Celebrate Diversity! 50 Children’s Books Celebrating Diversity

Celebrate Diversity! 50 Children’s Books for a Culturally Diverse Bookshelf: 

Here are 50 culturally diverse books to add to your bookshelf! I believe in the power of literature. Through reading my own view points are forever changing, shifting, and evolving. Why not let that power take place from an early age? Here is an inclusive book list to expose your children to the wide world we live in. This list highlights a variety of cultures, countries, faces, languages, and celebrations! I hope you enjoy this list as much as we do! 

Either buy the books, rent them from your local library, or buy them for your local library if they don’t have them! 

Also, if your local library doesn’t have an array of diverse books I really suggest talking with them about it. Some libraries have “purchase” forms where you can purchase the book for the library or you can submit a request for them to purchase it. 

Another fun idea is to add these books to your local lending library if you have one nearby!

50 Children's Books Celebrating Diversity
  1. Whoever You Are (Reading Rainbow Books) by Mem Fox
  1. All Are Welcome by Alexander Penfold 
  2. Last Stop of Market Street by Matt de la Pena 
  3. I Am Enough by Grace Byers 
  4. When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner 
  5. Laila’s Lunchbox by Reem Faruqi 
  6. It’s Ramadan Curious George by H.A. Rey
  7. Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids: 50 Inspiring People from Ancient Africa to Modern-Day U.S.A.by Arlisha Norwood 
  8. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison 
  9. Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison 
  10. Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison 
  11. The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammas
  12. Dreamersby Yuyi Morales
  13. Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson
  14. Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh 
  15. Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
  16. Suki’s Kimonoby Chieri Uegaki 
  17. The Name Jarby Yangsook Choi 
  18. The Arabic Quiltby Aya Khalil 
  19. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Storyby Kevin Noble Maillard 
  20. Thank You, Omu!By Oge Mora 
  21. Happy in Our Skinby Fran Manushkin
  22. Good Luck and the Three Pandasby Natasha Yim
  23. Ruby’s Chinese New Yearby Vickie Lee 
  24. Festival of Colorsby Surishtha Sehgal 
  25. The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk by Kabir Sehgal 
  26. Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed 
  27. Lola Plants a Garden (Lola Reads) by Anna McQuinn
  28. My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero 
  29. You Matter by Christian Robinson 
  30. Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bingelow
  31. Muhiima’s Quest by Rahma Rodaah 
  32. Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey by Doug Kruntz
  33. The Journey by Francesca Sanna
  34. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle 
  35. Alma by Juana Martinez-Neal 
  36. Along the Tapajos by Fernando Vilela 
  37. Other Words from Home by Jasmine Warga 
  38. What If We Were All the Same! A Children’s Book About Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion by C.M. Harris
  39. The Color of Us by Karen Katz
  40. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  41. Thread of Love by Kabir Sehgal
  42. Islandborn by Junot Diaz
  43. The Cambodian Dancer by Daryn Reicherter 
  44. Silent Music by James Rumford
  45. Nadia’s Hands by Karen English 
  46. Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery by William Miller 
  47. The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud 
  48. Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barrack Obama 
  49. She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
  50. She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game

I hope you enjoy this book list! Share it, pin it, and add to your library!

How to Play Old Maid with your Children

I loved playing card games as a child, but I forgot how to play Old Maid. So I had to re-read all the rules. If you’re curious how to play Old Maid follow along 🙂

We have this old maid deck and really love it!

The goal of Old Maid is to not have any cards left and not to be left holding the Old Maid card!

Setting up Old Maid: Shuffle all your cards and deal out all the cards (face down). Not every player will have the equal amount of cards & that’s okay.

Player sort all of their cards ands keeps them hidden from other players.

If anyone has three matching pairs they put down a pair (two matching cards) and keep the third matching card. If anyone has four matching pairs they put down all four cards.

The player to the LEFT of the dealer than fans all of his/her cards out (without letting others see his cards). The player to the left picks a card from the fan of cards. If the player picks a pair to one of his/her cards then they put down the pair.

Then he/she will fan out their cards and offer a card to the player on their left. This continues throughout the game.

This continues until all the cards have been left down in pairs and the last player with a single card (the old maid) loses the game.

And there you have it. A quick overview on how to play old maid! Enjoy

Ramadan Books for Kids

Ramadan Books for Kids

Alhamdillilah, Ramadan is quickly approaching! It has been a goal of mine to provide my children with as many books about Ramadan as possible! Each year I add to our Ramadan library so in this post I will break down what books we have about Ramadan plus what books I intent to purchase for this Ramadan! I love reading Ramadan book to my children each day of Ramadan and want to share that joy with you!

