Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Family Fun Friday - A Swampy Adventure w/Billie Swamp Safari

Last weekend we went on a family adventure to Billie Swamp Safari 
and we had an amazing time!

Billie Swamp Safari let's you explore 2,200 acres of
untamed Florida Everglades.

The land has been preserved by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Our first stop was the Airboat Launch.
The Airboat Trail takes you through the swamp on an airboat.

This was our first airboat ride  & we were all very excited!

Getting to experience this natural environment was amazing.
It was so fun to ride along the swamp, the breeze the boat provides definitely made it bearable on this hot & sticky FL day!

Along the way we got to see wild pigs, water buffalo,

and alligators 
(they were so close - it made me nervous but it was thrilling too!) 

We also went on a Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour.  
These buggies provide a great elevated view of the land
and were just plain fun to ride and bump along in! 

We got to see deer, bison, birds, alligators, ostrich,
horses and hogs among other things. 

This is a typical Indian hut/living space.
I can't even imagine living out there like this. Wow!

Billie Swamp Safari has various bird and reptile exhibits
as well as a few shows you can take in while you are there.

We saw the snake show and learned quite a bit about the snakes here in FL.

They also have the Swamp Critter and Bird of Prey Show and
an Alligator Wrestling Show at the Gator Pit.

During our visit Billie Swamp Safari was also hosting their

The Lil Divas got free Kids Club T-shirts (above photo)

They had a great time dancing and playing games with Radio Disney.

The Lil Divas even got to meet and touch a baby alligator!

There were bounce houses, fun crafts, face painting and
the Lil Diva's favorite - the Water Ball!

We had an amazing day & want to thank the generous people over at
Billie Swamp Safari for the amazing experience and the life-long memories!

It was a fun and adventure filled day!
This is definitely a place you will want to experience
if you live near or plan to visit South Florida!


Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets for my family & myself to attend the Swamp Kids Summer Fun Festival and experience all the attractions at Billie Swamp Safari.  That being said, this review is my 100% honest opinion of  Billie Swamp Safari. I am not paid for my reviews or opinions! They are 100% mine! Please remember that your opinions, experiences and tastes might differ from mine.

Toybox Thursday: BOB Books Sight Words Review & Giveaway

Bob Books - I Read The Whole Book!

With my oldest Diva starting Kindergarten in August (gasp!) I have been focusing on teaching her to read. We have been working on developing her phonetic skills and of course recognizing and reading sight words.

Why do we focus on teaching children sight words? It's quite simple - sight words are common words that appear again and again in children's reading material. Some sight words can be decoded using phonics (i.e. sounding them out) but some can not. Knowing these words by sight is crucial to reading fluency and ultimately aids in comprehension. 

I was drawn to BOB Books through word of mouth and online success stories. Once I looked into them and found they had been written by a teacher for her young preschool aged students - I knew I had to try them! If you do not know the BOB Story take a moment to read it. It is quite inspiring how these little books all began and how they have remained a family managed business. I have been corresponding with Lynn the eldest daughter of THE actual "Bob" behind the BOB Books and their current Managing Partner for months and she has been absolutely wonderful to work with - this speaks volumes about both the company and their products. 

Our Introduction to BOB Books:
I have successfully been using BOB Books with the Lil Divas for the past few months. We began with the Beginning Readers (Set 1) which is a great place to start with early readers. The books in this set slowly introduce new letter sounds using consistency and repetition. The set begins with four letters in the first story and gradually introduces new sounds. Each story features simple yet engaging characters/illustrations and makes use of a combination of short vowel and three-letter words in simple sentences and repetitive text.  

The Lil Divas have both had great success with these books at their own rates.  It has become part of our nighttime routine to have them read to me a BOB book each night after our mommy led storytime. The pride they feel after completing a book "on their own" is absolutely priceless! It has really sparked their desire to read and helped build their confidence.

Considering our success with the Beginning Readers we were all excited to be able to review BOB Books Sights Words Kindergarten & First Grade. It seemed they would be a natural fit with everything we are currently working on. Once I received the books I looked them over and pulled a few books focusing on sight words that the Oldest Diva has already learned in order to introduce the new sets to her. 

