Are there dopey little things in your classroom you can't imagine being without? While cleaning up, I took photos of a few of these faves. First, the containers from Kool-Aid ~ these are the BEST water containers for long-handled brushes. They curve in slightly at the top so messes drip inward rather than outward, and their wide bottoms make them very stable. The blue bowls were given to me (I don't know where they came from) and are marvelous for short-handled brushes.
Then there's the old lunch trays, freebie toothbrushes, and the containers from frosting.
I use the lunch trays for EVERYTHING. When we wash paint brushes, we do NOT put them in their containers to dry, as then the liquid drips into the ferrule and shortens the brush life. So instead we place the brushes on newspaper (on a tray) to dry and it makes the brushes last longer. I can't begin to tell you all the uses I have for these trays.
The toothbrushes are used for cleaning clay out of little fingernails, or ink out of ink pens.
I love putting stuff in the frosting containers, as you can see! And by the way, those are my FAVORITE brushes - they are Royal & Langnickel Big Kid's Choice brushes, and long-handled Q-tips. I actually keep the 3 containers of brushes, the container of Q-tips, and another container with Popsicle sticks in a small kitty litter pan. It is a perfect size!
And then there's these ugly sponges. I got the big ones by mistake a couple of years ago, and they are absolutely USELESS for washing tables. But we use them when painting, for wiping brushes. My mantra: wipe, wash, wipe! The kids all know it. Depending on what we're doing,we might use newspaper, or else the oval sponges. And since our table washing sponges are rectangular, there's no confusion. I also use the little round sponges in little pans of water, when we are using colored paper-tape. No licky-sticky! Hands are too germy. So we dab the tape on the damp sponges.
The other photo is of my FAVORITE style staple-pullers. You can pull about 20 staples onto one of these before you need to dump them off, and they do not tear paper like the "jaw-style" staple-remover. Since I hang a LOT of student work on 5 or 6 different hallway bulletin boards, and change them every week or two, we do a LOT of staple-pulling and it helps to have great tools.
I forgot to take a photo of the microwave TV dinner dishes that a bus driver brings to me. She must eat one for lunch or dinner every day! They are black and there's low flat ones, bowl-shaped ones, divided ones, etc. I put paint in them for stamping w/sponges, we use them for palettes for mixing colors, and a zillion other uses. And they don't me cost a dime!