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Art Caddy System

How I use art table caddies in my Elementary art classroom!

For my table caddies, I am using the rainbow colored caddies from Target
See link to the current available stock below:

The inventory online often changes, but they release these in store near the start of the school year. I collected my rainbow of colors back in 2019, however, the color inventory changes yearly and sometimes they release random colors throughout the year too so be on the look out!

I loveeeee these caddies, I have seen and tried out other brands and styles but these are my favorite. They are a wonderful quality, with thick sturdy plastic. You can easily write on them with Sharpies too! I have considered making vinyl labels for them but just haven’t committed to that yet. If I do, I will report back on how the vinyl adheres and stays.

So, What’s Inside?

For now, I have stocked our table caddies with the supplies we use THE MOST. 

First though, I must detour to talk about these little boxes from Michaels that I recommend for the markers and crayons, see them linked below:

**Wait to buy if those boxes are NOT on sale. They often go on sale for a HUGE price difference, the lowest I have seen them I believe is $15.00, so wait wait wait. Don’t pay full price when you don’t have to!

Keep an eye out online for their 20% off discount, almost all the time I am shopping online it is available on full priced items! Usually under the code: 22MADEBYYOU – so if you are purchasing full price and can order online for either in store pick up or delivery, do so to get that 20% off.

PEACHY TIP: If you haven’t already added the teacher discount to your Michaels reward account you need to! You can always save 15% on full price items online or in store. I used to exclusively shop at Hobby Lobby when they used to have their 40% off coupon, now I have pretty much exclusively shop at Michaels!

See the link below for more information on the teacher discount:

OKAY, BACK TO BUSINESS. INSIDE THE TABLE CADDIES I KEEP THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

Markers: I just stock with whatever Crayola or Crayola equivalent markers we have on hand. I try to keep the 11 “staple color options” that we use (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Black, Brown, Grey, and Peach).

Crayons: Grab and Go is my tactic with crayons. I have a big bucket of random, pre used crayons that were donated to our art room. I grab a hand full from the bucket and put some in each caddy crayon box. When the kids are missing a color, they can grab some from the back. I have a few, also random assortments, of crayons in baskets on the back counter.

Erasers: I keep two in each caddy. Erasers are a “hot commodity” in the art room and to keep track of the erasers, and to keep them around, I remind students that there will be NO erasers if these get lost. While it is a little dramatic, and I do have a few extras, erasers often go missing in my room quickly. So far this has helped us keep track of them because the students do LOVE to have them available.

Pencils: I keep 4 per caddy, I currently have 2-3 students sitting per table. For now, I use the HP branded pencils our school was donated. This helps me keep better track of which ones are ours and they all match!

Scissors: I keep 2 per caddy, we do use scissors for most projects but many students have their own. 2 per caddy has seemed to be a reasonable number for now, and is also as many as I have available at the moment.

Glue: I keep 2 liquid glue bottles per caddy. We tried out glue sticks my first year teaching and BURNED through them soooo fast. I now have switched to primarily liquid glue for that reason. I refill the small bottles at each table as needed from the big gallon jug, which is tedious as most of you know. LOL

What about when things disappear?

For me, restocking at the moment looks non-existent. While I do offer supplies to those who DO NOT HAVE THEIR OWN. I am trying to make it a point that we need to take care of our supplies and respect the supplies in the art room. At no fault of their own, students feel like we have a never ending stock of our supplies. Now that we are keeping track using the table caddy checklist (I’ll share about that next) we are being more accountable for the supplies. Students love to use “art room supplies” and I think that helps them take more care when using them. I have noticed that now that the supplies are divided by table, and are accounted for via checklist, they seem to be keeping up with them a little better! As stated prior, I will provide supplies as needed, but won’t be “restocking” the caddies at the moment.

Table Checklists:

Above you can see my table checklists that I have laminated and placed at each table. The students store them underneath the table caddies and use them as needed or at the end of class. I was conflicted on how I would use these checklists when I first made them. After seeing students interact with them and considering my options, I landed on an idea. I use what were originally “check boxes” for the supply checklist part, as the area where I write the current number of each supply. These have now become “table specific” and for that reason, I think I will label them by color table!

My checklists were made using Canva, if you haven’t already applied for your educator account on Canva, I highly recommend doing so! You then gain access to all the “pro” items that can be used in your designs, which are really awesome! They also have many cool additional templates and features for teachers to use when you access their site through an educator account

If you aren’t familiar with Canva at all – it is an online designing software, that is FREE to use. You can make ALL KINDS OF THINGS using even just the Canva free account. I use it often for personal use outside of the classroom too to make invitations, cards, calendars, and so much more. One day I will type up a blog JUST on Canva but for now, follow the link below to read more about Canva for Education and to sign up for your Canva Educator account. That way you too will have access to the awesome pro designs and tools!

Below you will find the link to my table checklist template on Canva, as seen above!

Please feel free to use it in your classroom, however it best fit your needs. Let me know if you use it by commenting here or tagging me on my Insta Below
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