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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.

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Board Games with Toddlers

Once your kiddo has learned to take turns and not touch the game pieces you can move on to more classic board games. One step closer to family game night!
I would recommend starting with games that have a spinners, dice and moving the pieces. Avoid games that have too many rules.
Tip: To avoid having your kid take over the board game and move pieces all over the board (and make you want to just give up), make the rule that only the adult touches the board and moves the pieces!

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3 Ways to Play Uno with a Toddler

I absolutely love board games! I grew up playing them and always had this fantasy of having family game nights with lots of laughter and excitement. (Note the word fantasy, we are not there yet!)
My three year old just started to understand the concept of sharing (not doing it, understanding it), can’t understand rules, and has impulse control issues when it comes to not touching EVERYTHING in front of her. All these these things are far from ideal for playing games.
So teaching her to sit and play a board game was a tricky task, but we did it. And here’s how!

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Sensory Play to Learn Arabic!

Before I dive into the activity, I want to talk a little bit about sensory play. So why sensory play? It has a lot of things stacked up against it: it’s messy, it’s dirty, it can take time to set up…and, oh yeah, you have to clean it up!

BUT when you think about a playground, a children’s museum or even a preschool, what is the one thing they all have in common? Most of the time, the feature attraction involves sensory play. It can be a sand box at the playground, the water area at the museum, or the “sensory box” at the school. And kids love it!

So why is it beneficial to use senses when teaching children new skills? Well, Amanda Morgan at Not Just Cute put it really well: (more…)

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