Pinterest FAILS (and a few wins)

Last week, I was looking at my Evernote list of blogging ideas (I jot them down whenever I think of some little detail from the day that I should blog about later) and realized the list is getting way out of control. I am backlogged months on little details from our day or activities we’ve done. The following is one of those posts I just never got around to–some of these pictures were originally taken all the way back in May!
With the weather starting to warm up, it was getting difficult to find activities I could do with the girls at home in the afternoon–the loooongest hours of the day before Jake gets home. The pool is too nerve-wracking to go to by myself with the girls since they are fearless in the water and tend to dive off the edge of the pool, whether or not I am there to catch them. We’ve usually already hit up the splash pad or park in the morning, and by the afternoon, I don’t feel like packing up everything again to go out. 
Pinterest (aka, my favorite black hole of time-wasting) to the rescue! 
If you search on Pinterest for “Toddler Activities,” there are thousands upon thousands of cute ideas. I could pin away to my heart’s content for hours if I had the time. The thing with Pinterest, though, is while the pictures may look amazing and the kids all look like they are having fun, improving their fine motor skills, and and learning Mandarin to boot, things don’t always work out the way they’re portrayed in the pictures! 
With that in mind, I took an afternoon and tried out some of the toddler activities I had pinned to find out which ones were the real deal and which ones were total fails.
First up: Toddler Pick Up Sticks
Pinterest Perfection: 
Verdict: Semi-Fail
While the girls did not use the popsicle sticks for their intended use (dumping them out of a can and putting them back in), they did enjoy carrying their popsicle sticks to their ball pool and chewing on them outside. It kept them busy for about ten minutes, which is about the time it takes me to throw a pot of spaghetti on the stove, chop some onions, and put together some sauce for dinner. So, not a complete failure. 
Second activity: Threading pipe cleaners through a colander 
Pinterest Perfection: 
 Photo from


Verdict: Total FAIL

After taking all the pipe cleaners out in about 2.5 seconds, the girls threw the colander on the floor and ran off to find something more entertaining to do.

Totally lame, mom!
Next up: Pom Pom Tube Play using a paper towel roll
Pinterest Perfection: 

Verdict: Semi-Fail.

When I originally tried this activity with the girls in May, they ripped down the paper towel roll so fast and proceeded to eat it, that I didn’t have time to take any pictures. I tried it again last week when Jake was here to help, and the result was almost identical. After watching Jake put the pom poms down the tube, they copied him for a few minutes before ripping the roll off.

Instead of eating the roll, this time, Samantha decided she wanted it all for herself and invented a new game with it. 
She really liked putting the roll on the floor and stacking pom poms inside it. 
Next: Another pom pom activity using holes cut in a tub. 
Pinterest Perfection: 
Photo from

Verdict: Win!

Back in May, this was a total fail. The girls showed zero interest in pushing the pom poms through the holes in the tubs and, instead, decided to have a contest to see who could stuff the most pom poms in their mouths. When I tried it again last week, the girls really “got” it! I chalked it up to their longer attention span and better fine motor control in their hands and fingers.

Amelia liked saying hello to all her captive pom poms. 
This kept the girls busy for a good 20 minutes without needing our help. A week later, and they are still loving this activity. A win!
I was also very excited about this next activity: Window Finger Painting
Pinterest Perfection: 

Verdict: Total Fail

Back in May, the girls ripped their paint baggies too quickly for me to take pictures. The result was identical this time around.

The girls actually did enjoy carrying their bags of oil and food coloring around for a few minutes.
The problem was watching them in constant fear that the bag would leak said oil and food coloring all over my floor. 
Samantha was not pleased after we took away one of her finger painting bags: 
And last, but not least: Finger Painting with Edible Finger Paints
 Photo from


Verdict: A win!
This can only be termed a win because I was in an “I don’t really care how much mess they make, I just want to keep them busy for a few minutes” mindset that day. This is definitely not something I would do if the President were coming over later or if I had OCD. 
It was messy, but the amount of fun Samantha and Amelia had was totally worth it!

The paint was made out of flour, cornstarch and some non-toxic food coloring, so I didn’t have to worry about the girls tasting some of it. They quickly figured out it wasn’t very yummy anyways.

Samantha figured out it was tons more fun to paint the glass door. 

Good thing all the paint came out once I hosed the entire patio down. 

I also hosed the girls down and the paint came out of their clothes pretty quickly. 


Time to hose ’em down!

Finally tally: 
Pinterest wins: 2
Pinterest Semi-Fails: 2
Pinterest Total FAILS: 2
Even though we ended up with more fails than wins, the girls and I had fun experimenting and it was worth all the fails to find a couple great activities we can do again! 
Lots of love, 

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