The Best Kids Activities of 2014

The Kid Blogger Network is a group of nearly 900 bloggers whose focus is children. The group is comprised of both small, modest yet growing blogs, like the one you’re reading right now, as well as big blogs which are a fantastic resource to all who read them. The one thing every blog in the Kid Blogger Network has in common is that they are good.

The Best of KBN 2014

With an estimated 152 million blogs on the internet today, it can be hard to weed through all the mass quantities of rubbish to find the quality. It can be hard to find the well thought out, well researched, well written. The Kid Blogger Network blogs are just that, the quality blogs.

Today I am joining with 113 other members of the Kid Blogger Network to bring you the best of the best:
The Best Kids Activities of 2014.

My contribution to this collection is my Outdoor Learning Space which you can recreate in your backyard even if you have minimal skills and minimal cash. This article has been by far my most popular to date. In less than 6 months it has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and Pinterest, so you might have seen it before. I can understand why its popular online, it is popular with my children and their friends as well. They are out there nearly everyday playing and learning.

Up-Dated Outdoor Learning Space

At the time the article went live online and ever since it was written, I’ve received a lot of questions about my outdoor learning space so I’m going to take a minute to answer some of those questions for you today.

Question: Do you leave everything up all year round?
Answer: Almost but no. I took down the glass easel before the first winter frost, I didn’t want to risk leaving it in the cold. I also bring in the fabric items about once a week to wash them but besides that, everything else is safe to leave out year round.

Question: What kind of rope did you use?
Answer: For the bucket pulleys and laundry line I used a clothesline rope. For the abacus I used a nylon kite string.

Question: Did you just tie the rope around the tree for the abacus?
Answer:  I did tie the string around the tree but then, just to be extra secure, I tied the ends of the string to screws and I screwed the screws into the trees. We’ve had a pretty nasty storm with strong wind and heavy rain and everything has held up just fine.

Question: Honestly, how annoying is the music wall?
Answer: We had a similar (yet smaller) music wall when we lived in an apartment with many neighbors in very close quarters and never received any complaints about it, in fact a couple of our neighbors complimented it. Of course they may have been bias because they had children and their children were always welcome to come over and play with it. lol Even now in a suburban area, our neighbors don’t seem bothered by it.

Question: Do your musical objects hold up when left to the elements, or will the rain pretty much rust them out in a month?
Answer: We have left our music wall out in all weather and, in two years, the only thing that has rusted is the muffin tin from Dollar Tree. Still usable even after it rusted, just not as pretty to look at.

Question:  I did a water/sand table for my oldest this past summer and it just always ended up a mess! Any suggestions on how to weather the weather for these fun ideas?
Answer: Well most everything we have has been left out in heavy storms and nothing has been damaged nor made messy. For things like empty buckets, I leave them overturned when not in use so they never fill with rain water in the first place. Rain water is often a concern in a sand box but we’ve managed to avoid that issue by filling our digging pit with dirt instead of sand, so everything drains very easily and naturally. If I was going to have a sandbox or a sand table then I would invest in a large plastic tarp to put over it at night, not just to keep the rain out but also to keep the critters out.

Question: Have you ever had any snakes or bees get into the tires?
Answer: It has been 6 months since we put all this together in our backyard, so far no bee nor snake sightings. However if those were a concern then I’d suggest some natural deterrents. Ground cinnamon, mint plants, etc..

Question: I am unsure if the jars are plastic or glass (we are plastic free in our kitchen, so our home freebies would have been glass), but kids can get really hurt outside with glass ones.
Answer: What an excellent reminder! While I do allow my children to have glass jars in the homeschool room (where they are likely sitting while handling them), all of our outdoor jars are re-purposed plastic peanut butter jars.

If you don’t have a backyard then don’t despair. I know what it is like to be limited to an apartment patio, and I have written out my best apartment patio play space ideas for you apartment dwellers.

Now, onto the rest of the best.

Below you will find picture images that you can click, it will take you directly to the post. Anything you see here is quality, tried and true. The best activities that the Kid Blogger Network had to offer in the year 2014. For you convenience, everything has been divided into three categories: crafts, educational, and parenting.

 

CRAFT:

EDUCATION:

PARENTING:

 

To pin all of the best the Kid Blogger Network has to offer, click the below image to follow the Pinterest board:
Follow MamaSmiles’s board The Best Kid Blogger Posts of 2014 on Pinterest.

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