Check out Samantha Schutlz' Pin It! blog.

And here's Chicago Parent's Pinterest page.

Remember the bulletin board you had speckled with interesting magazine articles, photos of places you wanted to visit, a recipe for zucchini-nut muffins and a few swatches of fabric you chose to re-cover your old sofa? That's Pinterest…almost.

Pinterest is a virtual idea board. The free site allows you to collect swatches, photos, articles and ideas from the Internet and put them on a virtual board. You can pull all your ideas on one board, or create a collection of boards, each with its own theme.

Even more unique is that Pinterest is a social network. You can share your boards and even link your Pinterest account to Facebook. Once you pin an idea to your board, others can see what you've pinned and re-pin (similar to reposting) if they want to. Pinned photos or articles are linked back to their original source, which allows for even more networking.

How can a family use Pinterest? Create your free account and then get the whole family involved in finding fun ideas for the following projects:


Rev up family meals

Create boards to help you break the monotony of family mealtimes. Find school lunch ideas, nutritious snacks, gluten-free recipes and crock pot suppers, then use your Pinterest account as a go-to meal planner.


Decorate a room

Let kids find bedding ideas, color schemes and organizational bins they like and pin them to a board for their dream room. Or get the whole family involved around a family room, and find fun ideas for recreational spaces, colors, lighting, furniture and playthings.


Good Causes

Collect inspiring stories or photos about a cause that is important to your family and build a board of awareness. Add your own photos or links to local articles about a nonprofit organization you support to get your message out and inspire others.


Rainy day ideas

Find crafts, activities and projects perfect for a rainy day. Then, when the skies get cloudy, you'll be ready with some fun projects.


Looking for a cool cake? Fun school treats? Table decorations? You'll find pirate, pony and princess-themed party ideas on Pinterest.


Vacation plotting

Aren't sure what to do this summer? Create a board around interesting sites and activities in a particular state you'll visit (kitschy restaurants, a historical monument, campgrounds, a beach or lake you hope to jump in).


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