Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh Toilet Paper Roll, oh what would I do without you?

Have you seen the commercials, where they show the Empire State Building filled up with toilet paper rolls? There's a toilet paper company singing the praises of their new cardboard roll-less toilet paper. I understand the desire to save trees and be environmentally conscious, but WHAT'S AN ART TEACHER TO DO?!!

Aah, the wonders of the little cardboard TP roll! They are legs for teddy bear chairs (I posted some here: http://plbrown.blogspot.com/search/label/teddy%20bears.) They are handles for maracas. They are of course, legs and snouts for piggies. Cut in 1/2 lengthwise and reshaped they have become legs for Kachina dolls made from dish detergent botles. On papier-mache masks they become long noses, protruding mouths, or squashed into bird beaks. On goofy papier-mache critters and tikis they can be arms, legs, tails. Their slightly longer cousins, the cardboard rolls from tin foil or paper towels serve as back supports on those teddy bear chairs, legs for fat papier-mache kitties, little rain sticks, stems for giant flowers... need I go on?
We NEED those toilet paper rolls!!!
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Every so often, I send home a little note, saying I'm looking for a few items, such as TP rolls, old CD's, cereal boxes, bottle caps, etc. I also send it out as an "all staff" email, and every morning I find bags by my classroom door, left by students, parents, & staff members. Sometimes I have to deal with the stuff that gets dropped off that I DON'T want, but that's OK. Do you also scrounge from your parents and the school staff?

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post Phyl! Totally answered my question. I'm thinking of sending home a note and setting a box by my door for the donations.

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  2. I thought of your post from yesterday today as I was running out of places to pile stuff. I need to spend 2 hours without kids to "dig out" and reorganize ( including the bags of TP rolls and cereal boxes )!!!!

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  3. Oh my gosh Phyl...that first picture is sooo funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT. And trully...what would happen to the art ed world if TP rolls were no more?!?! :) We'd be forced to cut paper towel rolls!

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  4. Mr. E, don't tell, but I 'borrowed' that photo from another website. Hopefully the TP Police don't come looking for me!
    Cutting paper towel rolls - UGH - I can never get them even and then the teddy bear chair is unstable.

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  5. In Australia we're not allowed to recycle TP rolls for school art and crafts as it's considered "unhygienic". We have to buy unused cardboard cylinders in bulk for projects or ask the kids to bring the ones from paper towel or alfoil.

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  6. Oh my gosh Anne, this is the funniest thing EVER! It's hygienic enough to use for our most delicate of places on our bodies, but not for art projects. It's not like we want the used TP! If they see what kids do regularly (such as fingers up noses etc)I'd say the core of a roll of TP paper is the least of our worries for hygiene. Usually it's the USA that regulates everything to the extreme - I didn't know Australia did that too! Thanks for a good laugh!

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  7. Here's a tip that works for me when it comes to storage. I buy mesh laundry bags (the kind that you got when you went to college) for a buck at the dollar store. I store my egg cartons, coffee cans, and my tp/paper towel rolls in separate mesh bags. Then I just drive nails in the top of my supply closet and I can hang all my extra junk up and out of the way until I need it. Works brilliantly for me because then I can see what I have without digging through garbage bags or cardboard boxes. I'm new to the elementary art scene (not my first year teaching, but my first year teaching elementary art). I've had a tough time finding solutions to wrangle in the vast amounts of art supplies that travel in and out of the art room. That trick helped get a lot of my treasured junk out of the way to make room for more treasures to be donated by staff and students. BTW, I love the blog... thanks for the tips!

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