Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top 10 Activities for Kids in 2014

Well, 2014 zipped by. It was definitely a memorable year, not just on the blog. So in case you missed out on the excitement that And Next Comes L brought your way in 2014, then here's a handy dandy recap (along with some ever-so-delightful commentary) of the ten most popular activities for kids in 2014.

Quiet books, sensory play ideas, and homemade toys for kids {Top 10 Posts of 2014 at And Next Comes L}

1. Quiet Books: A Guide to Making One of Your Own - This post has been, and likely always will be, the most popular post on my blog. It provides lots of tips on how to make your own quiet books, including links to all of my quiet book pages. If you're more of a visual person, then check out my Quiet Books Landing Page to see all the pages at a glance.

Quiet book guide from And Next Comes L

2. Simple Toddler Busy Box Idea - Ah yes, the choking hazard activity that soared into the top 10 just in the month of December (thanks to Toddler Approved sharing it on her Facebook page). Instead of people being respectful of my ability to know my children best, this activity caused people to state the obvious ("CHOKING HAZARD!") multiple times or to turn just plain harsh and evil. I was called a "dimwit," told that social services should be involved, and a bunch of other delightful comments. So if you are concerned about the materials used, then obviously pick something that you would be comfortable with. No need to judge my parenting skills. And besides, this busy box has entertained both of my children for multiple hours while they were toddlers. A complete win in my book!

Simple toddler busy box idea from And Next Comes L

3. 18 Homemade Toys Made from Dollar Store Items - Frugal and easy are what makes these 18 homemade toys a win! Each toy on this list can be made from dollar store items and will only cost you $10 or less to make.

18 homemade toys for kids from And Next Comes L

4. Sensory Play Guide: How to Dye Sensory Bin Materials - Who doesn't love a good, colorful sensory bin filler?! I know that I can't resist them myself. Oh yeah, the kids love them too! Well, if you have ever wondered how to dye rice, oats, beans, eggshells, barley, and more, then this list will help guide you to the right place.

How to dye sensory materials from And Next Comes L


5. DIY Color Blocks - Oh, my beloved DIY color blocks. Sigh. I'm terribly proud of these color blocks and I love them to pieces. Unfortunately, this tutorial is also the most copied and stolen. The tutorial has been stolen numerous times and reposted elsewhere without permission. It has caused a fair share of heartache and frustration. However, the other day I came across a quote that I like to remind myself of when it comes to this color blocks tutorial:

"I don't care that they stole my idea...I care that they don't have any of their own." - Nikola Tesla. 

But still, how hard is it to credit the original tutorial with a link back to the post. So if you like them, please link back to my tutorial. Thank YOU! Okay, end of rant. You just want to know how to make them right?! They're super duper easy. I promise.

DIY color blocks tutorial from And Next Comes L

6. Rainbow Oats: How to Dye Oats for Sensory Play - Rainbow oats are one of my favorite things. They make me happy. And they're so pretty, right?

How to dye oats for sensory play from And Next Comes L

7. Homemade Stretchy Resistance Bands - The easiest sewing project you will ever tackle are these homemade stretchy bands. Ridiculously fun to play with too! J and K will show you the many ways in which we play with them.

Homemade stretchy resistance bands tutorial from And Next Comes L

8. Edible Sludge Sensory Play - I'm actually surprised to see this edible sludge in the top 10 of 2014. At the same time, I'm happy to see it here because it has some of my absolute favorite photos ever! That's why the post itself is a little picture heavy. Ha! This sensory play idea was also huge for me because it was the first of many messy posts to push me outside of my comfort zone.

Edible sludge sensory play from And Next Comes L

9. Four Music Games for Toddlers & Preschoolers - Another year in the top 10 posts, this list of music games for toddlers and preschoolers continues to be popular. My favorite is the xylophone color matching game. Which one is your favorite?

4 music games for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

10. Free Printable Daily Schedule - This printable schedule sure changed our daily life when we first introduced it in our home. Obviously, others have found it useful as it made it into the #10 spot of 2014's most popular posts.

Free printable daily schedule for kids from And Next Comes L

Curious what the most popular posts of 2013 were? Check out last year's top 10 posts here!
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