Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Our Attempt at (Modified) Screen Free Week

Have you heard?
April 30th thru May 6th is Screen Free Week!

Let me just admit that the thought of going completely Screen Free is

When you think about how much we do on the computer each day,
I knew I couldn't go 100% Screen Free but........
if I am also going to be 100% honest,
I do spend way too much time on the computer!

So, in honor of Screen Free Week I have decided to make some changes
that I know will benefit my family, free up quite a bit of my time 
& get me focused on what is directly in front of me versus on the web.

Here are my 
Screen Free Week Goals:

1. Be Screen Free when I am with my kids! - I am so guilty of checking email, Facebook & Twitter for a quick minute from my laptop, phone, etc throughout the day. Of course, it never really lasts one quick minute does it? The internet is a time suck for me (is it that way for you too?) - I get pulled in & time passes around me. I vow to be 100% present with my kids this week, everything else can wait.

2. No TV for the girls - I am not against television (I LOVE my TV actually) but it's nice to break away from it and spend time engaged in activities that will get us talking, interacting, etc. This week we will play board games, play outdoors more, read, craft and just spend time together. I figure I will take their lead so it should be interesting! 

3. Limit MY Screen Time - This is going to be a big one for me! My nights typically involve me sitting in bed with my shows on and my laptop on my lap (does this scenario sound familiar?) as I work on blog posts, catch up on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc........ the list goes on and on doesn't it! I am up till the wee hours of the morning because I never let myself simply relax and get sleepy. So this week I am limiting my time to no more than 2 hrs at night (my goal is to actually keep it at 1 hr but I am being realistic & know that will be difficult for me). I hope to catch up on some books that I've been meaning to read for ages, spend time with my husband, get some more sleep than I usually do and just have some time to relax! I definitely do NOT do those things enough! (Do you?)

I figured just doing these 3 things would add up to some big changes for us and that's the main goal behind screen free week. So although, I won't be 100% Screen Free (I have some commitments I need to keep for the girls school and some work that I need to get done so it just isn't possible) I expect the week will be filled with lots of family time, hopefully some "ME" time and some much needed relaxation. My life has been very fast paced lately and I have been feeling tired, stressed out and incredibly overwhelmed. I am hoping this week will give me a bit of much needed respite from all that.

Will you be taking part in Screen Free Week?
I'd love to hear what you will be doing (or should I say NOT doing)
and how you are making it work for you?

Need some ideas for what to do 
with the kids during Screen Free Week?

Well, you are definitely at the right place :)
We have tons of fun inspiration here! Check out our -

I will still be posting this week so don't fret!  I will be sharing some awesome (prescheduled) reviews and amazing giveaways/sweepstakes with you in honor of my birthday.  I couldn't just leave you hanging like that, could I? I worked hard this weekend to get posts done ahead of time (that's rare for me). So be sure to continue stopping by as our little blog won't be asleep for the week. I am just trying to find more of a balance which I think is essential, don't you? 


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Montessori Services True-to-Life Human X-Rays (Review & Sweepstakes)

This week I will be bringing you some fab reviews and giveaways
in honor of my birthday (I turned 36 last week! Where do the years go?)

I am kicking things off with a fabulous product that was sent to us
from an equally fabulous company - Montessori Services.

If you haven't checked out Montessori Services I honestly recommend you visit their site (they are also on Facebook). It really is chock full of wonderful resources (for both parents & educators) which encourage education, exploration/discovery, creativity and play.  I have used their products in the classroom & now use them at home with the Lil Divas and have had great success in both environments. 

Today, I am going to share our experience with these awesome

Our local science museum has similar x-rays as part of a hands-on display and I have been eyeing them for ages.  I was excited to finally get a set at home for our personal use that we could play & learn with. 

My Lil Dias enjoy puzzles, so I thought this would be something they would find inviting & I was correct. We took apart the pieces and laud them out on our large floor mat and the Lil Divas got right to work. It was wonderful to see them working cooperatively and helping each other. 

The x-rays each have a small photo "hint" printed on them so the experience wasn't frustrating for them being that this was the first time they were attempting to put together a human skeleton, piece by piece.

We reinforced left and right, using a diagram for clues and discussed the names for the bones. It was such a wonderful activity to engage in together and a great way to learn more about the human body. 

