So, here is my review of the Smart Ark Islamic products that the sister kindly gave to me. Aside from the fact that all of the products are Islamic in nature, they are all made from recycled materials which in my opinion, gives it an extra thumbs up!! So, not only are you getting educational Islamic toys and books, but also they are ethically made. Alhamdulillah. Do read to the end, because there are items for different ages.
Made by Allah Alphabet Book
This hardback book teaches the Muslim child that Allah is Al-Khaliq -The Creator. It is colourful and the pictures stand out mashaAllah. What I like about this book is that children from as young as the age of 2 are repeatedly told that all of these things were ‘Made by Allah’. This is a great way of teaching tawheed to children between the ages of 2-4. It also teaches the English alphabet and older children could read this book when they first learn to read. A good book to have on the bookshelf for any family with young children.
Okay, so we are book lovers over here and I have always collected bookmarks since a young age. These are just toooo cute mashaAllah. I think I might be fighting R for them! lol What do I love about them? The colours are just right, the designs are beautiful but the reminders are just perfect to soften your heart. Great for adults but a very good reminder for the kids. R was reading a couple of them which initiated interest in the meaning. I think this would make a nice gift for your kids or even a nice gift for your kids to give to someone else.
Animals in the Quran Snap Game
Ooh! This is different and nice. Okay, so its your normal snap game. However, this time you have pictures of animals that are mentioned in the Quran (no faces are on the pictures) and underneath the name and picture of the animal is the ayah number where the animal is mentioned. Not only can snap be played, but this would be good to initiate discussion based on the stories in the Quran the animals feature in.
Arabic Alphabet Colour and Write Book
This is a normal colour and write book. Unlike the other smart ark products, nothing really made me very excited about this product. It is very similar to other products similar to it from other companies/publishers.
The front cover of this book is very attractive. I believe they have a few that are more ‘boyish’ too. The ruled lines are quite narrow so I think it would be more suitable for ages 7/8+. It would have been nice to have had some blank pages in there for some drawing etc. Other than that, it would make a nice gift.
Zaynab and Zakariya Learn to Recycle
When R and I were at the sister’s stall at the souk, this was the one product that got R all excited! lol Probably because we did a mini recycling project earlier in the year. A brilliant book in my opinion mashaAllah. Covers an important topic – looking after the earth which is a duty upon Muslims. And in the blurb, it says that this will be a Zaynab and Zakariya series covering ‘a wide range of social and ethical issues…and how to deal with situations from an Islamic perspective’. I think I would buy more titles from these series when they come out inshaAllah. And another bonus is that there are no faces! lol
R read this book to herself and her thoughts (in her own words):
‘I think it is really good because I can try and recycle. This makes me feel like I should stop putting rubbish in the bin. What I really liked was that Zaynab gave naseehah to Zakariya about recycling. And that is why I am now going to think carefully about where I put the rubbish.’
So, R got excited about the book. I got excited about this! This product is just brilliant mashaAllah. 5 stars in my opinion. It is a hardback journal. Inside are the following features:
– This Journal belongs to….
-My journal pages ( children fill in: what I did today – What I learned today – Date)
-Verses from the Quran (Children fill in: My favourite verse from the Quran)
-Quotes from the Sunna (Children fill in: My favourite hadith)
-The people of the sunnah (Children fill in: my favourite sahabah/sahabia)
-My duas (Children fill in: Dua I am learning – Date)
-My goals inshaAllah (Children fill in: Deeds that I intend to do for the sake of Allah)
-A pocket at the back to hold additional pages.
Each section has its own colour and the quality is just ‘mashaAllah’. I think R is going to have a lot of fun using this and filling in all of the above sections at various points during the year. I think I will encourage her to fill in the above sections after discussing Islamic manners, reading a story from the Quran or just after a trip somewhere. I think I might buy one per year inshaAllah. It is a good keepsake and interesting to see how the child would fill in the above sections at different stages in his/her life. I would highly recommend buying this for your children.
Islamic Card Making Kit
And finally we have the card making kit. Very very very nice. The card making kit comes in a box which stores printed envelopes, printed cards and stickers to decorate the cards. The cards and envelopes have a kind of landscape print on them so that the children can create pictures with the different stickers based on the landscape. Stickers include greetings in Arabic and English such as Eid Mubarak, JazakhaAllahu khairan etc, various pictures. There are 180 stickers, 18 envelopes and 18 cards. Very good quality mashaAllah. I think R will be sending a couple of these to her penpals! I really like this. Wonder if the sister could design some for adults. Although, this card set could be used by adults too I think.
The sister also sells a charity shop game which I am gutted we didn’t get to review as based on the quality of her other products, I’m sure it would have been a brilliant game as well as teaching the importance of sadaqa.
To conclude this review, I am very impressed with the quality of these products. I find that a lot of the Islamic products out there are of very poor quality. But this sister has really excelled in the quality and presentation mashaAllah as well as teaching very important Islamic values. Do visit her website inshaAllah. http://www.smartark.com
I hope this review was helpful. If you have any questions about the products, just leave a comment inshaAllah.