Category Archives: Learning for Life

5 Fun and EDUCATIONAL Activities for Toddlers

By: Mona Ismaeil

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Children are sponges, sucking up all the world has to offer. They are always learning. Even when you least expect, they are learning. They are learning about relationships, about themselves, about you, and about the world around them.  Children learn in many different ways. Everyone has heard about the different learners and surely you know how you learn best but do you know how your child learns? Most children don’t fall into one single style of learning until they are school aged. Even then, they could have multiple learning styles. At least, it is harder to pinpoint it until then. One learning style that all children have in common is through experiences, and authentic play. Children learn so much through play. It may not look like it, but it’s true.

Here are some fun activities you can do with your child to help them learn different skills and concepts without them realizing they are learning! It’s like slipping veggies into their meals without them noticing! Ssshhhhhhhhhhh, it’ll be our little secret!

 Alphabet: Letter animals

This is a tried and tested activity. If it was up to my daughter she would do a letter every day! For this activity you turn the letters into animals, or objects that start with that letter. It’s a fun hands-on activity which gets their creative juices flowing. Depending on the age of your child, you will do the majority of the cutting and such but toddlers are great at choosing what color construction paper to use and they are great at gluing!

Letter animals

Another idea is to put a number of items in a bag. Some that start with a specific letter and some that don’t. Have your child put their hand in the bag and pull out a mystery item. They then tell you if it starts with the letter you are working on that day.  If it does, great! If not, discuss which letter it does start with.  For example. If you are working on the letter “S”. In the bag of mystery items you may put a sock, straw, star, spoon, teddy bear, blocks, paint brush, etc.

 

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Numbers: Musical Numbers

I try to keep my activities fairly simple so that we can focus on the concept. To practice numbers, I made these very simple number cards. They are so simple that you can use them for pretty much anything and everything! One way to use these cards will get your little one moving, dancing and learning. What a great combo!

  1. Number your cards. Go up as high as your child knows and perhaps a couple numbers higher. This will challenge them a little.
  2. Choose a fabulous song they would love to move to. I like “Happy” by Pharell Williams (The minions version)
  3. Scatter the cards on the ground in random order.
  4. There are a couple ways to play:
    1. Play the music and have them dance and jump from number to number. When you stop the music they go to the nearest number, and identify that number. You can then have them count to that number.
    2. Play “I Spy”. You tell them the number, then they have to find it. After that have them do an action for that number. Example, “I spy number 5”. Then do 5 jumping jacks.  Or 7 wiggles. Or give me 1 hug, etc.
    3. Clean up by counting and putting the numbers in order or count backwards and clean them up.

 The Environment: Scavenger Hunts

I tried this for the first time in Mid-March and my daughter just loved it! I searched on Pintrest for “Winter Scavenger Hunts”. I found a simple one for her age. There are many options to choose from and you can do one for every season. I read over it with her so she would have an idea of what she was looking for, gave her a clip board and off we went. She was excited right from the start. She would stop me to point out things on her list. It was a great opportunity for us to talk about the changing seasons, animals, trees, and for us to get out to enjoy the sun together.

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hand print animalsAnimals: Hand Print Critters

We like to get a bit messy in our house and painting is an essential activity for us. I came across this fun painting activity while searching for an activity to learn about animals. I love it because it gives you the chance to get messy but also to discuss what the animals look like. You can discuss the difference between hair and fur. Talk about paws, claws and feet. You can discuss where the animals live, what they eat and so much more. The possibilities are endless!

 

Life: Pretend

“Monkey see, monkey do”. This couldn’t be truer for children. Make-believe and playing pretend are a fantastic way for children to learn about life and day to day activities. If you really watch your child play make believe, you’d be surprised at how they mimic you. They may pretend to be a mom the dolls are their babies. They may pretend to be the teacher and line their teddy bears up like their students. They may even give a poor little teddy bear a time out.  Sit down for a cup of invisible tea and cookies and talk to your child about nutrition. Be a patient in your child’s medical clinic and talk to them about the body and how it functions. Allow your inner child to be set free for a bit!

What activities do you love to do with your toddler? What works best for them? Share your tips and tricks. 

 About the Author

Mona Ismaeil: Mona Ismaeil is  the Associate Editor Muslimmoms.ca. She is also an elementary  teacher turned blogger and writer. Mona is the proud owner of Modern Hejab and stay-at-home mom to a sweet little girl. She loves to travel and see all the world has to offer with her family.