Once we had the skeleton put together, the Lil Divas wanted to compare themselves to it. They lay down beside it and we discussed who was larger and smaller. They compared their hands, feet and head size to the x-rays. 

Then I got the idea to mention a specific bone and have them find it and place it against their body in the correct place. They had quite a bit of fun with this and it was an easy way to learn more about bone names.

We played for a long time with the x-rays, much longer than I expected to. Isn't it great when things take on a life of their own like this? I am sure there is tons more we can do with this. I wish we had a light table - what a great way to explore the x-rays, like doctors do! I can see us including these into our pretend play (maybe hang them onto our windows so the light shines through).

This is the kind of product that would be great both at home or school. It would have been fabulous to have when I taught first grade and we learned about the human body! The kids would have really enjoyed working on this is small groups, it would have been a great science learning center.

The Human X-Rays are super easy to clean up and storage is a snap because they fit right into their envelope, which is compact. Just put them away & store until the next time you are ready to play.

Now that I have shared our experience with the True-to-Life Human X-Rays with you, are you ready to enter to win a set of your own? The generous people over at Montessori Services are giving a set away to one (1) lucky Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas reader! 

Enter to win: 
1 (set) of True-to-Life Human X-Rays 
(retail value $24.95)
from Montessori Services

*Open to US & Canada* 
*Sweepstakes ends Sunday, May 13, 2012*

How to Enter:
Simply tell me why you would like to win the True-to-Life Human X-Rays and/or how you would use them. 

Extra Entries:
(Please leave a separate comment for each one.)
  1. Follow Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Publicly via Google Friend Connect  
  2. Follow Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Google+ 
  3. Follow Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas on Facebook
  4. Follow Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas on Twitter
  5. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a link - (can be done 1x a day)                                  Tweet: #Win True-to-Life Human X-Rays w/@Momto2PoshDivas & Montessori Services  Ends 5/13/12 #giveaway #education 
Giveaway Rules:
Giveaway ends 5/13/2012 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 above product to use & share our personal experience. That being said, this review is my 100% honest opinion of the product - I  was not paid for my review or my opinions! They are 100% mine! Please remember that your opinions and tastes might differ from ours. 


Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Sunday Showcase - Sharing the BEST Child Centered Ideas on the Web

Welcome to
  The Sunday Showcase -
are the STARS of the show!
  The SUnday Showcase

This linky is always full of so many amazing child centered ideas!
We invite you to hop around & check out
what your fellow bloggers have linked-up.
You will leave here inspired and ready to create, play & have fun!

If you are here for the first time please read
our informational post for the full details.
Here's the quick cheat sheet version -
this is a fun & relaxed linky with a few simple guidelines.
Anything kid friendly and/or child centered is welcome!

You are welcome to share more than one post,
but we don't accept links for giveaways, 
shops, or downloads for purchase, etc. They will be deleted.

If you're linking up we do encourage you
to visit some of the other link-ups!
Everyone appreciates comments, encouragement, feedback, etc.

Your 2 Hostesses (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and/or Classified:Mom)
try to visit & comment on link(s) as much as we can.
We also share some on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. 
We aim to spread the love &
we appreciate you joining in and sharing with us here!

Please note that by linking up you are giving us permission to use a photo (with proper link to you!) in our featured section!  If you prefer not to be featured comment below or e-mail me.
The Showcase Features:
(taken from last week's posts)
The "most clicked" link:
The Next Generation Homeschooler's 
Body & 5 Senses Unit

A Few of Our Favorites:
Creekside Learning shared
10 Ways to Read More to Your Child

Repeat Crafter Me made a fabulous
DIY Earth Themed Felt Counting Book

Reading Confetti had messy fun with
Fly Swatter Painting (we need to do this soon!)

Preschool Universe offered up a 

Let Kids Create has a great tutorial on

If you have been featured, grab a button you deserve it!
The Sunday Showcase Feature

From your 2 Hostesses:

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas:
15 Ways to Promote Proper Letter Formation & 
Encourage Handwriting Practice

Classified Mom: 

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Play to Learn: Musical Alphabet Game for Preschool

Reviewing the alphabet and teaching letter sounds can get tedious if you are always doing it the same way. I am always trying to come up with new ways to keep learning fun, active and relevant for my preschooler.

