Ramadan 2017: Post #7- Ramadan Mubarak!!

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A very special Ramadan Mubarak to our followers! May your month be blessed and abundant with opportunities for you to earn hassanat and serve your community. May you bathe in God’s mercy and find yourself under his protection. May the month be full of love and light and inspire you to be a better version of yourself!

We kicked off our first day of Ramadan by making cupcakes to share with family. This was at the top of H’s priority list. They are definitely not Pinterest-worthy and we actually cheated and used a box mix (I really hate using those) but desperate times call for desperate measures. In fact, it was my husband who ended up working with H to create the batter as Baby Gaga had other plans for me.

With the help of my awesome sisters-in-law, I also got to see my Ramadan treasure hunt come to life!

How did you welcome Ramadan into your homes? I’d love to hear about your first day and your children’s reactions in the comments 😊

 

I Like Pumpkins- Post #5: Gutting Time

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This year we bought two pumpkins. The idea was to use the first one for lots of hands-on activities that would essentially render the first pumpkin inedible, and use the second one for baking and cooking.

As I mentioned in the introductory post, our pumpkin work got off to a late start. And with my decreased energy levels, we worked through this series rather slowly. In fact, our first pumpkin started losing shape (thats my discrete way of saying that is started to rot) and my husband kept insisting we throw them both out. This was shortly after halloween and the City was collecting pumpkins. I kept saying that we would be cutting it open tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow finally came. And might I say…

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EWWWWW!

So I explained to my daughter that the pumpkin had rotted and was full of fungus. This invited a lot of questions. In the moment, I gave her a simple explanation (the water we had used in our initial washing off the pumpkins had seeped in and led to fungal growth, the same way we sometimes discover fungus-filled produce in our fridge). It also provided an opportunity to learn about day-to-day life (how to handle and store produce). In hindsight, this would have been a good starting place for doing an inquiry-based project together. Older children could definitely explore ideas surrounding decomposition, fertilizer and what happens to excess produce on farms and in grocery stores.

So clearly we did not want to consume those seeds. We threw away the first pumpkin and I made an executive decision to cut into the other one – there would be no puree this year (and I was secretly relieved).

H was not as interested in sensory play this year as she was last year.She really enjoyed getting into the pumpkin last year and pulling at the wet strings and carefully removing the seeds. This year, she removed some seeds and then lost interest. I was left alone to remove the rest of them and roast them.

We did make a fascinating discovery while removing the seeds – some of them had started sprouting!

I hope we can make reference to these sprouting seeds in the spring when we do some gardening. H has asked to grow/care for a tomato plant this year.

Ramadan 2016 – Post #1: Welcoming Ramadan

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It’s been a few months since the end of Ramadan, and I finally have some time to post about our experience this year. My daughter was 2.5 years old this Ramadan, and the next series of posts will cover what we did this year. Please use the “Ramadan” tag to find previous posts about Ramadan. I hope these posts are inspiring and practical.

The night before Ramadan started, we decorated our house. It was pretty simple (my husband does not like commercialism and fought me on having a banner…he won, this year, anyway).The minor change in decor definitely contributed to the excitement. I wanted to tangibly signify to my daughter that there was something different about this time.

We made paper lanterns using previously painted pages of paper (I often hang onto her art and re-purpose it) and by decorating new sheets of coloured paper with markers and stickers. My daughter takes a lot of pride in her lanterns, constantly making comments like “I made the yellow one and Momma made the green one.”

We hung these lanterns on a long horizontal string in our downstairs bay window and actually modified our string of lanterns at the end of the month and re-used them for Eid. We also added some curled ribbons to this lantern (sold by Discovery Dome) and hung it in our entrance. Other interesting additions to the lantern could include loose parts like beads, straws, feathers, chimes, and nuts and bolts.

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Again, pulling on the ribbons allowed my daughter to further explore concepts of “springiness” i.e. basic physics

As we decorated, I spoke to her about Ramadan and we listened to some Ramadan Nasheeds, our favourite is “We’ve Scanned the Sky” by Dawud Wharnsby Ali.

We read the book “Welcome Ramadan,” even though I’m not a huge fan of this book, it spoke to some of the differences that accompany this month. You can read a past review I’ve written about the book here.

I showed my daughter the calendar (which I will post about next) and explained how it would work.

As the years pass, I hope to have some more philosophical exchanges about the value and opportunity that is Ramadan. If you have older children, please refer to last year’s posts on Ramadan as they were written for a more general audience and include deeper content.

 

Just a Pool Noodle…

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Just a pool noodle is what one may see with an untrained eye and an uninspired heart, but for children whose hearts are full of dreams and whose minds are abundant with theories and hypotheses, this long, bendy, lime green tube is symbolic of so much more.

I bought this pool noodle last month to use as a guard rail to keep my toddler from falling out of bed. It soon found its way into my preschool classroom where children both cautiously and confidently approached it, transforming this simple item into props that suited their play. A few weeks later it found its way back into my house where it continued to take on various identities.

This pool noodle has been on the frontline of battle, used in a swordfight against a pirate;

This pool noodle has been a fairy wand, transforming classmates and teachers into frogs;

This pool noodle has been a butterfly catcher, reaching high to graze wonders usually out of reach;

This pool noodle has been a horse, straddled to gallop far and wide;

This pool noodle has been a baby, cradled tenderly and cuddled as night falls;

This pool noodle has been a tunnel through which imaginary friends escape;

This pool noodle has been a rope, used to climb to faraway places;

This pool noodle has been a slide, used to descend back to safety;

This pool noodle has been a telescope, through which perspectives have changed;

This pool noodle has been a telephone, through which not so quiet “I love you”s have been exchanged;

This pool noodle has ignited imaginations, sparked adventures and given way to many moments of learning;

This pool noodle is a reminder of the power and value of everyday, ordinary objects in children’s play.

Eid Gift Guide for Children

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Are you having trouble deciding on the perfect Eid gift for that special child in your life? Here’s our handy guide to help clear away some of the confusion. Click on the photos below for a description and pricing. Remember, this is based on approximate developmental levels. For more assistance or for custom orders, please contact us at discoverydomeyyc@gmail.com.

*Please note not all of our products are listed in this guide.

Babies

Toddlers

Preschoolers

6-8 years old

9-12 years

*Please note that some of the books may be relevant up to the age of 16 depending on the title and the child’s reading level

Samples of Custom Orders we have Filled