Crafting with Small People: an Exercise in Patience

Crafting is something I love. I enjoy being totally immersed in a project, zoning out as I focus on painting, or mixing, or gluing, or whatever. So although crafting and baking with my kids was something I always looked forward to, right now, it’s challenging. Because toddlers don’t let you focus on anything (but them). And I’m a bit of a control freak. You’ll find out just how OCD you are when 1.5 and 3.5 year-olds want to “help” with projects! Whether it’s pouring glue all over the place or dumping flour everywhere. Or getting ink on your (inexplicably) white kitchen table. It. will. test. you.

But you know what? That’s a good thing for me. Doing projects with my little guys is not my idea of a productive craft session where I can get in the “flow,” but I need to adjust my own expectations and make it about their experience. I’m working on it! And while I build up my patience to a saint-like level, I’ve gathered eight easy(ish) and fun craft tutorials to try and listed them all right here on No need to scour Pinterest! I already found the best ones. These crafts will bring maximum cuteness for minimal effort, and they’re perfect for spring.

(Our version of a fairy/leprechaun house)

But it does help to prep a bit. One thing that’s reduced my kids + crafting anxiety is organization. I got one of those drawer cart thingies from Michael’s (with a coupon, of course) and sorted all of the kids’ craft supplies. I wish the chrome frame were rose gold-toned or white (I considered spray painting it because I’m crazy) and it would be so much better with cuter knobs, but I enjoy the rainbow drawers. It rolls around and I keep it in my daughter’s closet. We just scoot it out to the kitchen table when we’re ready to work on something. All the crayons have a home, all the stickers are in one spot, and there’s a place for every marker. It’s so calming! So when you work up the nerve to start a messy project with the kiddos, consider organizing first. Get your cart, your materials, your precious little children, and your big ol’ glass of wine. And then start making a mess.