I took a little time out yesterday to make some changes in our classroom. For the last couple of years the Littles have been using school desks, the kind with the desk attached to the chair. But I don’t like it. It’s too institutionally school for me. Don’t get me wrong, it has worked and they have been comfortable enough, but I often have found myself pushing the desks apart so we could all sit on the floor together or coming into the living room so we could cozy up on the couch or having class outside instead of in the classroom. With cooler weather heading toward us, outside will soon stop being an option so I have decided to get rid of the desks. My beautiful husband gave me the go ahead to remove the desktops so we can still use the comfy wooden chairs and I brought our old art table back in from its garage mausoleum and cleaned it up. I’m thinking of painting it. That’s a different post.
Now, regardless of the fact that the wheels on the yellow bus are going round and round every morning again, we don’t start fall semester until the day after Labor Day. So I have some time to get the neglected classroom under control and do some new things. Having a table for the boys to sit at together means I can get rid of the supply pouches that hung on their desks and put a general supply caddy on the table for them to share. I wanted something that would hold most of the things they might need for projects but that could be moved out of the way if we need more room. So I dug out some empty tin cans and found an old square of wood and set to work building this:
This was a simple project and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.
All you need is 6-7 cans you’ve emptied in the kitchen. I chose to use different sizes, but you could make a really pretty caddy using all one size. A board or a piece of plywood to mount the cans on, and some screws… Well, here’s a materials list:
6-7 empty cans (or however many you need, really)
1 1/2-inch plywood board cut to size (Mine is 9×9″ and easily fit 6 cans.)
Craft or spray paint
1/4″ screws (as many you have cans)
The first and most important thing you want to do is make sure there are no sharp edges on your cans for your littles to get cut on. I used an abrasive sandpaper on the inside edges. A little elbow grease and any rough edges disappeared.
You can spray paint your cans, but I had craft paint on hand and didn’t think it called for a trip to the store and more money spent on paint. The craft paint worked just fine. I love these little painting triangles. They work great for medium-sized projects . Once you get your cans painted, paint your board in a color that compliments them. Let everything dry, then move on to the next step.
Arrange your cans several different ways until you come up with something you’re happy with. Then use a drill to attach each can to your board with the screws. Attach them from inside the can down into the wood so there’s no chance of little hands catching on them and getting cut.
I decided to separate my cans a little to better fit the size and shape of my board. Once you have your cans attached, fill them with school supplies. I put glue and gluesticks, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, scissors, and compasses in mine, making sure to put in 2 boxes of colored pencils and crayons so they don’t fight over who will be using which color when. Believe me, that fight has been had even when their supplies were separate. It can’t really be avoided, but I am doing my best.
I’m super happy with how this turned out because it’s cute and useful and something we will probably use for at least a couple of years. And it didn’t cost me a dime. Now, I wonder what it will take to get that table painted?