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Monday, August 19, 2013

Melissa Taylor: Mom, Teacher, Imagination Soup Author


Parenting hacks, an education and learning blog, and summer writing workshops for kids are just a few of the many amazing projects from Melissa Taylor. As a mom, teacher, author and blogger, she takes us in to her creative world of writing, “Imagination Soup” and more.

Hi Melissa! To start, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

After teaching children and teachers for a decade, I began freelance writing and blogging for others and myself with a education and learning blog, Imagination Soup.

I started working for local magazines and book blogging for a local parenting magazine for which I got paid in books. Once I developed my skills and clips, I started writing for nationals magazines and blogs including Parenting magazine. Although I do have a traditional book agent, I’ve self published two books — Book Love and Pinterest Savvy — with a third coming soon, Lunchbox Love.

My favorite thing in the world is to get kids excited about reading and writing. I read piles of kids books every week so I can help kids, including my own, find that perfect book that hooks them for hours. Not only that, I started teaching summer writing workshops for kids for the same reason — I know I can help show kids how fun writing can be. It’s magical to see a young person totally jazzed about writing!


You have so many great boards for parenting and things to do with kids, but we’re most intrigued by your board Imagination Soup. What’s the story behind this board?

Aaah, thanks.

Imagination Soup, the board, comes from Imagination Soup the blog - my learning activities blog. I pin my Imagination Soup content on the same name board first for branding reasons, even if I repin to other boards later. You’ll find lots of book recommendations, writing ideas, and recommended games, toys and apps to make learning fun.


Have you discovered any “parenting hacks” on Pinterest that has made your life easier? We’d love to hear about it!

Are you kidding? I think my next book could be titled, “Everything I Ever Learned, I Found on Pinterest”. It’s a gold-mine of great content — for free. LOVE. Plus my kids always ask, “Did you get that idea on Pinterest, mom?” whenever we do anything new - from a craft to a recipe. (Which is kind of sad that they assume I can think of ideas on my own —without Pinterest!)

Parenting hacks —

My daughter just got her ears pierced. But, they’ve been infected like crazy. Lucky for us, I saw a hack on Pinterest to use Vaseline on the earring post before you put it in the ear. Miracle of miracles - it worked.

Chores is another recent hack. There are some great ideas for chore charts on Pinterest. I took someone’s checklist and adapted it to my children’s ages, laminated it, and voila — I had chores under control (mostly).

Best of all, at least half of the summer activities my babysitter has done with my kids have come from my Pinterest boards. It’s been great for her and them!

What are some suggestions you might have for other parents on Pinterest?

1. Follow pinners who curate excellent content. That way you won’t have to search around too much, you’ll have great ideas in you Pinterest feed.

2. Before you repin, check to make sure the link works and goes to the correct site. (I right click to open pins in a new tab and check all links at the same time.)

3. Collaborate with friends. You can invite friends to boards with topics you have in common. It’s a great way to get more information and to be social.

4. Follow the pinner rabbit hole. When you’re on a pinner’s profile, look at the “Repins from” on the top right and click on those names to see if you like their boards. You’ll find a ton of new people to follow this way.

5. Only share some pins on Facebook — it may just annoy all your friends if you share them all.

Who are some other parents on Pinterest that you find inspiration from?

Some of my favorite parent pinners are:

Laura Hutchinson @ PlayDrMom, Amy Locurto {LivingLocurto.com}, Amy Mascott @TeachMama, Deborah @Teach Preschool, The Educators’ Spin On It, Holly Homer

I’ve learned so much from others. For example, Stacy Teet of Kids Stuff World and Zina Harrington of Lasso the Moon both generously invited me and others to collaborate on their boards. They helped me reach a bigger audience and given me new ideas and suggestions for using Pinterest.