Colored pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks, paint, paintbrushes, scissors… Art supplies are a necessity for every elementary classroom. These tools support students in exploring concepts and skills in a creative, hands-on way. Read below to grab some tips for organizing art supplies in the classroom!
8 Tips for Organizing Classroom Art Supplies
Below are 8 simple tips for organizing craft and art supplies in the classroom.
1. Create Individual Art Bags
Create an “art bag” using clear bags for each student. Use plastic pencil boxes or pencil bags. I find that the bags are easier to store and easier for the kids to use as they can see everything at once. Inside, include 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.
2. Store Art Bags by Table
Store each bag 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.
3. Store Speciality Art Supplies Away
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.
4. Declutter Your Art Supply Collection
The fourth on the list of tips for organizing art supplies in the classroom is to declutter your existing art supply collection. 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.
5. Containerize Containers
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.
6. Only Take What You Need
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.
7. Use Art Supplies as Decorations
Unlike most school-related items, art supplies can often be stored in the open. They scream “school” and in a world of bubbles and testing, wouldn’t colorful craft supplies be a great visual reminder of what is really important? Plus they look so pretty. Be sure to use containers that won’t shatter and keep jars of crayons away from heat sources.
8. Repurpose Storage Solutions You Already Own
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.
In closing, we hope you found these tips for organizing art supplies helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in our classroom organization course as well as these posts: