View Full Version : Pin Trading and Kids?

07-02-2007, 02:49 PM
We have a six year old DS, and on this upcoming trip I was thinking of starting him on pin trading. He is autistic, but very high functioning. The casual observer would probably never realize that he is autistic. I think he might enjoy pin trading, because he loves to collect things (he loves the pressed pennies) but I'm just not sure. I think it would be a good chance for him to interact socially with more people. My fear is that he may not fully understand the trading concept or he may get attached to certain pins.
Exactly how does it work, and have you done it with your kids and at what age? How does one get started, and is it expensive? Do you just trade with CMs? Is this something kids enjoy? What do ya'll think? The more input the better.


Duane aka LarryBoy

07-02-2007, 07:28 PM

My DS4 last year, had a blast trading pins. He only traded with castmembers.

What we did to get him pins to start trading with was watch disney's online shopping site for pins to go on sale. Then we just bought the cheapest ones we could get. So long as it is an official Disney pin, they will trade with you. Also, the castmember can not have the same pin that you want to trade.

The process is pretty simple, if you see a pin on a castmember, you just tell them that you would like to trade with them.

Sometimes you have to wait a bit if the CM is working a register.

I would think it would be a great way to help your son interact with other people.

I hope this information helps you!

Trev&Ev Mom
07-02-2007, 07:32 PM
My son started pin trading when he was almost 5. He LOVES it. He is usually shy, but not when it comes to pins! I totally recommend it. I want to do it myself. Its almost addictive its so much fun!

07-03-2007, 11:17 AM
Don't they have starter sets at WDW? What do they cost? Is that enough to get started or do you need more?

07-03-2007, 11:59 AM
They do - they will include a lanyard and 6 pins (3 sets of 2 - one for keeping and one for trading). I think they were between $25 and $30 when we were there.

Sean Riley Taylor's Mom
07-03-2007, 01:02 PM
Our children started collecting pins to trade but, they loved the pins they chose so much that they did not want to trade them. So, they buy the pins they want and keep them. They do not wear the landyards to the parks since they are full and heavy, but they do get a new pin for each park every trip.

It turned into a souvenier thing instead of a trading hobby for our kids. I think it is a lot of fun either way. It can get quite expensive. In our case since they keep them, they tend to pick pins that are more expensive. We draw the line at $10 a pin. I would pick ones that are less expensive to trade if we were going that route. They have a great time picking what pins they want and really put thought into each one.

I hope he has a great time if you decide to start!

07-04-2007, 11:55 AM
Our DS started when he was 4 and DD started (so to speak) when she was 18 months. The kids only really trade with CMs but we have had other kids come up and ask to look & trade (which we do). I bought a bunch of pins on ebay to take and trade (it came out to like $2.25/pin inc shipping) for our Nov trip. Still the kids found a few from the bunch they wanted to keep. If your son has trouble parting with pins you may want to keep the "traders" on you (in pocket/purse) and when he approaches a CM and sees one on their lanyard he wants to trade for, take out one of the traders and hand it to him (this is what we did with DD when she was young). The CMs are wonderful with the kids and as it was stated they have to trade with kids as long as the one you are trading to them is not already on their lanyard. PM me is you want to talk more about it. Have fun!!!

07-04-2007, 09:00 PM
Our DS14 started pin trading several years ago. I can't remember how old but I would guess about 9. He loves trading and showing off his pin collection. I would highly recommend that you stick to trading with CM or let him trade with other children. Some adult guests (not all)can take the pin trading very seriously and are bothered when children ask to trade. As suggested, you can buy pins on line or wait until you get there and buy a starter set. The starter set might help you explain the concept since you get one to trade and one to keep. If he does get attached to certain pins, no problem. You do not have to trade. We usually have our DS take the "keepers" off the lanyard each evening so that we do not confuse them with the others. Once full, the lanyards can get quite heavy and hot around the neck. We usually put them in our backpack and pull it out when there is a trade. Also, be on the lookout for the CM with green lanyards. They can only trade with children 12 and under (I think this is the cutoff).

Is it expensive...It can be but it does not have to be. You can buy as many/few as you desire. I would suggest to start off with a starter set and see how it goes. One of the things my son enjoys the most, aside from the hunt for the perfect pin, is the interaction with the CM. They are wonderful with children!

Happy trading!

07-10-2007, 08:58 AM
One thing I would suggest is buying the locking backs. It takes a few extra minutes to do a trade, but it's better than losing a favorite pin (which we almost did -they kept falling off)

07-10-2007, 09:09 AM
One thing I would suggest is buying the locking backs. It takes a few extra minutes to do a trade, but it's better than losing a favorite pin (which we almost did -they kept falling off)
Great advice! I lost my favourite Steamboat Willie pin just prior to discovering the locking backs. :sad:

Grumpy _Girl
07-28-2007, 08:16 PM
Personaly i started at the age of 10 and i've enjoyed it ever since. :thumbsup: :number1: :thumbsup: :number1: :thumbsup: :number1: :thumbsup:

08-12-2007, 11:55 PM
I thought my 7 year old High Functioning son would really enjoy trading pins too. I was pretty excited that this might help improve not only social skills but conversational skills as well. Suffice it to say, my 4 year old LOVED trading pins, but my autistic son would rather spend his time with the characters. We saw such an improvement in conversational skills when he was with a character, then trying to trade pins.

Some things you should know, my autistic son is not a collector - so your situation might be different.

Start small - the first day only give him 4-5 pins for trading. That way if he doesn't care for trading, the lanyard won't be a drag to carry around. If he really likes trading add more pins for the remaining days that you're at WDW.

The big point to remember is that it should be a fun experience for you and your family. If that includes trading pins, GREAT - if not, GREAT. Your son will tell you what he really wants to do. Have Fun.