3 Tips to add Multicultural Children’s Book Day to your School Library {Resource}

On January 27th, 2018, it will be Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I was a coHost last year for the first time and this year, I wanted to do more than just review a book.  I decided to do something on a local level and ask our elementary school librarian if we get involved. I wanted to add a few diverse books that not just my daughter, but also other kids, can see on a shelf.


Two months ago, I went in to meet her to show her a few printouts from the website and she was instantly on board. We are very fortunate to have a very diverse school, so convincing her of such an important initiative was not very difficult.


A few weeks ago, I was able to go in and use the school die cut machine to spell out the words Read Your Word, the title I wanted kids to see when they first entered the space. It’s also the hashtag used on Twitter  by hundreds of bloggers, reviewers, book publishers and authors for the big day.

Then this week I was able to go into the library and hang up the letters.

At first I thought that I was only going to get the space under the words to showcase some books.  But I soon learned that the librarian wanted books all over the library.

Another volunteer and I were handed reading lists and went off to find the books and cover the shelves.

Even single books were added in a few spots.

Now that I can add Professional  Library Stager on my LinkedIn (okay, maybe not, but image how much fun this would be as a real job?), I wanted to offer my three tips to getting your school library to support Multicultural Children’s Book Day next year:

  1. Ask.  You will be surprised at how many librarians are looking for fresh ideas to celebrate reading. Be sure to ask early so they can plan.
  2. Download. The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website if full of FREE resources to get you and your library started. No need to reinvent the wheel.
  3. Show up. Don’t give this to staff or a volunteer to do. Make sure you are there, to put in the sweat equity. Be the change you want to see.

So ask yourself, what can you do to bring more diverse books into your little corner of the world?

For those with a keen eye, you might have noticed the mosque pillow in the Read Your World photo, which is from a DIY craft project I shared after a book review.  Feel free to look up resources on 100s of children books, reviews, downloads, & DIY tutorials on the Arab world, Islam, Muslims, Muslimahs, the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), Asia, Africa, & Arab Americans by visiting the A Crafty Arab Educational and Cultural Resources page to also use.

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more.

Best of A Crafty Arab 2017 {Resource}

A Crafty Arab has had an active 2017, teaching children and adults about the Arab world.


In 2017, there were 99 Arab  posts written (100 if you count this one) and of those, 67 were DIY craft tutorials, 7 were free printables and 7 were food related.


The rest of the list is made up of 10 posts the included educational resources and the number I’m most proud of: 8 posts that were related to Arab or Muslim children’s books, either as reviews or book lists.


Here are the top 5 posts, with the most amount of traffic. for 2017.


Not surprising, the top post (almost double in traffic compared to the next post) was tied to the United States election.  Late last year, Americas elected a white supremacist sympathizer president and one of his despicable first acts was to ask for an immediate ban on all Muslims that enter America from seven countries.  I decided to use this opportunity to educate about Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen by compiling them in one post.

The second highest post was also a compilation post full of Arab and/or Islamic activities, this time listing all 30 DIY projects created for each day of Ramadan.  It’s excited to see that the 30 day Ramadan Crafts Challenge is now 7 years old and one of the most popular events on the blog.  Ramadan activities included an advent calendar, rewards, games, artwork and giving. Check out all 30 Ramadan crafts, downloads and recipes on this post.

The third highest post was a book review and a STEM tutorial about building mosque domes.  I was recently sent Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan to review.  As a co-Host of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I’m always looking for books to add to our diverse shelf.  Be on the lookout in 2018 for another book plus tutorial because I was lucky enough to be sent more than one book. In the meantime, check out our Mosque Golden Domes post.

The fourth highest post was a free printable Eid banner.  We love to make banners here on the blog because they are so easy, take very little time to create and instantly makes any room festive.  Five years ago, I made an entire Eid party set and last year I asked my online community for color options (having already creating the banner in teal).  Salmon was a hit with everyone and now that download is free Happy Eid Salmon printable.

Rounding off the list is a tutorial that teaches about the five pillars of Islam.  To be honest, this was a surprise for me.  As a paper artist, I do tend to make more paper art with my kids and was sure a paper tutorial would make the list.  But instead craft sticks sneaked in as one of the top material of choose for my readers.  This super easy and quick craft is a wonderful way to teach the 5 pillars without a lot of supplies or mess and can be found here.


Other highlights of the year include becoming a Plaid Ambassador and being asked to teach, for the sixth year in a row, at a women’s retreat. Holidays celebrated included Persian Nowruz and Arab American Heritage Month. I introduced my readers to Mariam al-Astrulabi, plus 99 Arab American Women who they should know (and most already did).


InshaAllah (An Arabic term used by both Christians and Muslims that means ‘God willing’), my daughters and I look forward to 2018 being another great year. We hope to bring you more educational posts that you can use with your children or students.  As an teacher, nothing brings me greater joy then sharing my culture in a positive way.  Shurkan (Arabic for thank you) for following along on the journey.


Please make sure you sign up for the A Crafty Arab newsletter to find out when future posts are out. Stop by my Arabic, Perisan and Urdu handmade store to purchase a unique, one of a kind card, or add a fun Arabic educational poster to any child’s life.


Stop by these other Muslimah Bloggers to see which posts made their top 5 list:

Afreen’s Kitchen
By Shahira
Ilm Student Central
Ilma Education
Multicultural Motherhood
The Imperfect Muslimah
The Lady of the House
Umm Afraz Muhammed Blog


Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more.

2017 Ramadan Crafts 30 Day Challenge Roundup {Resource}

Eid Mubarak 2017!


That is a greeting that means Blessed Eid.  Muslims are sharing it worldwide today as they celebrate Eid Al Fitr, the festival that ends the month of Ramadan.


For the past 30 days, we have made Ramadan crafts to teach about our culture and religion.  Our family started this tradition in July 2011, when I was looking for Ramadan crafts to help me teach my daughters. Our tradition has continued annually through 2012, 2013, 2014 2015 and 2016.


We hope you have learned something new and will enjoy this list of all of them together:


Basmala Beaded Square {Tutorial}

Ramadan Pull Away Calendar {Tutorial}

Salted Watercolor Mosque {Tutorial}

Ramadan Photo Booth {Tutorial}

Camel Straw Racing {Tutorial}

Ramadan Moon Sequin Art {Tutorial}

Minaret Zakat Box {Tutorial}

Khatam Date Holder {Tutorial}l}

Word Bleach Shirt {Tutorial}

Arabesque Pencil Case {Tutorial}

Salt Dough Ramadan Banner {Tutorial}

Salt Dough Ramadan Gift Tag {Tutorial}

Khatam Gift Wrap {Tutorial}

Happy Eid Salmon {Printable}

Minaret Lego Bird Feeder {Tutorial}

Eid Crayon Resist Cards {Tutorial}

Khatam Origami Magnet {Tutorial}

My First Fast Award {Tutorial}

Henna Shrinky Button {Tutorial}

Eid PopUp Card {Tutorial}

Felted Cookie Cutter Sheep {Tutorial}

Baba Accordion Card {Tutorial}

Eid Baked Rocks {Tutorial}

Eid Balloon Popup Card {Tutorial}

Eid Gift Cards {Printable} Guest Post

Laylat Al Qadr Mini Light {Tutorial}

Eid Mubarak Suncatcher {Tutorial}

Qatar Flag Bookmark {Tutorial}

Eid Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops {Tutorial}


To see all these visually, stop by the A Crafty Arab Ramadan Crafts Challenge board.