Little Big Kids – Bringing culture to your kids the fun way

By: Hyacinth Mascarenhas

In a nation filled with increasingly diverse cities, many Arab and Muslim American parents still struggle with instilling a sense of identity in their children. The difficulty is not so much due to a parent’s ability or willingness to guide their kids as much as it is the lack of quality resources available to them. This is particularly true when it comes to toys, books and other lifestyle oriented products that young children interact with on a daily basis. That is where Omar Khawaja realized the gap in the market and started Little Big Kids.

Little Big Kids is a US based company that designs and produces culturally inspired products for kids mainly centered around Islamic themes and values. The company is dedicated to incorporating beautiful Arabic and Islamic themes into common products that are an everyday part of your child’s life.

The idea for Little Big Kids came about as Khawaja and his wife Nadia were in the market for products that would help introduce their 2 year old son to the Arabic alphabet. “We got him a jigsaw puzzle so he could become familiar with the Arabic letters, but oddly enough he showed no interest in it,” said Omar. “He would much rather play with the ABC puzzle we got him from a local toy store.” Khawaja attributed his son’s reaction to what he later recognized as a wider problem: that mainstream products for kids in general are ‘beautifully illustrated, fun and engaging’ whereby in comparison the Arabic themed products lack this same charm and appeal. “Our son clearly picked up on that,” said Khawaja. “We knew then that for the new generation of Muslim American kids, the products that are meant to support and strengthen their identity should be equally as engaging as all the other mainstream products they love. Our kids should not feel different in that sense.”

Since launching in 2007, Little Big Kids has grown steadily and now boasts a wide range of products including an Arabic alphabet floor puzzle, activity placemats and the first of its kind wall clocks for kids. The company also offers free downloadable coloring pages through their newly launched website.

Customer Ghazala Rizvi says she found LBK products extremely reliable and stylish.

“If I purchase a product from Little Big Kids, then I know I am getting superb quality,” said Rizvi. “Whether you have a boy or a girl, this [wall clock] product can be used as an added decor item.”

Commenting on what we can expect from the company in the future, Khawaja would only say that the company is currently working on story books and a few mobile apps that will launch later this year, but added that “we’re only limited by the power of imagination.”

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