I love all things “Pinterest.” It is such a brilliant idea, especially if you are visual. I am much more likely to understand something if I see it rather than read about it. I have gotten so much inspiration from Pinterest, from designs for a tiny library I want to build on my parkway to brilliant outdoor spaces for young children. Finding math-related activities on Pinterest is as easy as 1-2-3. Click here to see Math Activities-A collection of math activities for children or here to see Set Up Your Environment for Math Literacy. There are dozens of other Pinterest sites about young children and math if you are looking for more ideas.
However, don’t be confused between a source of inspiration and an actual curricular plan. I was working with a preschool director recently who told me that some of her staff use Pinterest as a means of developing their curriculum. She said, for example, that they find a picture of an art project and then recreate it in their classroom. Well, I am all for sharing ideas and incorporating cool things into a program, however, taking a disconnected idea from a Pinterest Board because it is “cute” or “the kids will like it” is not how we develop meaningful curriculum.
This is in stark contrast to supporting children’s ideas by finding connected projects or activities that correspond to the interests of the children, the overall development of the group and the developmental appropriateness of the project or activity. If the children in your group are very excited about the newest children’s movie that is out (i.e., Frozen) and you want to further encourage this exploration via art and dress-ups, then by all means, look for inspiration on Pinterest. But use it as a starting point, a place to get going. You should still consider how this project or activity fits into your program, what learning might take place because of the children’s involvement, how you will know that the learning happened, and how you can further extend the play. This is good curricular planning.