Kids Books about Ramadan, that we currently have and love

  1. My First Ramadan
    This is the very first book I bought for my daughter on her first Ramadan and we have read it each and every Ramadan!
  2. It’s Ramadan Curious George!
    I love Curious George and adore that they’ve made a book about Ramadan for kids Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Also, a friend read this at her daughter’s elementary school and another friend read it at a local library last year for Ramadan!
  3. 30 Days of Learning and Good Deeds (Islamic Books for Kids)
    This book has a mini-lesson for you to do with your kids each day of Ramadan. It focuses on a good deed to implement that day, Islamic knowledge, and I believe a Quran verse to go over! We really enjoyed it last Ramadan and I will most definitely re-read it for several Ramadans, inchAllah, while my kids are growing up!
  4. Ramadan and Fasting Activity Book
    We went through this activity and sticker book last Ramadan. I honestly didn’t do any of the activities since I was working last Ramadan but our children and their nanny seemed to enjoy it!
  5. Ilyas & Duck – Ramadan Joy!
    I really love all of the Ilyas & Duck stories! I find that their books are well written and teach the children wonderful values!
  6. Ramadan Moon
    This books emphasis is on the Ramadan Moon! We read through it a couple of times last year and the kids enjoyed the story line!

Kids Books about Ramadan that we intent to buy this year!

  1. Ramadan Around the World
    We use the author’s Arabic learning materials (I will write a review on these items later) and love them. So this Ramadan I want to ensure that I support her by purchasing Ramadan around the world! My friend’s children have this book and love it! She even said they read it all year!
  2. Rami the Ramadan Cat
    This is stocked through Ruqaya’s Bookshelf, a female owned virtual bookstore! I really want to support smaller Muslimah owned shops this Ramadan so I am super excited to support her vision + books!
  3. Who Will Help Me Make Iftar?
    Another book that is on Ruqaya’s Bookshelf! A story about who will help make Iftar!
  4. Lailah’s Lunchbox
  5. Under the Ramadan Moon
    We checked this out last year from the library and I really loved it so I will hopefully, inchAllah buy it this year before Ramadan begins!

So there you have it, here are all the books we have about Ramadan + the books we intend to buy this Ramadan. I usually rent books from the library but I really enjoy supporting Muslim authors! I think as Muslim parents we should all expose our children to books about Islam + support our beautiful and brilliant authors!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful!

Kids Immune Boosting Supplemetns + Herbs

**Please note, this is not medical advice, this is merely what I have been doing + am doing to boost my children’s immune system.**

To help boost my children immune system they have been regularly taking supplements to improve our overall immune response.

The first supplement they take daily is a high-quality multi vitamin! I really love Mary Ruth Organics and we have been taking their Children’s Multi-Vitamin and Probiotics to help build our gut health!

The second supplement / herb they are taking is a homemade elderberry syrup! I have found that a homemade elderberry syrup is much more beneficial than store bought!

The third supplement they are taking is ZINC! I drop zinc in mine and my children’s water daily to help build our immune system!

The forth thing they do daily is drink a homemade fire cider that I make from scratch every 6 weeks or so! The recipe I linked here.

Lastly, we make sure we go outdoors to get as much Vitamin D as possible! I have never lived in an area that lacks sufficient sunshine so I am not sure what a good Vitamin D supplement is but if you don’t have adequate sunshine, I would discuss supplementing with your healthcare provider!

Non-toxic + organic sunscreen guide for kids

Here are my tried and true favorite non-toxic + organic sunscreens for kids! We live in Texas where it is sunny most of the year and the summer sun is hot & strong! Since we apply sunscreen most of the year I am a sunscreen expert! I have not used conventional sunscreens on my kids because there are a host of nasty ingredients in them that I am not keen on rubbing all of my kiddos skin. EWG has a great post that goes over all the ingredients found in your average sunscreen. Also, master tip I always run every item I use on a daily basis through the EWG app to ensure it is non-toxic!

non-toxic + organic sunscreens

It is important to realize that most non-toxic + organic sunscreens will be a tad harder to rub in and won’t apply as easily as conventional sunscreens. So it’ll take some getting used to if you’re switching for the first time.

