This post was fun to write because on a rainy winter day it feels so good to look at so much color! Today I am going to share some ideas for organizing and storing art supplies in your classroom.
I create an “art bag” using clear bags for each student. I used to use plastic pencil boxes which lasted several years, but find that the bags are easier to store and easier for the kids to use as they can see everything at once. Inside I include their color pencils, markers, crayons, a glue stick and a Sharpie. I find that these are all the supplies they need for most projects and it’s nice having them easily accessible when they need them. I have noticed a remarkable decrease in sickness too since I did away with community supplies.
Each bag is stored in a basket by the table number they sit at. This enables the table captain to grab the basket and bring everyone’s supplies to their workspace at once and also makes it simple for an individual student to find his belongings.
I store all other arts and crafts supplies in an area the students don’t have access to because they are just used for special projects.
To start you’ll find it beneficial to go through the supplies you’ve accumulated and see what needs to be tossed...dried glue sticks, expired paint (trust me, it gets gross), recycled materials that can easily be replaced (paper towel tubes, newspaper, etc) when needed for an actual project. If you are looking to get rid of the recyclables and don’t want to just toss them in the big green bin you could put them out during indoor recess and let the kids have fun creating with them.
Next, corral all of those itty-bitty things (googly eyes, beads, glitter, etc) and store them in small containers within a larger container. Spice jars work well for this.You could also just place them into small bags within a larger container.
Pill containers are perfect for holding small embellishments.Do you have access to a supply closet at your school for paints, construction paper, etc? If so, consider only taking what you need when you need it and then you won’t need to store as much.
Plastic shoe boxes (as well as the food storage containers that are marketed as disposable) are great options for storing larger items (pom-poms, pipe cleaners, yarn, ribbon, etc). Make sure to select containers with lids that stack to save space.
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