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Learn Planning, Patience, and Perseverance by Crafting

crafting can help kids learn planning, patience, and perseverance


Emma working on a needlepoint butterfly

We do a lot of crafts in our house. Mostly, we craft because I enjoy it and the kids enjoy it. But crafting has its benefits, too! Right now, my seven-year-old is crafting to make something beautiful, but she is also learning a lot about planning, patience, and perseverance. Take this pot holder. I helped her do the first two rows, and then she decided to take off on her own. She started off doing it exactly as she had been taught, but that was taking a very long time. And she thought the squares looked a little boring. Never mind what we had planned – she decided to take some shortcuts.


Using the ALEX Toys Loop N Loom kit

It looks pretty neat, right? Very creative. But – as anyone who has made this craft knows – if you pull it off the loom like this, all you get is a tangled mess.

At first, she wanted to leave it the way it was. We talked about what that would mean, and I offered to pull it off the frame so she could see. She decided to take my word for it, which meant redoing nearly every row. But she patiently persevered, and she is very proud of the result!


What has crafting taught you? Do you have a favorite pastime that you are passing on to your children?

The Simply Needlepoint – Butterfly and Loop N Loom kits featured in this post were sent to me as part of my ALEX Toys blogger agreement. All opinions are my own.

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

26 thoughts on “Learn Planning, Patience, and Perseverance by Crafting”

  1. This is a very advanced craft for a 7 year old! Anna is not a crafty type (me neither), but we both enjoy other things together such as board games and reading :)

    1. Yes! I find that with most ALEX Toys products the age recommendation is more of a lower limit (i.e. the project would be too challenging for children under that age).

      Anna doesn’t like crafts much, and my kids aren’t into board games. And, honestly, I’m not terribly into board games either – so I guess our kids got the right parents :)

  2. Thanks for this post. I love crafting. I am also going to teach my son how to sew – which will be very good for him. He needs to learn patience. Plus, he is interested to learn.

  3. I’m afraid my kids would have talked me into letting them SEE FOR THEMSELVES what the short-cut version would have looked like. And then there would have been embarrassment and excuses for failure. Result: Not interested in trying THAT again. Your approach was successful with your daughter, and she has something to be proud of, and lots more crafting to look forward to! Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Different things definitely work for different kids! My daughter has asked to see for herself in similar situations in the past – I think that’s why she took my word for it this time around :)

  4. I remember making these as a kid. You are so right about crafts teaching planning, patience and perseverance. I think also self esteem as it’s pretty satisfying to see something that you have worked hard on turn out the way you had planned and that spurs you on to try something more complicated next time. I enjoy cross-stitch and I hope to pass that onto my daughters when they are older. I also find that I am learning (maybe a little too slowly) to let my kids crafts be their own and not to jump in so quickly to help them make it in the way I had planned but to let them create according to their own vision. I feel like this should be a no brainer but it hasn’t come naturally to me – I have to sometimes physically walk away so that they can create on their own. It is something that has really surprised me about myself.

  5. You are right about crafting, especially an intricate one like the weaving potholder, teaching all kinds of good things! Good for your daughter to keep at it. Her potholder turned out beautifully!

    ps My kids would have insisted on seeing the tangled mess!!! They don’t give me much cred!

    1. Emma has insisted on seeing the mess other times with similar projects – I think that’s why she took my word this time around (plus she was very interested in the final product).

  6. Very interesting perceptive on the topic, I like it. Crafting sure help be with patience and perseverance, why wouldn’t do the same in our children. You are one smart mama :-)

  7. What a great story MaryAnne. Crafts do take a lot of patience and perseverance with a large dose of creativity too. Your daughter clearly has the creativity nailed, as her quick and easy way to make potholder was cute, even though it wasn’t usable. A good lesson to learn – shortcuts are fine, but sometime they don’t always work, so we have to take the time to do it right. You’re a great mom, MaryAnne.

  8. You know, I never really finished those projects. I made lots of those silly little loom things, but then I lost the instructions on finishing, so I never finished them……

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