Occupied for Hours

My name is Jordan Walz and I’m addicted to Pinterest.

There. I said it.


During the school year I barely have time to exhale it seems, but when summer comes along, my Pinterest obsession is in FULL FORCE!

I pin everything.  Household improvements, activities for children, recipes, party decor, cleaning solutions, hairstyles, wedding dresses…. But, still, I feel like I’m practical about my pinning. At just over 3,000 pins, I honestly feel like (someday) I will get to fulfill each and every last one of them.  Plus the couple dozen that I’ll end up pinning later tonight.

I have organized myself this summer so that I can tackle certain pins each week.  And so far, so good.  I am sure I will have plenty of fun things to write about before summer comes to an end.

One type of pin I consistently come across on Pinterest is the collage of bright colored pictures displaying all sorts of thrilling toddler activities- you know the kind.  After clicking on the link, it seems like every website supplying these wild activity ideas offers the desperate mother a dream come true:  “Glue, sand, water, pom poms, and a kitchen spoon: Toddler fun for 3+ hours” or, “Just a stack of newspaper and a jelly bean keeps your 4-year-old busy all afternoon.”

If you have a toddler or have ever played with a toddler for two minutes, you know that their attention span is about two minutes long.

These magical ideas on Pinterest would have you believe otherwise.

And I did start to believe otherwise.

Ooooh, if I just mix food coloring with water, fill seven glasses each with a different amount of the liquid, and hand my daughter a spoon, she’ll go crazy making music for the next hour and I can be free to get some housework done (or, let’s be real, try out that idea I pinned about makeup contouring).


Not that I need an activity to “babysit” my child.  If I did, I would just turn on the TV and let her have at it.  But, when I’m constantly bombarded with these promises of hours of fun on Pinterest, because I’m constantly on Pinterest, I expect at least a good 15 minutes.  Wouldn’t you?


After trying many of these marvelous toddler activities over the years, her and I have had a lot of fun together.  But never once has my sweet toddler girl been so fully immersed for hours on end as Pinterest would have me expect.

Last night, I tried something new: coloring pasta shapes with a little food dye and rubbing alcohol.  My little girl was beside herself with excitement, wanting start playing with these noodles immediately.  I told her we’d wait until morning to make sure they were fully dry.

When I considered how much pasta I used and how long she would probably want to play with the shapes, I started wishing I just made pasta for dinner instead because eating it would be of better use.

Totally wrong.

This, folks, is the one activity that will keep your toddlers busy for hours.


This is the only thing she played with this morning before her nap.  I had to pry her away from it for a play-date and then again when it was lunchtime.  She loves sorting the shapes, colors, stacking them, and I think just the whole sensory experience is thrilling to her.

Finally!  Mama can clean the toilets this afternoon! (Or, let’s be real, I’m going to try this or this or anything else on my Pinterest boards, really 😉)


Colored Pasta Shapes

Stir together 2 teaspoons of food coloring and 3 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol.  Add the mixture to a Ziploc bag filled with 2 cups of pasta shapes of your choice.  Shake to cover the pasta completely, and then dump out onto parchment paper and let dry.

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