Sometimes, I will walk in a classroom and find activities laying all over cubbies, tables, and the tops of shelves to dry.
When you have lots of children or a few children who do lots of activities, inevitably you will need a place to let the activities dry. Thinking about where you are going to let activities dry may seem silly but it is actually part of planning your classroom setup.
Over the years, we have collected several different kinds of drying racks that we use so to keep wet and messy projects up and off the tables, cubbies, and shelves to dry. The drying rack above is a wooden stand with strings across. The papers are held onto the strings with clothespins. This isn’t our favorite drying rack because it is not as easy to manipulate. Some of our students can hang their own activities but for the most part, I noticed that the teachers do most of the hanging up.
We also have flat drying rack. This drying rack is considered, by our teachers, to be one of the best drying racks ever invented. I am not sure where the school bought them from but I was told they are not cheap!
This drying rack has little metal shelves that slide in and out kind of like the racks or shelves you see in an oven. Sometimes the teachers will slide the rack completely out of the shelf and set it on the table…
So when the children are finished with something super messy, it can be easily placed on the rack…
Then the rack holding the messy activity can be picked up and slid back into the shelf to dry…
Our teachers love this type of rack because it is simple to use and in many cases, the children can even slide out a shelf part way, put their own art on the shelf then slide the shelf back into place without the teacher’s help.
I tell you all of this, not to promote any specific type of drying rack but to remind you that as you plan your classroom set-up, don’t forget to consider the things we take for granted like a trashcan, drying rack, or footstool for reaching the sink! They are all essentials that will help you and your students stay organized.This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!
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