Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Toybox Thursday - Piggy Toes Press Crayola Wipe Off Activity Books Review & Giveaway

Have you heard of Piggy Toes Press?

Piggy Toes Press is the creator of quality pop-up, novelty, board, gift and activity books and they also offer top licensed books like Crayola, Disney, and Sesame Street. They have a fabulous selection of children's books - including touch and feel, magic ribbon books, the Brights Start Educational Series, and some of our personal favorite toddler/preschool books Ten Little Ladybugs and Eight Silly Monkeys. To see their current catalog click here.

We recently had the opportunity to review two of their Crayola write-on & wipe-off books - The Crayola Write-on/Wipe-off Book and the Crazy Colors Write-on/Wipe-off Book (recommended for ages 4+)

I was excited to have the opportunity to review these books with the Lil Divas. The pages are colorful and inviting. The book is spiral bound for easy page turning and the pages are hard so they stand up to use. 

The Crayola Alphabet Write-on/Wipe-off Book is a wonderful way to get children writing. I have been working with my 4yr old Lil Diva on her letter writing - teaching her the correct letter formation for each letter. Unfortunately, handwriting can get boring for children. Utilizing markers in fun colors on these write-on/wipe-off books definitely makes it fun. The Littlest Diva actually started toting the books around with her in the car! Even my kindergartener wanted in on the fun and it was great handwriting practice for her too.

Each page has a large Uppercase & Lowercase Letter of the alphabet with a starting point dot, dashed lines and arrows to help with proper letter formation. They also have pictures and words that begin with the target letter. All the target letters are traceable and then there are two lines at the bottom of the page to practice writing the letter on their own.

The final page of the book offers a complete traceable ABC review/practice.

Crayola Alphabet ABC Wipe-Off Book

a fun way to practice handwriting

The Crazy Colors Write-on/Wipe-off Book is 24 pages of pure fun that helps review colors and color words too! There are two colorful & vibrantly illustrated pages dedicated to each color - blue, red, green, lime-green, yellow, pink, purple, orange, brown, black and gray. One page has the child circle the things are the target color and the second page has  fun activity. These pages were definitely the Lil Divas favorite part of the book. The activities they offer include drawing a face that looks like your dad or friend, simple mazes, drawing flowers, shape counting & number writing, connect the dots, differentiating same vs. different, and even drawing toppings on a pizza. 

Crayola Crazy Colors Wipe-Off Book

Colors review & fun activities too

Both Lil Divas really enjoyed these books. They have been used many times and often travel with them in the car for easy fun on the go.

The Lil Divas enjoy their Crayola Write-On/Wipe-Off Books

I think the books are wonderful. They are very easy to clean/erase - we use a napkin on the go & it wipes off perfectly. They offer fun activities, educational review and some artistic fun.

I really appreciate that The Lil Divas can work with them independently.  After the initial explanations they have not needed my help, making this a wonderful on the go, independent activity. They are easy to manage for little hands - the spiral bound pages are easy to turn, the wipe-off pages are simple to erase and the pages offer visual clues that really help them figure out what to do with little to no adult reading required.

 These books have been sanity savers over the past few weeks - keeping my Littlest Diva happily occupied in the car line as we wait to pick up her big sister from school. They have been a welcome addition to our book collection.


Buy It: 
at Piggy Toes Press website. (Retail Price = $8.95)

Win It
 has graciously agreed to giveaway
to One (1) lucky Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Reader!

How to Enter:
**Contest ends on 9/15/11**
 One (1) lucky Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas reader
(US Residents Only!) is going to receive:
Their choice of either The Crayola Alphabet Write-on/Wipe-off Book or

Mandatory Entry
Tell me which one of the two Crayola Write-on/Wipe-off books from Piggy Toes Press I reviewed you would like to win - Crayola Alphabet Write-on/Wipe-off Book or Crazy Colors Write-on/Wipe-off Book
Please include your email with your comment so that I can find you if you're our winner!
**Mandatory Entry must be completed for extra entries to count**

Extra Entries (Optional)
Please leave a seperate comment
for each entry &
please include your e-mail
so I can get back to you if you win! 

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    #Win @piggytoespress Crayola Wipe-off Book w/@Momto2PoshDivas ends 9/15   #giveaways #homeschool #books #preschool
Giveaway Rules:
Giveaway ends 9/15/2011 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.
Please note any entries that can not be verified will be disqualified.


DisclaimerI received The ABC's & Crazy Colors Crayola Write-on/Wipe-off Books for free from Piggy Toes Press 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,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday 8/31 w/Linky - Mommy, What's in the Box?

Mommy, Mommy!

Look! Look!


What's in the box Mommy?

How she FIT in there!


Happy to be FREE!

Kids LOVE boxes!

Love my lil mischief makers!

