Push Pins + Pumpkins = Toddler Sculpture

My two-year-old has a special fascination for everything small and for anything sharp. Until now, my pincushion has been one of her favorite household items. I let her transfer pins from one pincushion to another when I’m working at the sewing machine. And she fully believes it is her job to remove the pins from the fabric as I sew. I keep a close eye on her, of course, but she hasn’t poked herself yet (and a small poke from a pin wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world).

This is all to say that when she came across a box of push pins in the studio the other day, she was in a tizzy of excitement. As I quickly tried to think of a productive way to channel her engagement with the push pins (I didn’t really want them all over the floor), I thought of our Halloween pumpkins still sitting on the front porch. This simple activity kept my little one happily engaged over two days and my older daughter got in on the action as well. Here are some photos:

  • Push Pins! 1 of 8
    Push Pins!
    This kid loves small objects and seems to have a special fascination for pointy things.
  • I get to play with these? 2 of 8
    I get to play with these?
    Hmm, what shall I do?
  • A pumpkin! 3 of 8
    A pumpkin!
    A small pumpkin turns out to be perfect for poking push pins into.
  • This is serious work 4 of 8
    This is serious work
    For a toddler that is. She is concentrating hard and using her fine motor skills to poke the pins in all over the pumpkin.
  • Pretty! 5 of 8
    The effect is very sculptural and rather pretty.
  • Moving on… 6 of 8
    Moving on...
    When she has had enough she starts sorting the push pins into egg carton sections.
  • Day two 7 of 8
    Day two
    Her big sister has added many more push pins to the pumpkin (it was as fun for the 6yo as for the 2yo), but the little one is not amused and starts taking them out.
  • Push pin sculpture? 8 of 8
    Push pin sculpture?
    Or perhaps a porcu-pumpkin? Either way, it was fun to make.

If you want to try this, all you need is a box of push pins and a small pumpkin (perhaps from Halloween or from your Thanksgiving decorations). A winter squash or potato might work fine as well, and then you can just bake and eat it afterward. You know this, but supervise your toddler carefully.


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For another surprisingly engaging toddler activity, see what you can do with a simple balloon!

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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