Why I Craft With My Kids, Even Though It's Frustrating

by Lindsay Parkinson
Originally Published: 
A small girl drawing her hands with a brush and watercolors

I’m often questioned about the amount of crafting that goes on in our house. People look at our art-plastered walls and ask, “but don’t you…?” or “but isn’t it….?” or “doesn’t it make you want to…?” And the answer to most of these questions is yes. SO MUCH YES.

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It’s really frustrating when you take the time to prepare a really cool art project and you have the highest hopes for an engaging afternoon of artistic expression and then the kids finish it in two seconds and eagerly inquire about what’s happening next.

It’s really frustrating when someone knocks over the water cup while painting and there is paint water all over the craft table and it just so happens to spill directly onto another child’s piece of work and then you’re dealing with the initial water, along with the subsequent waterworks.

It’s really frustrating when the kids start fighting because they all need the exact same material at the exact same time and their artwork will be ruined if the issue isn’t resolved in their favor immediately.

It’s really frustrating when children feel the need to use all materials in copious amounts, despite repeated reminders to limit excessive use of any product. There you are, approaching the finish line, left without the ability to add googly eyes to your mermaid because the glue bottle is empty.

It’s really frustrating when your lockbox of glitter is busted open by an innocent-looking threenager who decides that art time is RIGHT NOW and the canvas ought to be the living room furniture.

So, yes. Yes to “but don’t you…?” and “but isn’t it….?” and “doesn’t it make you want to…?” YES.

Yet I craft with my kids, frustration and all. Because here’s the thing: a single piece of artwork can erase every ounce of crafting frustration that surfaces during the creative process. Take this painting created by my glitter vandalist:

Lindsay Parkinson

This is the recognition I’ve been dreaming about for years.


I exist.

Right there.

Under that pink thing.

And so I craft with my kids, frustration and all.

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