Now it's your turn -
link up your Wordless/Wordish Wednesday

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Kissing Hand: Keepsake Craft, Math, Nocturnal Animals & Cookies

One of the stories we have focused on during our Back to School theme is The Kissing Hand by Audrey  Penn. I LOVE this story as both a teacher an a mom because it lovingly touches on the fears children have when starting school and the Mom who needs that extra kiss while letting her baby go.

We read the story the night before the Lil Divas started school and I gave each of my babies a kiss on the palm of their hand to take with them the next day. My Oldest Diva fell asleep with her palm closed - holding my kiss tight. :)

The next day, after both Lil Divas had been to school we talked about how they felt that morning. I knew I wanted to capture their feelings and that moment so we worked on a simple keepsake craft.

Craft: First Day of School Handprint Keepsake 

What You Need:
construction paper

What To Did:

1. Let each child trace their handprint (assist younger children)

tracing their hands - they've gotten so good at doing it themselves!

I LOVE their little handprints!

2. Cut out handprints - great scissor practice for those that can do it themselves.

scissor practice

3. cut out a small heart shape

paper heart cutting

4. Glue hand onto paper w/heart in palm. I made a simple template for the Lil Divas handprints. They had to write their name and how they felt on the first day of school (see template in photo below).

A Lil Diva Kissing hand - my favorite kind

I am going to keep these with a few pictures of the Lil divas on their first day of school - a wonderful memento!

I also found some great Kissing Hand/Raccoon Themed Math Printables from Play 2 Learn Printables

The Littlest Diva worked on a clothespin count where she had to count the number of kissing hands and pin the correct number.

clothespin number recognition

The Oldest Diva worked on some basic addition problems. She had to cut out and glue the correct number of raccoons and kissing hands (depicted in the addition problem) and then count them to get the answer to the problem.

addition fun

Science: Nocturnal vs Diurnal Animals Sort

I found a great printable of nocturnal and diurnal animals from Spell Outloud. I laminated the photos, cut them apart and we played an animal sorting game - categorizing the animals into nocturnal and diurnal animals. I was amazed and impressed with how many the Oldest Diva knew - she only got 1 wrong out of the 12 and it was because she couldn't figure out what was in the photo.

nocturnal vs diurnal animal sort

Snack: Kissing Hand Cookies

Kissing Hand Cookies

As soon as I saw these  Hand Shaped Cookie Cutters at Michaels ($.99) I knew we had to make Kissing Hand cookies!! I had seen them on various sites and blogs online and the Lil Divas and I were extremely excited to whip up a batch at home.

You will need a hand shaped cookie cutter recipe like these:

Here's the Sugar Cookie Recipe I used for the cookies & we added Hershey's Kisses Hugs to the palm as the kiss - so cute & the Lil Divas enjoyed making them!

My Lil Bakers

Have you read the Kissing Hand with your child or class? What fun have you had with it?


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Help Your Child Have a Successful & Positive Back to School Experience!

Wow, I can hardly believe it's Back to School time already! The Lil Divas are in their 2nd week of school and I'm sure many of you are in "Back to School Prep Mode" so I thought this was the perfect time to share some tips on how to have a successful transition back to school from those lazy and carefree days of summer.

Getting the school year off to a good start can influence a child's attitude, confidence, and performance. Yet, that transition from August to September/Summer to School can be difficult, and not only for children/students - but for parents as well. 

So, how can we get everyone back into school mode easily? I have taken my 12+ years of teaching experience and come up with this handy list of the Top 10 things that can help make Back to School a painless & positive experience for both children and parents.

1. Re-establish bedtime routines - Preferably a few weeks before school starts begin to gradually adjust bedtimes. Over the summer break we tend to let kids stay up later, engage in activities later at night than we normally and wake up later than usual. It is important to make sure children are well rested when school starts and the best way to ensure this is to get them to bed early and start waking up at the time they would need to be up for school a few weeks prior to the start of school. Adjust bedtimes 15 minutes or so at a time every few days until you reach the desired bedtime. When school starts - getting kids to bed will be easy because they will be used to the nighttime routine already!

2. Turn off the television, limit toys & play and set aside some daily quiet time when children can read, practice skills such as writing, cutting, coloring, etc. Even if it's only for 20-30 minutes a day this will help get kids focused and ready to spend some time engaged in  school activities.

3. If possible visit the school with your child before the 1st day - this is especially crucial for preschoolers and kindergarteners just starting school or children entering a new school. The unknown is scary for all of us. Letting children get a feel for their new school will help ease some of their uneasiness.

4. Brainstorm lunches (if you pack them!) - let children have a say in what will be packed so that they are more apt to want to eat them. (More on this in a future post as well)

5. DO NOT OVER SCHEDULE! We all want our children to be well rounded and while extra curricular activities can be fabulous - too many can also be draining on everyone. Children should not be running from place to place after school - it becomes too much. Setting limits on after school activities is essential. 

