Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Art Room Clean-Up Tips

As art teachers we often have very little time to transition between classes, so clean-up the kids can do themselves is a blessing!! This year, whenever we were using paint or glue, I put out a dampened sponge at each table. Even the youngest of students (kindergarten) delighted in using the sponge to help out. The only warning I gave them was, "Please don't dip the sponge in the dirty paint water -- it already has enough water in it!" At the end of the day I would give all the sponges a quick rinse and they were ready to go for next time.

When we were doing collages or anything that involved cut paper, I put a large size Cool Whip-type container in the center of each work area as the "scrap pile." At the end of each class, a volunteer from the table would empty the scrap bowl into our classroom recycle bin while others at the table gave the floor a quick pick up. Now, that was easy clean up!
Hope everyone is enjoying summer vacation!!!!!!!


  1. Doesn't the simplest things help so much! I do both of these things in my art room also. But instead of a bowl, I cut a gallon water jug leaving the handle on for a trash bucket. The trash jugs stay on all day everyday. It saves so many trips to the recycling or trash can.

    At the end of my day I have 1st grade, and I make it a big deal that they get to use the little dustpans and brushes. They love cleaning the floor with those too! So I keep one for each table handy on days we need them.
    Love your blog!
    Have a great summer.

    1. It is pretty amazing how much 1st and 2nd graders like to clean up!!!!

  2. Great tips. I am always anxious to learn how to make cleaning easier. Btw....not all of us are on summer break yet. Grumble, grumble! One more day in Northern Virginia.

  3. I always had a huge bin filled with ready-to-use sponges. Just one sponge to a table,and the kids would fight over it, so I had LOTS. When they got dirty, the kids rinsed them, and were taught to squeeze them out at the sink with both hands until no more water came out. Wen we had a spill on the floor, the kids were taught to SCOOP the paint with a sponge, and then rinse it before wiping. I would put the recycle box on the floor in the middle of the room.

    I think the point is, to have a system, any system, as long as it works for you. When people have a problem its usually because they have no system, or the kids were never guided in proper cleanup procedures.