  1. All Good Kids Sunscreen SPF 30
    This sunscreen is great because it is formulated for sport use so it is water resistant and is a strong SPF 30!
  2. Blue Lizard Kids SPF 30
    A little bit of Blue Lizard goes a long way and it goes on well! It is mineral formulated and reef-safe, so its an overall good option!
  3. Badgers Balm Kids Face Stick SPF 35
    I love this face stick and have one formulate for adult faces as well! It is easy to apply and is easy to take with you everywhere you go throughout the summer!
  4. Thinkbaby SPF 50
    This sunscreen is formulated for babies! It goes on very WHITE! Just an FYI but works quite well! It is all mineral based and has a higher SPF than other brands listed here!
  5. Kiss My Face SPF 50 Kids Spray
    I love sports sprays because they’re easy to apply to my kids when they’re running around the pool! This one is great and has a higher SPF than others listed! I’ve also used their brand’s face sunscreen!

Here are my tried & true 5 non-toxic + organic sunscreens that I have used numerous time son my own kids & myself! I hope you enjoy. As always remember to reapply sunscreen every 30 minutes to 1 hour during the summer. Also, try to avoid being out in the sun from noon to 3pm when it is at its strongest. Also, check out my post on sun safe infant swimwear for your little one this summer!

XO

5 Journal Prompts to Make You a More Mindful Mom

5 journal prompts to make you a more mindful mom

I created these 5 journal prompts to help myself be a more mindful mom and I think everyone could enjoy/benefit from them. I’ve been having a rough time parenting these days. Even though I aspire to be a more mindful mom there are moment where I merely react to events that happen through the day. We are at the tantrum twos (I hate terrible twos because they’re merely releasing emotions) and my almost five year old has also been battling big emotions. So I have been reflecting on how I can be a better more proactive parent, rather than a reactive one.

  1. How do you react when something goes wrong (e.g., a tantrum happens, a cup of milk spills, etc)? After reflecting upon that follow up with this prompt. How do you want to react when something goes wrong?
  2. How would you describe your parenting last week? What went well and what didn’t go so well?
  3. Think of one thing that went wrong in the past month (e.g., a spill, a huge melt down in a store, etc). Describe the situation, what happened, what triggered your child, what was your reaction, and what were your triggers? If you could go back to that situation, what would you do differently?
  4. What are things that went well? How can you expand those joyful moments in your daily life?
  5. How can you take a few moments to nourish yourself this week?

BONUS: What brings you joy in your household/family life?

So there you have it, reflect upon these questions and journal them down. They’re meant to make you a more reflective mother which will probably help you bring mindfulness into your daily routine with your little ones.

X0 from one aspiring mindful mom to another

50 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

50 budget friendly summer activities for kids! Have fun this summer!
  1. Make your own ice cream
  2. Go to the library and borrow a book. (Summer reading list by age)
  3. Make a bug book for your kids to journal bugs they find around the neighborhood
  4. Make a plant book for your kids to journal all the plants they find around the neighborhood
  5. Check out a baking book from the library and learn to bake something new together
  6. Go camping in your backyard
  7. Make DIY playdough
  8. Collect rocks from a local park and paint them
  9. Create an outdoor obstacle course
  10. Find free summer concerts
  11. Free movies in the park
  12. Find free bowling events at kidsbowlfree.com
  13. Give your kids some sidewalk chalk and let them play outside
  14. Pool day
  15. Go for a hike
  16. Fly a kite
  17. Water play in the backyard
  18. Play a card game
  19. Make popsicles
  20. Make a cardboard box castle 
  21. Have a picnic with friends at a local park
  22. Check out your local cinema for weekly summer specials 
  23. Head to your local nature preserve and spend the day in nature. Also check to see if they have summer programs for kids to learn about geocaching, fishing, compass usage, etc.
  24. Go fishing
  25. Plant an herb garden
  26. Use kitchen scraps to tie-dye 
  27. Set up a mud kitchen in the back yard or patio
  28. Make a fort using old sheets, blankets, and couch cushions in the house 
  29. Go to your local park
  30. Create a scavenger hunt in your yard or neighborhood
  31. Set up a sprinkler in your backyard
  32. Write a story together and draw out all the artwork 
  33. Make lemonade from scratch and have a lemonade stand
  34. Play board games (I have found all of ours for under $5.00 a game at local thrift stores)
  35. Go to the local farmers market
  36. Find a body of water and take a day trip there
  37. Go produce picking 
  38. Go on a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood
  39. Sidewalk chalk games
  40. Go to the local museum’s free day
  41. Check out store’s free classes (Apple, Microsoft, Lowes, Home Depot, Bass Pro Shops, Pottery Barn Kids, and Michaels
  42. Visit your local fire department for a tour
  43. Learn a foreign language
  44. Make a DIY bird feeder 
  45. Set up a pretend restaurant in your house and let your kids serve lunch  
  46. Backyard safari with stuffed animals 
  47. Go on a bike ride
  48. Have a garage sale
  49. Help the community – pick on community serve project to commit to weekly 
  50. Check out Groupon for discounted activities 

