Pinterest is a visual playground that organizes your online adventures into a series of virtual “pin boards.” These boards allow you to gather images and links to all kinds of online destinations and organize them by subject so you can share them with your friends across the street or across the country. The best “pins” are sources of information that include beautiful, compelling images. What better way to collect information on toys and games than by creating your own virtual catalog of pictures?
To begin, you’ll need an account. It takes only a couple of minutes to get set up. Ask your friends on facebook or twitter if someone who’s already on Pinterest can send you an invitation to join. This will get you instant access. Otherwise, request to join directly on the site. You’ll likely have to wait a while if you go this second route.
Once you have your Pinterest account, be sure to add the “Pin It” button pinmarklet tool to your browser under “Favorites.” Pinterest makes this very easy – just follow the instructions. Once you do this, you can “pin” images from just about anywhere online with a couple of clicks.
Once you are officially “pinning,” here are some ways you can really have fun with toys and games on Pinterest.
- Create a board where you pin pictures of your all-time favorite toys and games from your own childhood. Start your collection of images by searching google images for a few that you readily recall. Chances are good that once you locate a few sites, they’ll lead to other toys you’d forgotten – and you’ll delight in remembering when you see them online! Share this fun with your friends by creating a “Favorite Childhood Toys” board and then pinning them all. You’ll be sure to get some nostalgic comments from friends exclaiming, “Oh! I remember that toy,” when they see those pins.
- Create a board for each family member where you pin holiday and birthday gift ideas for that person. Or maybe create a “Valentines Day” board, or an “Easter” board – where you pin ideas for small toys and gifts that you might want to pick up to surprise your children. Or, create a “family gift ideas” board. Grant access to grandparents and relatives, then everyone can pin pictures of things that interest them – creating a virtual wish list for the whole family to share and exchange ideas.
- It’s getting easier for small businesses and artisans to establish a web presence to showcase their creations online. Do you love Etsy? Did you attend a craft show or art fair recently and discover a new doll maker or someone who carves wooden toys or puzzles? Grab a business card so you can keep track of them online! Create a board where you pin images from the web pages of local artisans and craftsmen of the handmade toys and games they create. This is a great way to help these people get noticed by your friends too!
- The shop local movement is growing and it certainly carries over into toys. Create a “Cincinnati Toy and Game Shopping” board where you pin the websites for local toy and game stores to help you remember all your retail options so you don’t always wind up back at the same big box store buying the same predictable thing every time your child gets invited to a birthday party.
- Create a board where you pin gift guides, various toy evaluators, reviews and awards lists (like Dr. Toy, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Major Fun, etc).
- Do you collect a certain kind of toy or do you collect board games? Start a pin board for your collection and share your latest finds, and rare items you’re still trying to find. You’ll discover lots of pinners who are curating boards full of Star Wars toys, Barbie, Robots, Game Night and other vintage collectibles.
- Is your family into online games? Start a board and pin links to your favorites so that your friends can join, and perhaps you can find new friends to play! This is an especially useful idea for homeschooling families. Collect and easily share educational fun online activities with fellow homeschoolers. Try organizing them by subject, age range or grade level.
- Follow the boards of favorite toy and game companies (many of them are out there on Pinterest now and they are sure to add a pin when they introduce new products!)
- Create boards for different kinds of toys you discover, or sort them by age appropriateness (ex. Sports toys, girls toys, boys toys, toddler toys, teen toys, etc.)
- Finally, don’t forget that grownups like toys too! Check out the websites for your favorite catalogs and pin fun things to a wish list of toys for yourself!
You can check out the author’s pin boards on Pinterest – including favorite childhood toys by clicking here. Also, Pinterest is a great way to share your favorite Cincinnati Children’s Toy Examiner articles! Thanks for “pinning” this story to share with your friends!