Crayola Markers are my go-to product when I want a lesson with bright colors and easy clean-up. Last year I experimented with Crayola’s “washable” markers and now I’m sold on them! Most washable products don’t have the quality I look for, but these are different. The colors are clean and bright, and my experience has been that they’re “juicier” and last longer than the regular ones typically do. Crayola markers have a versatile tip that will give you a nice fine line if you hold it straight up and down, or a broad line if you angle it a bit. And the washable ones can even give you a fun watercolor effect if you paint over them with a damp brush.
The first thing I do when I buy new markers is lose the boxes! The boxes make it too hard to tell if all the markers are in there when students put them away, and the boxes fall apart quickly anyway. I prefer to use quart size Hefty brand freezer bags to store each set. I train my students to always put them back in the bag with the colored caps at the bottom. This way, you can quickly count to make sure you’ve got all twelve, and if you’ve accidentally picked up someone else’s marker, it’s easy to see that you’ve got two of the same color.
Then, I always store the bags of markers in a plastic tub, standing up with the caps at the bottom. This keeps the ink at the tips and ready to go! They seem to last a lot longer this way. The combination of the washable (juicier) markers and storing them caps-down has really made a difference in how well they still work by the end of the year!
You might be wondering about the blue tape on each marker.… Because my school doesn’t currently have an Art Room, I go from room to room (to room!) to teach Art. I use blue painter’s tape to identify my supplies so they don’t get mixed in with the supplies in the classroom, or in a student’s desk. It always seems like a lot of extra work when I’m doing this, but the payback is great! All year long I get markers and glue sticks returned to me that are found after I leave the classroom. I’d probably have nothing left by the end of the year if I didn’t do this! A little extra work at the beginning of the year makes a big difference all year long!
What are your favorite storage solutions for your supplies?