Here are a few tips for art time that I have discovered or have received from colleagues over the years. I love the idea of working "smarter" not "harder".
If you have some art time tips, please share them with us!
- For easy clean-up, use vinyl tablecloths to cover table tops. They can be wiped off and then reused again! Check your local Dollar Store for these handy helpers.
- If you have generous parents or a generous budget, purchasing baby wipes to quickly clean off hands makes art time a breeze. Plus you avoid having the little ones get paint on everything their little hands touch on their way to the bathroom to wash!
- Work spaces can also include a paper bag spread out or the top of a box (if you have boxes of copy paper at your school, snag the tops! These can be used and reused without a lot of mess.).
- Short on smocks? Ask parents to send in old t-shirts for the children to wear. Socks (clean ones) also make great erasers for white boards. Big paper bags can also be placed over the head (sides cut out so children can move arms freely) to protect the clothes during painting time.
- Need a place for artwork to dry? String a piece of yarn in a not-so-active corner of the room or a window. Hang pictures on the string with clothes pins. This also makes for a nice place to display their beautiful work.
- For my young girls with beautiful long hair, I keep a few hair ties available to pull hair back during art time.
- To avoid having to worry with those irritating glue bottles that get clogged all the time, store your glue in butter containers for the kids to use. To get the glue out, provide small brushes (preferably the ones that have a wide bristle span) for the kids to apply the glue to their projects. Teach the kids how to use the edge of the container to wipe off any excess before brushing on. You'll be amazed at how much better this works for projects.
- For classrooms that paint frequently (I love those kind!), think about attaching a paper towel holder directly to the bottom of your art table. Placed near the edge, this can be a handy-dandy spot for grabbing a paper towel when those LITTLE spills occur.