Some things that define me:
Obsessed with keeping things simple.
Lover of graphic balance.
Seriously annoyed by lost and loose crayons.
I used to use pencil boxes in my classroom. Each summer I’d go out and buy 30 matching pencil boxes. In them I’d place 2 pencils, a pencil top eraser, large pink eraser, white board marker, scissors and a box of 24 count crayola markers.
Then I spent the year annoyed with falling pencil boxes… spilling their contents all over the place. Things were always lost, misplaced, or simply abandoned on the floor. Crayon boxes were quickly smashed, ripped and destroyed or simply left empty in the box with crayons randomly thrown into the pencil box next to little pieces of trash that somehow always made its way into the boxes.
Needless to say I did not have a friendly attachment to those pencil boxes. The ONLY thing I liked about them was that they all matched.
A few years ago I fondly thought back to how I handled classroom supplies in Kindergarten. Those fabulous communial supplies that never got wrecked. Shortly after that I was zipping, ok strolling, through Target and saw some fantastic caddies. The rest was history.
This little change was the BEST change I have ever made. The mess just does not exist anymore. All supplies last way longer. Clean up takes seconds and desks can be cleared in moments. I label the crayons and the caddies are labeled (not shown here) with table numbers. Otherwise it’s community property. The only supply the kids have in their desks is their pencil.
But, those crayons still find their way to the floor. Granted it isn’t as much of a problem as it was with the pencil boxes, but it’s still an issue. Some kiddos just throw their crayons into the blue tub without bothering to put them in their box. When that happens, the other children at their table wanting to keep things organized to keep their teacher oh so happy, tend to get rid of those crayons.
This leads to me searching for crayons for some poor kiddo who desperately needs blue-green and apricot for his latest project.
I like my kids to be in charge of the room as much as possible. I expect them to get what they need, when they need it – but crayon issues have been a challenge.
A couple years ago I fell in love with all of the fabulous supply chests/tool boxes I had seen all over Pinterest and on blogs. They are fabulous and sing to my love of organization.
Ladybug’s Teacher Files‘ toolbox has always been one of my favorites. She actually has done a couple renditions of this toolkit! Each is fabulous.
But I didn’t really have a need for them because I am very fortunate to have enough cupboard, cabinet and drawer space to house all of those supplies.
BUT I thought something like that would be a fabulous solution to my crayon problem. So I went to Lowes and Home Depot and WalMart and Target on a search for a hardware and craft organizer with 24 drawers that were all the same size. I never found one. All I could find were the ones with assorted sized drawers.
Peeps, I buy everything from Amazon. EVERYTHING. But I never looked there for my lost and “I need a crayon” solution. Never. I have NO idea why. But a few days ago my husband needed a tool and asked me to check to see if Amazon had it. Amazon… tools? WHY had I never thought of it before? I don’t know. Anyhoo… I ordered his tool and a 24 drawer cabinet!
My plan for this had always been that I would stock it with a few crayons at the beginning of the year and then we would add to it as lost crayons were found lying around and pull from it as needed. Actually not WE, the KIDDOS would be in control of their crayon situation.
So I made some labels. Simple and clean labels. The cabinet is black and I use a lot of black in my room, so I didn’t have to paint it or anything. I wanted the labels to be simple and easy to read and include the colors for each crayon.
After laminating them and cutting them out, I organized them in an order that made sense to me. This kind of simple organization makes me so happy!
I LOVE how it turned out. I’m thrilled that my kiddos will be in charge of their own crayon situation. I usually give my kiddos a new box of crayons 2-3 times a year. This year I will have them donate their gently used crayons to our crayon cubbies when I give them their new box.
Making sure the kids take ownership of the classroom and feel in control and are permitted to get what they need is a huge part of my classroom management. For the most part, the kids don’t like it when someone leaves an area of the room a mess or puts something away incorrectly. MOST of them will clean up and fix up anything they see out of place. They keep each other accountable and save me a ton of time. I love the pride they have in their classroom.
This crayon solution is going to fit into our class management routine beautifully!
If you are interested in doing the same thing the labels are available in my store.
How do you handle crayons in your room? Are you as neurotic about them as I am?