Let’s make Arabic writing as interesting as it can get and through that inshA, our kids will feel a greater affinity towards the Holy Qur’an.
In a desperate need to get my daughter to know how to write the Arabic alphabets for a Madressa exam, I had to come up with some unconventional ways! It turned out to be quite impressive and definitely got her to learn to write the alphabets in no time!
So here they come… ; )
1. Good Ol’ Printables
Ok not soo unconventional but I thought I’d include them because though printables sound ancient and boring, they do actually work! I’m quite particular about printables – I needed each alphabet on one page, some tracing and writing spaces.
The printable in the image below, is no longer available unfortunately, but these from Rahma Muslim Homeschool, come pretty close.
2. Colour in
Ok not so creative but kids will surprise you with their creativity. Again, the worksheets that I really liked are no longer available, but a Google Search for ‘Arabic Worksheets Printables’ will bring up a plethora of resources to choose from.
3. Fill in with Stickers
One can start this early with very little ones as they develop their love for stickers and get better at hand and eye coordination and spatial orientation. This is usually a great one to start with kids who’re not writing yet
4. Roll some Play Dough
All kids love play dough and it’s brilliant to develop their hand muscle strength for writing and other activities. Use flash cards as templates for little ones but older ones can hopefully make alphabet shapes from memory
5. Styrofoam and Thumbtacks
My kids went through a phase where they loved poking and piercing people. So I used to direct this ‘sensory need’ to them poking objects safely. For example, poking some craft sticks as candles into a piece of styrofoam cake. They still love doing it, so this time I’ve turned it into something more productive :)
6. Stick Twine around the letter
Now this one requires a little patience, dedication and meticulous hands, but the results at the end are worthy. A little more challenging and perhaps for the older ones but still interesting enough and kids learn to write the letters quickly after all that careful sticking
7. Bead and Shape a Pipe cleaner
I love pipe cleaners – such a versatile craft material. And a beaded pipe cleaner looks really pretty and it’s perfect for bending into shape the curvy Arabic letters!
8. Perler Beads
Don’t Perler beads bring the blessing of peace and quiet for a good few minutes? So I use them for practicing Arabic letters. It can be tricky to do the curves, but then again the finished project gives a great sense of achievement and makes a great keepsake.
I’ll continue with the peace and quiet and putting my feet from No.8, I love love some of the Arabic writing apps out there. One of our absolute favorite is Hijaiya App by Muslim Kids Series, available for iOS and Android. It has little dots which make a sound and turn ‘green’ as the child tries to trace over them, marks the written letter with stars and letters are big enough for kids to trace, even the very little ones. And a lot more Arabic learning on the same app!
10. Sandpaper Letters
And why not use the ‘iconic Montessori learning resource Sandpaper letters? These are awesome, with continued use, kids have shown to transfer tracing skills to writing, like fish take to water. A little tedious to make but they are definitely worth it. Use flash cards to trace over on to sandpaper and cut them to shape.
11. Writing in Glitter
It is amazing how quickly learning happens when things get ‘sparkly’. You can use sand or glitter. Sprinkle some on an old news paper and with a cotton bud (q-tip) or any other tool to get them to practice their writing.
These Flashcards from by Sukaina Q , sold by Buzz Ideazz are great re-usable resources for tracing. Convenient for the mosque and long car journeys. The front has the letter and the back has the dotted letter for tracing.
13. Plastic Cutters
Desi doll have these amazing Arabic cutters that can be used for play dough, to draw around, pour glitter over or even use them as cookie cutters, they are THAT versatile! A worthwhile investment I’d say!
14. Cookie Dough Shapes
Talking about cookies, here’s another way to get the older ones to practice their letters using freehand. It’s fun, educational and very delicious!
15. Arrange Cheerios and Eat ’em up
If you want something a little more healthy to practice ALL the Arabic alphabets, then use Cheerios or any appropriately-shaped cereal to arrange into the alphabet shape and they can eat them up at the end :)
16. Flashcards with a Vision and a Rhyme
Love these FREE Flashcards which have an image and a rhyme to help visualize the letter.
And a little reminder with the specially pronounced letters like dhaal and Haa, etc
17. Alphabet Lacing
I fell in love with the flashcards in #16 and wanted my kids to use them for lacing. After printing out, I tried to cut them so the lace cards included the Arabic letter, text and image, but with my star puncher wasn’t long enough to reach the letter, so I had to trim closely around the letter.
Materials needed: One hole puncher, some lace (up-cycle from other toys!), scissors and printed and laminated (or heavy cardstock) Arabic flashcards see above for FREE downloadable ones.
You’ll need to laminate, snip and then punch it out, or use a very heavyweight card to skip laminating.
Lacing is great for improving hand-eye coordination and strengthening fine motor skills.
* A little tip:
1. I used two punch-outs for each nuktas (dots), so they look more pronounced
2. For the alphabets with the nuktas, you’ll need to punch an even number of holes, so the lace ends up at the back when finished, and then go on into the first hole of the nukta (dot)
18. Train Tracks (with a start and end sign)
Make their play more productive by getting them to use train tracks to form the Arabic alphabets. Whether they’re old enough to lay the tracks or just old enough to choo-choo their wagons on these tracks, they’re sure to learn the lines, curves and grooves. What I did find really really useful is to have the start and stop signs, to help them see the correct way of writing the letters. Use the little objects from the trains sets as nuqtas and play away!