My daughter enjoys games and she loves to sing and dance so I knew she would have a great time playing MUSICAL ALPHABET (similar to Musical Chairs) and it would be a fun way to practice letter recognition and test her phonological awareness of the corresponding letter sounds.

It's a quick & easy,  no fuss game - which are my favorite! If it doesn't require a lot of prep or materials, then we are more likely find time to play. Here's how we play -

1.  Write the letters of the alphabet on large index cards, card stock or construction paper.
2. Arrange them in a large circle on the floor, in mixed up order.
3. Turn on some music and have child dance around the circle.

4. When the music stops, child must stop. Child must identify the letter they stopped near, provide the sound it makes and share at least one word that begins with that sound.
5. Continue until all letters and sounds have been reviewed.

I even got the Oldest Diva involved in the game. She was in charge of the music and she also monitored the Littlest Diva's responses. She enjoyed being in a position of authority.  The Littlest Diva had a blast dancing around and playing.

I LOVE when you can sneak in some learning like this and they don't even realize they are actually learning while playing.  :)

This can easily be played in small groups & adapted to a school setting.

Have fun practicing the alphabet!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Play to Learn: 15 Ways to Encourage Letter Formation & Handwriting Practice

My preschooler will be a kindergartener in just a few months!
(This is causing serious pangs to my mommy heart!)
I want to make sure she is well prepared,
with a solid foundation on which to build, grow & learn.

I have been spending some time reviewing the alphabet with her -
focusing on letter identification (upper & lower case recognition), 
letter formation (handwriting) & 
phonetic awareness of letter sounds.

There are so many ways you can make this fun for kids 
by incorporating fun materials, 
making it hands-on and/or active (kids love to move & get physical!)
or just turning it into a game (I find kids learn so much through play!)

I have been meaning to share some of the ways I explore the alphabet with my girls with you.
Today, I am going to share some fun ways to teach 
& encourage proper letter formation!

15 Ways to Encourage 
Letter Formation 
Handwriting Practice

1. Shaving Cream Writing

2. Salt or Sugar Writing

3. Paint in a Ziploc Baggie

4. Tactile Letter Formation -
use things like cotton balls, macaroni, stickers, beads, beans & more

5. Wikki Stix Letter Formation
you can also use pipe cleaners, cooked spaghetti

6. Craft Stick Letter Formation
This doesn't work for all letters but it's fun to do with the ones that work.

7. Foam Letter Puzzles
cut basic foam shapes that correspond to block letters
and they can be used to make the alphabet

8. Letter Puzzles
color & cut block letters into puzzle pieces

9. Playdough Letters

10. Whiteboard Letter Writing

11. Water Writing on Chalkboard

12. Fingerprint Letter Writing

13.  Dot Marker Letters

14.  Cookie Cutter Letter Stamping

15. Formal Paper & Pencil Practice
to make it more exciting I let them use gel pens, 
markers, sharpies, colored pencils, smencils, etc.

Have fun practicing writing those letters!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rainy Day Puddle Jumping Fun!

Rainy Days 
Puddle Jumping Days!

Puddle Jumping = Giggling, Happy Kids
& wonderful memories made together!

It's so worth the wet, soggy clothes!

Next time there's a puddle in your path,
Go for it!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Craft: Easy Kid's Pinwheel!

Spring makes me think of kites, bubbles, windsocks and 
of course PINWHEELS!

We have never made our own pinwheels,
so this Mama felt it was time we remedied that.

What You Need:
crayons, markers or paint
pencil w/eraser

What To Do:
1. Cut your paper into a square (needs to be even on all sides)

2. Paint or color both sides of paper

3. Let fully dry

4. Cut diagonal slits along each point (4 total)
- do not go all the way to the middle, leave about 2 inches.

5. Without folding, bend every other point to the center & hold

6. Continue with all 4 points & then stick your pin right through the middle

7. Stick pin into pencil eraser
*This part should be done by an adult*

8. Blow! 

You now have a working pinwheel(s).


* Please note that since this pinwheel involves a pin, 
children should be supervised when in use
& it may not be suitable for very young children. *