6. Give yourself EXTRA Time - Do as much prep work the night before as possible. For example, pick out & iron clothes, pack lunches and give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning in case anything unforeseen comes up.

7. Be positive - many children are nervous, anxious and worried about starting school. As parents, it is important to be the voice of calm and reason - to be positive and encouraging in the face of their fears. Let your child voice their concerns and address any valid issues. We are our children's first line of defense and they need to know that they can discuss anything with us.

8. Set aside a quiet place for homework in your house - Children need to be able to think and focus on their homework. Even if you do not have the room to set aside a homework space you can set aside a quiet time for homework. This should be followed by all family members - keep younger siblings engaged in quiet activities to minimize distractions and enforce a NO TV rule during this time. 

9. Be involved - be sure to check your child's backpacks, folders and school correspondence nightly. This will ensure you don't miss any important school notices, meetings or teacher notes. Remember it is important to also check your child's homework nightly.

10. Volunteer - be an active part of your child's classroom and education. Even if you can not volunteer in the classroom many teachers have opportunities for you to help from home (cutting, stapling, etc). This shows your child you are hands-on with their education and care about what is happening in their classroom. If you can volunteer in the classroom or attend field trips - do it! Younger children LOVE having their parents help out and it's a great way to see first hand how the classroom is run and how your child interacts with their teacher and fellow students.

I hope this list is helpful to you & I wish everyone a fabulous school year!

If you're looking for books to help calm those First Day Jitters check out my list of Favorite Back to School Books for Preschool thru 1st Grade.

and don't forget to follow my Back to School Ideas Pinterest Board 
for even more great activities, resources and ideas!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Sunday Showcase Child Centered Linky Party 8/28/11 - Share Your Child Centered fun!

The SUnday Showcase
Welcome to the Fabulous Sunday Showcase -
where we showcase YOU!

We feel confident in saying that this linky is always full of amazing ideas so be sure to check out what your fellow bloggers have linked-up.
You will be inspired, awed and ready to create!

If you are here for the first time please take a moment to read
our informational post for full details -
we like to think this is a relaxed linky but there are a few guidelines.

Anything kid friendly and/or child centered is welcome!

We do not accept links for giveaways, shops, or downloads for purchase, etc. They will be deleted & we do monitor our links.

If you're linking up with us - please visit some of your fellow bloggers!
We ALL love comments, encouragement, feedback, etc.

One of your 2 Hostesses (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and/or Classified:Mom)
will be visiting & commenting on your shared link(s) -
we always appreciate your comment love too!


Here are this week's Showcase Features
(chosen from last week's amazing entries)

Maggy from Red Ted's Art Blog showed us how to sew
with kids and make a Nature Pouch

Christina from The Only Thing Pink in a World Gone Blue 
completed a unit on Desert Habitats

Life in the Unknown shared an awesome cardboard box airplane

I Heart Crafty Things shared this amazing
Eric Carle inspired Marbleized Seahorse

Toddler Approved! made a fun Letters/Name Twister Game

If you have been featured, grab a button you deserve it!

The Sunday Showcase Feature

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Milk Carton School Bus
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Milk Carton School Bus 
To celebrate Back to School we made this simple milk carton school bus using some recyclables (milk carton & bottle caps), paper, paint, markers and foam stickers!

Classified: Mom
Japanese Hand Fans
You can decorate your Japanese fan with traditional symbols. Today we created a triptych using three pieces of paper to tell a story that has a beginning, middle and end.

Thank you for linking up with us!
Aimee (Classified:Mom) & Bernadette (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)

Back to School Fun - Milk Carton School Bus Craft

Since the Lil Divas started school this week I thought it would be fun to make a school bus. None of the Lil Divas actually ride a school bus but it's such a typical bac to school symbol and both of the Lil Divas are intrigued by them.

What You Need:
1/2 gallon milk carton
4 bottle caps 
white construction paper
black construction paper
hot glue gun
glue sticks
foam letter stickers
foam circle shape stickers
yellow paint

What We Did:

1. paint milk carton bright yellow - we used 2 coats w/drying time in between

2. cut out 2 strips of white construction paper (bus windows) and fold into thirds. Draw lines at folds to make windows and draw a person in each window.

3. Glue on decorated window strips onto each side of bus.

bus w/decorated window strips

4. Add strip of black construction paper under windows and affix foam letters spelling SCHOOL to each side.

Bus w/window & SCHOOL label

5. cut small circle (large enough to cover opening of carton), decorate with face (bus driver) and affix using hot glue gun (adult or w/supervision)

6. Add bottle cap wheels using hot glue gun (adult or w/supervision)
Affix foam circles as headlights & write word SCHOOL on top

Lil Divas w/their completed School Bus

*If doing this in a classroom you can take pictures of the kids to put in the windows - it would make a great Welcome/Back to School small group project.*

Books We Read:

What Back to School crafts have you enjoyed lately?