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This is the tree I crafted with my toddler today:

Toilet roll treeNow, I COULD tell you it was a joyous experience. Mother and child bonding over toilet rolls and brown parcel paper, deep in a shared vision of paint and garden design for the doll’s house.

Except it wasn’t.

If I show you these pictures of intense concentration on the face of my two year old, you may be deceived into thinking crafting is a peaceful activity in our house. You may even be conned into thinking time with paint passes tantrum free.

Toddler craft - sponge painting Toddler painting Toddler floor paintingYou see, these pictures are a lie. To show you these without the others would be to mislead you into thinking crafting with a toddler is an EASY experience.

I’m not that type of person though. So, here you go. This is what crafting with a toddler is REALLY like:


It’s half an hour preparing surfaces with plastic tablecloths and measuring paint into little saucers. It’s a further ten minutes persuading the toddler that an apron or bib is a good idea, to protect her freshly washed clothes. It’s turning your head for a moment, only to find the clothes have been stripped off and your child is using her bare legs and feet as a canvas.

It’s wiping sticky, paint-covered fingers before your walls are redecorated with red poster paint. It’s negotiating a tantrum because PVA glue isn’t best licked off a paintbrush or stuffed up a toddler nostril. It’s singing The Wheels On The Bus loudly and out of tune to distract your child from the fact she no longer wants to paint – despite only spending two minutes doing an activity she’s been screaming to do since 6am that morning.

It’s forgetting to wipe the paint from your two year old’s face and then spending the rest of the day explaining to people that the red smears across her cheek aren’t the result of a horrific, bloody accident, but the aftermath of an unsuccessful crafting session.

Toddler face paintThis is what crafting with a toddler is REALLY like. Isn’t it…..?