My son is an active and engaging three-year-old with tons of energy. We spend a lot of time outside. On days we can’t go outside (or when we need a break from imagining new stories for the toys in the toy box), we need to do something with all of that energy. With that in mind, I’ve built a small collection of ideas from Pinterest. They help focus my son’s (and my) energy into something productive, fun, and sometimes messy. In short: I’m in the season of being a Pinterest Mom.
I didn’t used to identify as a Pinterest Mom. I didn’t feel like I fit the image of a mom whose crafts always turned out and whose kids were engaged in the projects she chose. You know, the picture-perfect wins you’ve seen while scrolling through Instagram? But I’ve always been a crafter. Pinterest is where I find many of the crafts and indoor activities we try each week.
When I search Pinterest for activities, I go for simple projects with easy-to-follow instructions. If something looks too complicated, has too many steps, or if I can’t figure out how they got to the finished product? I skip it. I also typically avoid activities that involve a lot of extra shopping – that’s time we could spend making an art project or digging in our sensory bin! I’ve found that the simpler the activity, the more fun we have with it because, well, it’s relatively hard to mess up
Some of our favorite activities are the simplest ones, like painting with ice or cotton balls. I like crafts like these because they are hard to mess up, and the fun factor is really high. Sure, they can be messy, but the mess is part of the fun!
If we don’t want to do a craft, I look for sensory bin ideas using dry pasta, rice, or even pompom balls. We also love to bury toy cars in dry pasta and use scoops and measuring cups to dig them up. The puzzle hunt sensory bin activity is a favorite of ours, and is so easy to do with dry pasta if your little one isn’t ready to dig around in rice.
I also keep my searches specific. A few weeks ago, I wanted to make an empty oatmeal canister into a drum. After failing to get paper to stick to the container using double-sided tape, I turned to Pinterest and searched “oatmeal container drum” and discovered that I should have been using washable craft glue. One hour and countless stickers later? We had a drum! If I don’t know what I want to make with something like toilet paper tubes, I look it up, along with how I want to use it, and my son’s age. So I may search for “toilet paper tube crafts for preschoolers,” and go from there.
This doesn’t guarantee that the projects work out for us. Most of the time they do, but we have our share of Pinterest fails. The wins go up on the wall or get sent to family and friends. The fails? Well… sometimes they’re hilarious, and sometimes they end up in the garbage after bedtime. No shame there.
My son loves to draw, color, and create new things, and I love to facilitate it. I often joke with friends that if they want to try a messy craft they should just come over. Cleaning paint off the table or vacuuming up rice that spilled from the sensory bin are things I don’t mind. Seeing my son and his friends have fun and stretch their imaginations brings me joy.
At this point in time, I can’t imagine not having as many arts and craft supplies as toys in the house. (Seriously – we have a marker problem. And a crayon problem. And probably a construction paper problem.) Making things from Pinterest sparks joy for me, but if it doesn’t for you, I promise, I’m not judging you for it. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s the season I’m in right now. I hope that sharing how I use Pinterest can help you dive into this often-overwhelming tool.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go search Pinterest for what to do with all of the plastic Easter Eggs we acquired in April. I should be able to make them into something, right?
Are you in a Pinterest season, too?