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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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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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.

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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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