“Pin Wins”

So, this past summer when I was packing for China, I dedicated an ENTIRE suitcase to toys for my kids.  And, truth be told, most of those toys were really for Isla.  It seemed like SO MANY toys as I was cramming them all into the suitcase.  It seemed like even MORE toys as I was lugging that suitcase through not one, not two, but THREE international airports, before arriving in Qingdao.

However, when we arrived here, and I excitedly unpacked everything – feeling a little bit like it was Christmas morning – I found myself surprised at how few toys a suitcase full actually is, when unpacked and scattered throughout an apartment.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I know that there are children in the world with far less than my children have;  my children are truly blessed and don’t need a whole load of toys with bells and whistles and the whole nine yards. (Certainly nothing that talks or hollers on it’s own… we left those toys in Canada for a reason!!!)

But, I still felt a bit bad, watching Isla play day after day with her bath toys, alphabet blocks, and the few stuffed animals we managed to remember; (nevermind the one we actually forgot – her favourite stuffed bunny – chalk one up for the next “Mother of the Year” award!)…

 So – what’s a mama to do?  You guess it…. Pinterest to the rescue!

And I have to say, I’m actually pretty impressed that some of the things I “pinned” have actually worked out so nicely!

Here are a few of the toddler activity pins that I have actually made, with some level of success!

#1:  The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Game

Materials needed:  one printout (available online), markers or crayons, scissors, glue, and an old jar or container.

Activities:  after reading the story, kids can practice putting the various fruits/food items into the jar (ie: the caterpillar “eats” the food) and counting how many there are. The blue lollipop has already taken a beating in this home – Isla thought it was a real one the first time we played!

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#2:  Colour Match Wall Activity

Materials Needed:  paint swatches (2 of each), string, a hole puncher, clothespins, and glue.

Activity:  hang one set of swatches on the wall, and have your child match the other swatches (each glued to an individual clothespin) to the correct colour.  Isla loves this game, and it looks so pretty hanging on the wall!

 (Special mention goes to Denille Martineau for swiping all of those paint swatches from Home Depot and sending them to China for me! 🙂 )

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#3:  The Princess Fort

Materials Needed:  1 Ikea canopy (or if you sew, you can make one with a hula-hoop and some tulle), christmas lights, & Command hooks

Activity:  countless hours of fun playing make-believe!

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Next on the list:  homemade play-dough!

If anyone has any great ideas for “Pin Wins” that I should try out for my kiddos, please let me know!

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