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!

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 

5 Books about Snow for Preschooler

5 Books about Snow for your Preschoolers

It’s January, so we are doing our Snow Unit Lesson so here are 5 books about snow for your preschooler! As a Houstonian transplant from the Northeast I am desperately missing snow and all things winter. This post gives a breakdown of our “Snow Unit Lesson” for the month of January. It provides what we will do each week, reading lists, craft ideas, and letter work to accompany to lessons.

In Week 1, I am introducing all things SNOW and here are some of the books I am optimizing to teach my little ones about SNOW! Here are five books that you can probably find at your local library or purchase off Amazon to help your little one learn about snow and what happens when it snows.

  • Snow by Cynthia Rylant
    This book makes me so nostalgic about my childhood memories of playing in the snow!
  • Let it Snow by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
    This book celebrates all things snow from drinking hot cocoa to sled riding!
  • Snow by Erin Edison
    This explains what snow is, how it is formed, and what happens with it SNOWS! It helps kids understand the basic science of snow.
  • Snow On Snow on Snow by Cheryl Chapman
    A story about a little boy losing his dog in the snow!
  • Snow by Urni Shulevitz

Each week I select 4-5 books to read daily to the children during our Unit Lesson. This allows the children to memorize parts of the book, look deeply at the photographs, and absorb all the information the book has to offer!

5 Snow Crafts for Preschoolers

It’s January so we’re doing a unit lesson on snow! Here are five great snow-crafts for your preschooler to do! They’re easy and the perfect to compliment any snow unit lesson for your toddler, preschooler, or kindergartener. See our monthly Snow Unit agenda + lesson plans here, as well as the books-list I am using to teach our preschooler all about snow and the arctic world!

  1. Create a salt painted snowflake- We were inspired by this post for our painted snowflake.
  2. A magical watercolor snowflake. We used this blog post to learn how to make a magical watercolor snowflake.
  3. Make a mosaic snowflake. This is the blog post I used for inspiration.
  4. Let your kids draw or decorate a blank snowflake by using the template.
  5. Make a snowy landscape photo by using this blog for inspiration!

If you notice I use other people’s blogs for craft and art inspiration because I am not that crafty or artistic. It isn’t really my strong point + I don’t have time to come up with a million different craft ideas each week! So do yourself a favor and pin this post for a quick place to find a full week of snow crafts for your kiddo!

XOX – Please share and comment if you complete any of these crafts with your little!

Apple Activities for Preschoolers

One week worth of apple activities

A is for Apples. Apples, apples, and more apples.

Apples are such a versatile lesson for preschoolers. You can incorporate letters, counting, gardening, and art into a lesson surrounding apples.

We loosely followed Playing Preschool Year 1 apple lesson and I gained a lot of inspiration through her two weeks worth of lessons, however, I added in a bit more information about seeds and how plants grow.

How to Create A Preschool Routine:

I am in desperate need to create a preschool routine for our household. I am beginning with the Early Years and I have slowly realized that our preschool routine is all of the place. I have zero-level of consistency and I am struggling as parent and educator. So a goal I have this month is to create a consistent routine. Here is a blog post about the importance of routines in Charlotte Mason philosophy

Step 1: In order to create a routine for our family, I am going to begin by sharing our existing routine and move on from there. I don’t think it would be sustainable to create a whole new routine, so we will work off our existing routine.

Morning: Breakfast – YMCA (Workout / put kids in kids club / swim lessons 2x a week)

Afternoon: We usually get home around 11:30-noon. We eat lunch then the kids play (but it is very parent centered play). I try to lay Ali down for a nap and struggle until after nap time. Some afternoons its so difficult I just pack everyone up and head to a park and/or library.

Evening: Dinner. Showers. Books. Sleep.

So where can I improve?

Mornings & afternoons are always hectic and chaotic. So I would like to streamline a possible solution to make it more well-rounded, educational, and decrease overall television time. Our toddler is really demanding and it is difficult to establish and sort of “routine” with him because he has mood swings.

Anyways, improved routine.

Morning:
Wake up
Move around- drink water- eat breakfast. (Ideally I want to set-up a space for my kids to get their own water and breakfast every morning, inspired by Montessori classrooms). Here is a blog post about establishing morning meal routines with a toddler.
Get dressed- brush teeth- brush hair- leave house
YMCA (2-3 hours)

Afternoon:
Come home from YMCA
Independent work time while I prep lunch (30 minutes)
Lunch
Mat time (inspired by Montessori classrooms, kids bring out a mat + 1 activity to complete) Here is a blog post about introducing Montessori Mat time and what it is.
Rest (at least 30 minutes) / Ali nap
Fatima literacy lessons
Dinner prep (include Fatima in the process)

Evening:
Outdoor play / Park
Dinner
Shower
Bedtime story
Sleep