The new year brings with it new goals, more motivation, and high hopes for the months ahead. One of your goals might be to work on your child’s (or your own!) Arabic skills. It’s something often on our minds, but may not always make its way into our daily lives. Living in non-Arabic speaking countries makes it all the more challenging. But the well-documented advantages of bilingualism and the benefits you see provide a great deal of satisfaction that you will want to make this a priority for you and your family every year. It’s the reason we started Maktabatee and it’s what keeps us motivated to continue bringing you the best resources to support your educational journey.
So with all that new year resolution goodness in mind, here are a few activities for you to do with your with your kids around the house that will give Arabic more visibility in your home.
Label everything in Arabic! It’s hard enough that our kids don’t hear much Arabic at school, at the playground, or at the grocery store, but they don’t
get to see much of it either. Look around you, everything is labeled, packaged and branded in English (or another language if you live outside the US). From cereal boxes to toy boxes, our children rarely see the beautiful Arabic script emblazoned on things outside of their books or some Arabic toys. So why not bring some more Arabic into your view? We made it easier for you with two free printables with labels of popular items around the house (download kitchen labels and bedroom labels). Print them out, let your child cut them out and then display the labels on the correct item. If they cannot read yet, be sure to stop and look at the labels whenever you can, pointing out the letters and enunciating the words. Have your child repeat the word and use it when you are speaking together as much as possible. It’s a great reminder for adults to speak in Arabic too!
Make Arabic art! From geometric art to Arabic calligraphy, you’ll find tons of ideas to engage your children (and to be honest, it’s fun for adults too) in a creative way and display their work prominently around the house. Arabic calligraphy coloring pages are all over the internet, just print and color! Use heavy cardstock and then frame your child’s work or display it in a special Arabic art corner in your home for a bigger visual impact. Find some ideas for creatively displaying your children’s art on our new Pinterest board.
Use books as art! Although adults are taught not to judge a book by its cover, who can convince a child not to be attracted to a colorful, beautifully illustrated book? When choosing books for our Maktabatee collection, we scrutinize the illustrations and visual elements as well as the story line. We love displaying the books prominently in our homes, especially where our children can see them frequently. They add a beautiful decorative touch and serve as a subconscious reminder of the existence of Arabic in our lives.
If you browse our past blog posts, you’ll find a number of helpful tips on issues related to incorporating Arabic in your daily life through reading, playing, and more. Although we are not educators in the traditional sense, as parents, we find ourselves in the precarious situation of having to teach our children so much with limited knowledge ourselves (where’s that parenting manual?!). This task of understanding the most complex creatures, our own children, and then teaching them everything, is a daily struggle. We’ll continue to share our experience and what works for us in our journey to teaching our children the beautiful Arabic language!
Hope you find it useful,
P.S. We’d love to see how you are using our printable labels-- send us a picture or tag us on social media using #Maktabatee. If you find them useful, let us know if you would like to see more!