Elementary Art, Inspire Others

Art on a Cart

Back to school and Art on a Cart!

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I’m an elementary art teacher for grades Kindergarten to 5th. I don’t have an art room so I teach art on a cart.

Last year I traveled for every class. This year most of my classes come to our cafeteria for art time. I’m thankful I travel less, but I still have to manage my supplies the same way since I don’t have a real classroom. Teaching art on a cart is challenging and a continual learning experience.

At a workshop this summer I met a young art teacher who is teaching on a cart for the first time. When she asked for some advice, I decided to use my blog for sharing my organization techniques and the things I am learning. I hope that my discoveries will help make teaching art on a cart a little easier and less stressful for others in this sometimes frustrating profession.

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I’m blessed to have a good sized cart with features I love. I wish this cart was still available, but sadly it has been discontinued by the company. United Art and Education has a similar one, though smaller.

My cart was missing a storage bin when I came to the school, so I put an old cafeteria tray in its place, which created a great work surface for writing, palette prep, pouring water and such. In the top two bins under the easel I keep the daily basics: hand sanitizer, box of tissues, personal pens and pencils, planner, classroom folders, crayons, scissors, glue & tape.

The small baskets hanging on the side are from the dollar store. I added them this year because I wanted to have the extra space for small items like scissors, glues, twines, small parts, etc. Of course that was before I discovered I would be in the cafeteria where my supply cabinets are located. I haven’t used them yet, but wanted to show you how you can add additional storage to your cart. I used s-hooks to hang them on the back of the easel.

The three empty middle bins are used to hold supplies specific to each class project. I usually load them at the beginning of a project and empty them again when the project is completed. Since my grades each do different projects this helps me to stay organized and avoids confusion. On occasion I’ve even used an empty bin to dump dirty water between classes, they also give me a place to put dirty brushes and supplies. When I get a break I can carry the bin to a sink for clean up.

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The bottom shelf can hold a variety of items as needed. I found some lidded storage tubs on clearance that fit perfectly! Here I keep more items that I use on a regular basis: watercolors, brushes, markers & paper. You will also see in the previous photo that I keep 2 dozen art trays on my cart. These are one of the best investments I’ve made for teaching art in the classroom. Students use the trays on their desk tops when painting or working with clay and messy projects. It makes clean-up a breeze!

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I mounted my class rules poster to the end of my cart with double sided tape. It’s a great reminder to students each time I enter their room. At the right is my new mobile drying rack. So excited about this purchase! It will make life so much easier as my back was growing weary of picking up artwork which had to be lined up along a wall on the floor.

I hope you enjoyed the introduction to my cart. I’ll be sharing much more about organization and maybe even a peek into my storage cabinet set-up. I’d love to hear your art on a cart tips so feel free to drop me a note on the contact page. Happy art carting!

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