If you’re a specialist who has to move from classroom to classroom, you already know how a great cart can get you where you’re going and keep all your supplies handy along the way. After all, your sanity depends on having a home base that you can wheel around your school. Keep on rolling along!
If you’re a regular classroom teacher, you might be surprised at how an art cart can help keep your classroom organized, too. Most classrooms just don’t have enough storage space to hold everything you need, especially if you’ve collected years of materials and curriculum supplies. Even if you’re lucky enough to work in a school with lots of built-in shelves and a closet, these storage systems are designed to hold large items like books and reams of paper. Little things like paint brushes, crayons and pencil top erasers can easily get lost in the shuffle.
To keep your art supplies neat and accessible, a dedicated art cart can work wonders. A good one has trays for paper and small compartments to organize markers, colored pencils and other small supplies. Best of all, those wheels let you easily move your supplies around, so you can set up an art area for work in centers or even head outside when the weather warms up in the spring.
Seriously, you need an art cart.
Ready-Made Art Carts
The easiest way to get an art center going in your classroom is to buy a ready-made art cart. There are lots of designs available, so here are a few features to look for:
- Sturdy construction. Wood or steel are good choices.
- Four wheels. This seems like a no-brainer, but a wheel-barrow style cart that you have to lift to move will only drive you crazy in the long run.
- Flexible storage. A great art cart has a variety of shelves and differently sized nooks to hold lots of different supplies.
DIY Art Carts
If you can’t rustle up any PTO funding to purchase a new art cart, you can try your hand at making one yourself. The easiest thing to do is to steal (er, find) an old A/V cart that’s languishing in the basement of your school. Customize the cart by adding inexpensive storage bins, pencil cups and paper trays to create a moveable feast of art supplies for your room. If you’re really handy, try building your own cart from scratch out of PVC pipes.
Looking for even more great ideas to get your classroom organized for the New Year? Check out our other Classroom Organization resources to get inspired with more fun, creative tips!