She was eager to read the books when I presented them to her and once again we were not disappointed. The Sight Words books contain the same characters she is used to from the Beginning Readers Set and with their consistent short vowels, simple/short stories and picture clues she can either sound out or decode most of the story which means a positive reading experience. 

About the Sight Words Books Sets:
Inside each box you'll find ten books which are each 12 pages long. The books are numbered and color coded like the other sets. All the stories are told using three and four letter words and each introduces the reader to three new sight words. The books make use of consistent short vowels, picture/context clues and simple sentences which are ideal for beginning readers. Each book set introduces young readers to 30 sight words.

The sets also include 30 double-sided sight words flash cards with sentences and illustrations from the books. The flash cards are color coded so you can easily figure out which to use with what book.  These would be great to use in games, review or offering a little extra practice of books already read.

Sight words introduced in the Kindergarten set: a, as, can, did, down, fly, get, go, goes, had, has, home, in, is, jump, look, not, off, on, over, ran, saw, see, she, some, they, to, was, went, who. 

Sight words introduced in the First Grade set: after, are, ate, before, bring, come, find, good, he, into, like, little, long, make, my, new, now, old, play, pretty, said, she, than, that, too, under, what, will, with, you.

Our Impressions:
BOB Books have really made my young readers feel confident while learning to read. The way the Sight Words Sets introduce sight words in conjunction with simple sentences utilizing short vowels, repetitive text and picture clues make for a successful reading experience. My Oldest Diva's fluency and comprehension have improved by leaps and bounds in the past few weeks and we couldn't be happier or more proud of her effort. 

Here is a short video of her reading one of the BOB Books Sight Words
Kindergarten Set books - Who? (turn up your volume!) 

I know the BOB books we have used have really made a huge difference in my Lil Divas learning to read which is why I am so excited that the generous people at Scholastic and BOB Books Publications, LLC are giving away two sets of BOB Books Sight Words Kindergarten and First Grade here on Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas blog! :)
Buy It:
Purchase BOB Books Sight Words Sets via Amazon,
Costco, your local book sellers and Educational/Teacher Stores.
Win It:
Scholastic and BOB Books Publications, LLC are giving away
two (2) sets of BOB Books Sight Words (1) Kindergarten and (1) First Grade
to Two (2) lucky Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Reader!

How to Enter:
**Contest ends on 7/21/11**
Visit BOB Books and tell me which other book set you would like to try. 

Extra Entries (Optional)
Please leave a separate comment for each entry &
please include your e-mail so I can get back to you if you win! 
*If you are already a follower please comment - that counts as 2 entries*
  1. Follow Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Publicly via Google Friend Connect (+2) leave 2 comments
  2. "Like" Bob Books on facebook 
  3. Follow Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas on Twitter  (+2) leave 2 comments
  4. Follow Bob Books on Twitter
  5. Subscribe to Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas emails  (+2) leave 2 comments
  6. Make a comment on any non-giveaway post on Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Blog and leave a link.  You can do this for up to 5 posts but please note that comment must be dated after the start date of this post - not valid on previous comments. (+2) leave 2 comment.
  7. Tweet about this giveaway & leave a link - can be done 1x a day!
  8. Tweet: #Win @BOB_Books Sight Words K & 1st Grade Sets w/@Momto2PoshDivas
    #Giveaway ends 7/21 #homeschool #reading #preschool
   Giveaway Rules:
Giveaway ends 7/21/2011 at 11:59 (PDT)
Winner will be chosen via
& contacted via email if an email is given .
Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize.
    Disclaimer: I received the BOB Books Sight Words Kindergarten & First Grade Sets for the purposes of trying them out for this review. That being said, this review is my 100% honest opinion of this product - I am not paid for my reviews or optinions! They are 100% mine! Please remember that your opinions and tastes might differ from mine.

    Good Luck,

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Mommy Dilemma - Attachment Issues: Just a Phase or Cause for Concern?

    My Oldest Diva has always been my more "high maintenance" child. As a baby we had to carry her in a sling practically all day because she would scream and cry whenever she was put down and alone. She won the crying it out war I waged because she would not stop & I could not take it.

    I had to rock her to sleep until she was almost two years old - sitting in a rocker for 30 minutes or more and then ever so gingerly moving her to her bed so as not to wake her because then it would be an hour or more to get her back to sleep. Why, she would fight sleep because she knew it meant I would put her down.

