Pin Art Magic

Hey there!  

We were on Inclement Weather again.  I was asked on my last post why we had inclement weather on Thursday and Friday because I failed to deliver that detail.  I chalk it up to a severe case of temporary insanity brought on by Inclement Weather in a class of 29 students.

Well, folks, we had rain.

Except it wasn't exactly rain.  Just cloudy.  Gray.  And the sky spit on us.  That's about all.

But it made puddles.  It made the kids scream, "It's raining!"  It made the kids ask to go to the bathroom even though they just went.  

But today was different.  Today, I woke up and I said, "Today shall be different!"  The hubby told me to stop talking.  He wasn't awake yet.

So I whispered to Sydney, "Today shall be different."  She didn't much care.  She just wanted a treat.

Here's what I did.

I introduced Pin Art.

I know everyone knows what it is, but just in case there's one person out there who might not know,  I'll explain it.

It's an outline of a picture.  Today I had Santa.  Jolly old Saint Nick.  

And you give the kids push pins (because that's not dangerous or anything), and you let them lie on the carpet and poke that outline or the dots of that outline that is stapled to a piece of construction paper to their heart's content.  (At least that's how I do it.  I had the outline of Santa stapled to the top of a piece of red construction paper.)  When the kids finish poking, they rip off the outline and they have a perfect Santa underneath.  And then the light shines through all dreamy and wonderful.  The kids freak out about it.  In a good way.

Some people do pin art with sight words.  I've never done that.  But I should.  It could be used for anything.  ANYTHING.  But I didn't introduce it until today because I always have to have something up my sleeve.

We started poking at the first inside recess of the day.  Actually, first, I lectured them on the responsibility of having a push pin and then we went through a million different "what-if" scenarios, one of which was "What if you drop your push pin and the principal comes in and then her dog runs through and then the lights go out, and we get to decorate our tree this weekend, and then someone steps on the pushpin?"

After that, we started poking.

It was heaven.

My partner came over to see if I needed to use the restroom (because we teach and therefore we are not allowed to just take care of bodily functions willy nilly - you must find proper coverage, as our school likes to call it, so then everyone gets to know your business depending on how long you were gone) and she said - and I quote - "Where's your class?"

I said, "They're here.  They're just lying on the floor and you can't see them."

She said, "They're so quiet."

I said, "I told you I was going to start Pin Art today."

She said, "They're so quiet."

"I know," I said, as a wayward tear rolled down my cheek.

I wish I had taken pictures of how cute they all were.  But, people, I didn't want to break the spell and it was my recess, too.  I put my feet up and ate a banana and read a blog or two checked my email.

The exact same thing happened at lunch recess.

Except I ate an apple (look at me all healthy!) and checked facebook  graded some papers.

And the best part of all?????

We got last recess!!!!

It was the first time my team and I praised God all together.  One teammie said, "Amen!"  And another one said, "Praise the Lord!" and then I said, "Hallelujah!"

And, no joke, the clouds parted.

Here's the Santa:

Click the pic to download.  Just copy him and staple him to red or green construction paper (at the top).  Then give the kids pushpins and let the magic begin.

Seriously . . . magic.

And the choir sang . . . 


  1. Love it! Mrs Miner has the "Pokey Pin" station packs and my kids LOVE them! I hadn't thought about doing a picture!! =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. If your class can do it any class can! Gotta try this for real!
    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

  3. This is great for indoor recess! :) Definitely going to try it. Thanks so much! :)

    Sugar and Spice

  4. ok, I'm going to admit it, I didn't know what pin art was so thank you for explaining that to an upper-elem teacher!!! Must have been lovely!! I hope you have a nice week Kristin :)

  5. Sounds so fun! We have had some rainy days recently so I am looking forward to introducing this activity soon! (with the 'What if' discussion, of course)
    Kindergarten Schmindergarten

  6. wayward tear....still laughing. I think I asked about the weather!!! Did I win? Is Santa my prize?!

  7. Oh my, this made me laugh out loud! (hubby thought I was losing my mind) But I love this idea! It has been rainy here in Wisconsin and my kiddos are not used to indoor rainy days in December! Thanks for sharing!

    Clearly Kindergarten

  8. Mmm . . . a silent classroom . . . LOVE IT! And I didn't know what pin art was (although faint little bells rang in the back of my mind when I read your description, so maybe I did it once as a kid an eon ago?) so thank you for providing a nice lesson plan for my next indoor recess. You are the best! :)

  9. Howdy pal... it's been at least a couple weeks. Missed ya. I think I'll wait to introduce Pin Art until one of my special friends gets the flu. Hope it's soon so I can use Santa. :)
    Funky First Grade Fun

  10. Those words "we are on rainy day schedule until further notice" send shivers down my spine. Especially when it is simply gray and "puddly". Great idea for inside recess :D

  11. I've never heard of pin art...yes, I do lead a sheltered life. I've got to try it. Anything to get some quiet into the classroom. One question...what kind of pin do you use? Is it like a pin you would use for sewing or a tack type thing you would hang something up with? I guess two questions...how close together do they poke? Thanks!!!

  12. THIS is how I made it through summer school ;)

  13. Hi Buddy:
    If it might rain--anytime anywhere--they put up "the red flag" at our school. Recess = cancelled. Then I count how many kids say, "But it's not raining..." And all I can say is, "I don't make the rules..."
    You've added new meaning to the phrase, "Pinned!"

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  14. Ooo... I'm all about activities that keep them quiet during indoor recess! I will definitely be trying this... Thanks for sharing!

    Mr. First Grade

  15. What a great idea! We are supposed to have physical activity during indoor recess- some state law requiring a ridiculous amount of weekly exercise is to blame- so I'll have to find a differnet time to try it out! But we will definitely be trying it- thanks!!

  16. I have to wonder if you live in Southern California. We had the same weather pattern, inside lunch and recess torture.

  17. Love this! I've totally been doing "pokey pins" as one of my word work centres. The kiddos love it and are soooo quiet! Thanks for the cute Santa!

  18. You are hilarious. This is the only blog that makes me laugh out loud.


  19. Kristin you are a genius!!! I tried this with my class on Friday and it was pure bliss! It was so quiet for so long that I'm wondering if I can get away with pin art every Friday.... Thanks for the wonderful sanity saving idea!

  20. We do push pin work and they love it! I love it too! Cue the choir.. :)