The last two months have been fantastic for BabyN' and that's because of the number of presents he has received. More presents mean more variety to keep him entertained and occupied. If you've read BabyN's birthday post I wrote earlier, you must be aware of it already. There were also some toys that were for a bigger age, so I've stacked them carefully on the top shelf of the mini walking cupboard in my bedroom.
Coming to toys, I think it's really easy to find all kinds but getting to introduce Muslim educational toys to kids is a blessing nowadays especially if one is living in a country in which the majority follows a different religion. For me, it's a blessing seeing brands coming up that sell toys focused on teaching Islam to kids especially because I don't have any elder in the house to help me instill the concept in the mind of my child. I had been thinking about ways to educate BabyN' about the religion but wasn't very sure how to go about it. Luckily, Mini Muslim Playground recently sent some toys and books which BabyN' has been enjoying playing with, in the previous days.
The package was unboxed by BabyN' himself and I must mention that all of my packages are also unboxed by him. He has just turned 2 but he's still a baby for me and I'll keep calling him that. The toys had been packed with much care and were wrapped in plastic.
We started off with the Arabic learning alphabet board (£6.5) which seemed like it had been laminated with plastic and that's because it was slightly stuck to the holders of the alphabets. I used a pair of scissors to cut a side and then pulled the plastic. However, soon I realised that the plastic was stuck and I carefully had to remove it from every alphabet. So, I would just advice you to be careful while removing the plastic, otherwise the tiny red plastic knobs on the wooden Arabic alphabets might come off.
I always check the wooden toys before giving them to BabyN' just to see if there aren't any pieces of wood coming off. Therefore, I thoroughly checked it as well and was happy to know that it was flawless. The activity is suggested for 3 year olds but BabyN' quickly learnt putting the right alphabet on the right place. At this stage, he hasn't learnt the Arabic alphabets yet, but it does help in developing his fine motor skills, he remembers where to put the right alphabet and most importantly, its a new activity to keep him busy. I'm hoping to teach him the Arabic alphabets soon too.
The Arabic Alphabet House (£11.50), also a wooden toy made for 3 year olds was interesting and caught his attention. The first time BabyN' tried, he just picked up the alphabets and tried to put them in through any alphabet insert. Some that were small, easily went through the inserts meant for the bigger Arabic alphabets, but he couldn't pass all of them like that.
Initially, I had to tell him where to put which alphabet. Now after almost 2 weeks, he knows where most of the alphabets go by looking at the shapes. Also, in the beginning, he wasn't aware of whether he was putting the alphabet in the right manner and so I had to tell him that the coloured part should be in the front facing, and he might have to turn the alphabets to make them go through. By that, I meant that they were upside down and turning them would help making them go through 'in the box.' However, one thing you need to be careful of is the wooden hook on each side of the house, meant for hanging the upper lids of the house. They're made of wood and may come off if force is applied. You know how boys are, the wooden screw isn't much strong and my son was able to pull it off from the alphabet house so now it's there but doesn't fix back.
If you want your child to learn Arabic letters, these two activities are perfect to enable your child to recognise the letters. In the initial stage, however, it serves well as a puzzle and in developing the child's skills such as fine motor skills, cognitive and language skills. Later onward, I suppose it will make it easier for me to teach Arabic alphabets to BabyN'.
Mini Muslim Playground was also kind enough to send two books, an Allah book and a 40 pages colouring book. The quality of the book is good, it has thick and glossy pages with neat printing so it's attractive and attention grabbing for kids. The Allah book, on every page, besides teaching what the English alphabets stand for, also relates the object or thing to Allah. So the repetition of the word Allah in the book is a fabulous idea because it's important to repeat things in front of kids to enable them to retain them in their tiny minds.
BabyN' does enjoy scribbling on paper with his crayons and colour pencils but he doesn't yet have the concept of colouring within a boundary or a drawing. I've been teaching him that on the colouring book and again, that book has carefully linked everything to Allah. The quality of the paper is good too and if too much extra water is not used, then it's even good for painting instead of colouring. It helps in developing motor skills of the child and also in introducing tawheed (oneness of Allah) t0 kids.
I had an eye on a child's prayer mat since some time because I know that children like to have their own things as it gives them a sense of ownership and although there is still a lot of time till boys need to start offering their prayers, developing the concept of religion at an early age is always beneficial for the future.
Mini Muslim Playground has lots of other toys in their product line, toys for different ages and activities for developing different skills. I personally believe that it's a fantastic initiative and especially beneficial for those parents not living in a Muslim country. You can check out more products from their range from their website, here.
That's not all, I've got a discount code for you to use for your online purchase. You can get 10% off with code MINI10 on orders over £30. The code is valid till 30th April 2017, so make sure to avail it before it expires.