Five nature-based activities to do with your kids in Morocco

We are an outdoorsy family! We love exploring in nature. So it only made sense that we would search for more nature-based activities in Morocco.

We we first arrived in Morocco I was a bit worried that my kids would not be able to explore the outdoors because most cities are rather congested in Morocco. There isn’t ample room for outdoor play in cities but if you dig a little deeper you can find ample room for outdoor play during your holiday to Morocco!

Before traveling to Morocco I researched Maroc Mama‘s Morocco with Kids guides, which is also a great resource to know about if you’re visiting Morocco with kids! Based on our experiences, here are the top five activities we did with our kids in Morocco!

  1. Visit the Atlas Mountains
    We love the mountains so the first weekend we went to a resort in the Atlas Mountains, Terres d’Amanar. You can see our blog post here about why we loved Terres d’Amanar! The Atlas Mountains are easily assessable from Marrakech or Fez and they have ample room for kids to explore, play, and breath fresh air!
  2. Take a day trip to the beach
    As Morocco is a coastal country you can easily reach the ocean from a few different cities. Since we were mainly in Casablanca, El Jadida (just south of Casablanca), and Rabat we has easy access to the sea! Other cities such as Tangier, Safi, and Essaouira are all located along the ocean so you could easily plan ample beach play dates from those locations!
  3. Explore Rabat
    From my short time in Morocco I found Rabat to be a green city. A Moroccan friend told me that Morocco’s King Mohammed VI suffers from asthma so he has actively made Rabat a green city with lush trees and parks. While in Rabat the kids explore the Mausoleum of Mohammed V.
  4. Horseback riding
    My kids love horses, so we took them for a day of horse back riding at the Equestrian Center in El-Jadida! The kids got to pet, play, and ride horses one afternoon and I think it was one of the most memorable memories from their trip to Morocco!
    Note, there are also tours that you can arrange to go horseback riding in the Atlas Mountains, which I hopefully will plan when the kids are a bit older!
  5. Go to a local farm
    This one might be a bit tricky but if you can arrange to visit a local farm in a village it would be super memorable! Village life in Morocco is filled with outdoor fun, sun, and ample time to slow down! My sister-in-law has a farm that they use on the weekends to get out of Casablanca so we took all the kids there and everyone enjoyed the free space and time to roam, explore, play, and rest!

There you have it, 5 things our kids enjoyed in Morocco! Other activities I think older kids could enjoy in Morocco could be surfing. There are surf schools along the coastal cities and older kids who are strong swimmers would definitely enjoy learning to surf!

2019: A Year of Self Discovery

2019 was a big year. I took a huge leap of faith and prioritized my children and family over my career. It was a scary year and it still is kind of frightening. If I am entirely honest, I am not sure what will happen this year or where my life will take me, but I am hopeful.

A little back story, I quit my PhD program this summer to stay at home with my kids. For some moms that might seem easy but for me it’s scary and it brought up a lot of insecurities. For most of my life, I have hid behind my “titles” and “ambitions”. In my early twenties, I hid behind my academic goals and career ambitions. Then I started to hide behind my titles. Through these titles I was able to find my own self worth, so when I quit my PhD program and was no longer a “doctoral candidate” my self-worth plummeted. For the first time when introducing myself to others I was open and authentic in saying “I am a stay-at-home mom”, whereas before I always hid behind my titles. Being able to add those external titles helped me feel a sense of confidence. I derived a large part of my self-worth from these titles.

After quitting my program and basically shifting gears in life, I battled depression, low-levels of self-confidence, and lost. It was an overwhelming realization that I have never felt adequate. I never had confidence in myself as a person. I only had confidence in “titles” and without those I didn’t see my own self worth. So for the latter part of this year, I have been working to cultivate a deep feeling of self-worth. I am a human. I am worthy without having prestigious credentials. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a granddaughter. I am a woman. All of these are enough. I am enough on my own.