 

Saving for the Education of Your Child Made Easy

By Erum Zehra

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As mothers, the education of our children is one of our primary concerns. We aspire to give them the best education possible. Fortunately, living in a country like Canada has made this task easy where free education is provided in public schools until high school. After graduating from high school, our children want to join colleges or universities for higher education. This can prove to be very expensive for low income families. Most families with school going children start saving for their college education quite early, to ensure they have enough money to equip their children with higher education.

RESP and CLB

Government of Canada provides assistance in saving for higher education of your children through RESP (Registered Education Savings Plans) and CLB (Canada Learning Bond). An RESP is an educations savings account registered with the Government of Canada. You need to open an account with a bank or credit union, or through a certified financial planner or a group plan dealer. These institutions, planners and dealers are known as “RESP providers.” For more information on RESP please visit: http://www.smartsaver.org/pdf/RESP_English.pdf

The Canada Learning Bond consists of an initial amount of $500 offered by the Government of Canada to help you start saving for your child’s education after high school. Your child could get $100 every year until he or she turns 15 years old to a maximum of $2,000. Your child is eligible for the Canada Learning Bond if:

• he or she was born after December 31, 2003; and

• you receive the National Child Benefit Supplement under the Canada Child Tax Benefit (also known as the family allowance).

For More information on CLB please visit: http://www.smartsaver.org/pdf/CLB_lgl_English.pdf

 SmartSAVER

SmartSAVER at http://smartsaver.org is a non profit community project which makes it easier for you to learn about RESPs and to get the Canada Learning Bond. They have teamed up with RESP providers across Canada that will help you get an RESP started for FREE: no enrolment fee, no annual fee and no contribution required.

How to Apply?

You can use their online application, Start My RESP, and apply for the Canada Learning Bond. Apply before Decemeber 31st for a chance to win $1000! A new winner is being selected every week, so the earlrlier you apply, the better your chances are of winning.

 

 

Ed’s Note: Welcome Back to School

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Salam Aleykum Sisters!

After a summer break the team at Muslimmoms.ca are raring to get back to sharing their tips, tricks and experiences with you all. For the month of August we are very excited to be exploring ‘Back to School Theme! We have quite a number articles coming your way this month and we’re sure you’ll find them helpful as you prepare your little ones (and yourselves) for school.

Keeping Organized

We know that summer is not yet over, but we do want to help make that transition from summer chaos to school routine as easy and painless as possible. One great article we will have is about tips for keeping your children organized. This will be very important for making your life easier!

The long lost of art of Penmanship and its importance in our times will be talked about as well!

Keeping Educated

Choosing the right school for your child is the first step in a great education. It is important that you have the right knowledge to choose. Will you enroll your child in public school? Private school? Islamic school? Home school? Whichever you choose you should know the pros and cons of each and we are happy to help you with that.

We are excited to offer tips for how to help your child study at home. There is often a disconnect in the studying and learning that takes place in school and what continues at home. For your child to reach their full potential we need to lessen that gap.

Learning isn’t just for children. If you are a mom going back to school, we have some great advice and tips to help you on your journey as well.

Keeping Healthy

A healthy diet is vital for your child’s growth and development. We know packing a lunch every day can be tricky so we have compiled some ideas to help keep your creative juices flowing.

Being healthy means more than just food. It is emotional and mental health as well, we’ll tackle the issue of bullying at school as well.

Keeping Busy

We know that you’ll never be bored but on the off chance you have extra time, we do have some great ideas for how to keep busy while children are back in school.

 

The Muslimmoms.ca Team would like to wish all students a blessed, educational and wonderful school year!

Moms Going Back To School

By Nabeela Ahsan 

 

Back to School

Going back to school is not for the faint of heart. For many of us originating from South Asian countries and having seen the rigorous pressures of schooling back home, education in Canada is a treat. The sheer choice of courses and the resources available are simply stupendous. I am a strong advocate for women empowering themselves through education and breaking the rigid stereotypes that limit our potential.

You may opt to return to educational programs for pleasure or for economic development. Not many are able or inclined to study for the sheer pleasure of it. Usually adult or mature students are looking for training to gain entry in a professional field or to enhance career possibilities.