    She was a horrible sleeper - prone to waking at night in tears and fits of screams because she was scared and wanted to sleep with me. She still does this from time to time and she is now 5.

    As a child, she would cry whenever she was left in the care of others. I felt horrible even running to the store and leaving her behind. I was essentially her prisoner, until she got a little older and I got a little tougher. Of course I had to because her sister came along & I just didn't have the same amount of time or energy to deal with it all. She had to share me with her sister and I had to leave her with others sometimes - there was no way around it if I had to work, etc. She accepted it, although grudgingly, and was still prone to tears but they would thankfully cease after awhile making it more bearable for all of us.

    Of course we dealt with lots of different issues - like I said she is my "high maintenance" child. She was prone to tantrums - loud, dramatic and frequent. She disliked her car seat, shopping carts & her stroller. She did everything on her own terms - like potty training, learning the alphabet & how to write her name. There is so rushing her - if she does not want to do something, she will not do it.

    So, this child whom I love dearly is starting Kindergarten in August and I am worried. Why? She is starting to display the very same behaviors all over again. She cries when I go somewhere without her. Gives me a hard time at night - waking in the middle of the night and not wanting to sleep in her room.

    I'm worried about how she will adjust to being in school all day on her own. She already cries when we talk about kindergarten. She talks about not having her friends in the same school and has mentioned more than a few times that she doesn't want to go. I am trying to make her feel excited rather than apprehensive about it, reminding her how fun it will be and explaining that all the kids will be new to the school just like her because it is just opening up.  I remind her how proud I am of her and how happy I am that she is going to kindergarten and will be my "big girl".

    Yet, I feel a bit clueless and a whole lot of helpless as to how to really help her. I love that she loves and needs me but I do not want to be her crutch. I want her to feel safe and secure both with and without me.  So, the million dollar question is - How do I do that?

    Or, am I worried about nothing? Is this all just a "really, really long" phase she is going through and will simply outgrow?  (fingers crossed on that one!)


    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Wordless Wednesday 6/29 {w/linky} - Lil Divas on Swamp Safari

    Last weekend we went on a Family Adventure and experienced a whole different side of FL that we hadn't seen up close before - the Swampy Everglades via airboat courtesy of Billie Swamp Safari!

    Here's a sneak peek (full post on our adventure coming Friday):


    Now it's your turn! Link-up & Share your WW pics:

    Clicking & Flipping Fun w/The Very Clumsy Click Beetle

    During our Eric Carle themed week we read The Very Clumsy Click Beetle (this would also go with a bug/insect theme). This was another Eric Carle book I had not yet read with the Lil Divas but was anxious to expose them to. Why? I love the simple and straight forward message of the story about not giving up - to keep working, trying and practicing and you will succeed. :)

    I also had plans of making our own fun & interactive click beetles - I just knew they would be a hit with the Lil Divas and I was right!

    Craft: Easy & Fun Clicking & Flipping Click Beetles

    What You Need:
    white oval template tracer for older children or cut-out for younger children
    markers/crayons/colored pencils for decorating
    Tacky Glue
    wooden clothspin
    wiggly eyes

    What To Do:
    1. Have child trace oval shape onto white paper - for younger child you can either assist or do this step yourself

    2. Decorate oval (click beetle's body) as desired

    3. cut-out shape - this is great fine-motor practice!

    4. Add wiggly eyes using tacky glue (or use a glue gun). This helps to ensure they will not fly off during all your flipping fun! Of course, you can just draw them on but we LOVE our wiggly eyes.

    5. Attach wooden clothspin to underside of click bettle/oval. The closer to the edge of the body the easier it is to click & flip - we learned this the hard way when my youngest was adamant about having hers more in the middle & it is harder to flip - though it does still work!

    6. Have fun clicking & flipping your click beetles! The Lil Divas enjoyed doing this along with the click beetle in the story as we re-read the book.

    *Just as in the story - sometimes the click beetle lands on his back and other times he lands on his feet!*

    Linking to STartSharing Time,  Get Crafty,  Read, Explore, Learn , For the Kids Friday,  Preschool CornerFeed Me Books Friday  , Fun for Kids Friday , It's Playtime , Made by Little Hands Monday Creative Juice Thursday and Monday Playdate.

    P.S. Be sure to add your Eric Carle themed ideas to the linky: