Grandma should have been a Pinterest co-founder

I’d like to change gears and write about something a little more fun – creativity. I don’t know about you, but, I am all at once inspired and horrified by Pinterest. Especially the pins of perfectly crafted kid projects.

Let’s face it, I’m a working mom and time is not on my side. So, I’m not so good about thinking outside the box to complete many crafts.

On the other hand – my MIL is brilliant at this. Seriously brilliant. And, I learned this first hand during our trip to Brazil.

An hour into our flight from Miami to Salvador, the little guy announces he wants to build a boat that will be able to float in the water. He gathers up the empty water bottles we have used, puts them in his backpack and falls asleep. The next morning, he grabs an in-flight magazine and stuffs this into his backpack as well.

We arrive in Salvador and for several days, there is no mention of making boats. All we have are empty water bottles and an in-flight magazine littering the floor of the room he is sharing with grandma.

One night my husband and I head out for a date – a benefit of bringing grandma! – we return to see grandma and grandson hard at work at the kitchen table making boats. With the bottles and the magazines he took off of the airplane.


I am confused. We are in an Airbnb rental on the beach. Other than what we took off the airplane – the empty bottles and the in-flight magazine – we have no supplies. None. There is no craft box. No scissors. No glue. No glue sticks. No paint. Nothing.

But what I see amazes me. They are doing it. They are making boats – two finely crafted boats made of nothing but found objects during our journey – empty water bottles, the sticky luggage tags the airlines use to identify checked bags, found string (grandma found this somewhere along our journey), straws, and pages from the in-flight magazine.


The next day, our little guy woke up early. Really early. It was time to test out the boats to see if they would float. And you know what? They floated. Both my son and grandma beamed with excitement and pride. It was incredible.



Grandma taught me a lesson that day. You don’t need craft kits and fancy supplies to build and create objects to play with. All you need is a little imagination and the willingness to try.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dorothy Hoffman is the creator of the travel blog, Squirts and Seniors. She is a Gen X-er who writes about traveling at home and abroad with her young son and aging parents.

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