From the comfort of hearing a loved one's voice repeating the same words, to a warm snuggle that they begin to associate with reading in a parent's lap, babies can begin to appreciate and love books from just a few months old. Once they can sit up unassisted, they begin to flip the pages on their own and ogle at the bright illustrations. And when they begin to babble, you'll catch them repeating the words in the books being read to them.
As your little one reaches toddlerhood, you can begin to take books beyond just words on paper and incorporate simple activities and lessons that will teach them some basic vocabulary and cognitive skills. Here are a few ways I have used the books from the Maktabatee collection to teach my boys new skills and expand their Arabic vocabulary:
Colors of the Shop is a great resource to teach your little one the names of colors and fruits in Arabic. I used the fruits from our sorting kit and some bowls from Dollar Tree. I grabbed these white trays and have been using them to organize the kids' activities. They help keep things contained and give the child a focused space to work in. You can find similar ones here. I encouraged my 2.5-year-old son Zayd to match the colors on the book pages and sort the colors separately. As he did this, we repeated the names of the colors and fruits highlighted in the book. We also counted different numbers of fruits in each bowl, which led us to the next activity.
We love animals around here and Tweet Quack Moo fits right in. My 2.5-year-old Zayd loves making all the animal sounds as we read this book while my 8-month-old Yusuf grunts and repeats in agreement. We often take the book along with us as he enjoys "reading" the book while we're on car rides or waiting in the doctor's office.
I pulled out our Melissa & Doug animal puzzle so we can use the animal pieces to match those in the book. I also grabbed some foam shapes that I had found in the Target Dollar Spot (my weakness!) and we used them to count along with the animals on each page. Zayd is still learning how to count and using the foam shapes helps him visualize the counting process. I made sure to repeat the number and names of the animals in Arabic and have my son repeat them as well.
On another day, we used our beautiful wooden Arabic alphabet blocks to match the first letter of the animal names. The blocks also have the Arabic numbers which we used to match with each page. Using these different tools adds a tangible element to the learning process, and encourages him to learn by hearing, touching, and speaking at the same time.
Do you have similar activities for your little ones? Share your tips with us, we’d love to hear from you! Tag us in your pictures on social media using #MaktabateeKids.
Happy reading, counting, and sorting,