Supplies to Make Your Child’s Art Teacher Smile (Part 1)

Unusual Supplies to Make Your Child's Art Teacher Smile (Part 1)

Many schools send home a list of supplies for parents to get their child before the school year. Pencils, notebooks, markers, crayons, etc. Often times, though, your child’s Art Teacher is forgotten.

This post isn’t about parents buying art supplies. At my school, I’m all set with my instructional materials. No, the list I’m going to share with you contains unexpected items. Consider these food for thought the next time you visit your favorite Back-to-School Supply store.

TISSUES: Nothing to Sneeze At

Boxes of tissues are ALWAYS a great 'gift' for your child's Art Teacher because they see hundreds of kids in a week. That's nothing to sneeze at!In my school, I see 480 kids every six days. Because my students are K-3, they have a tendency to use (or think they need to use) a lot of tissues. During cold and flu season (which is coming up!), I can go through a box in a little over a week. Yikes!

This recommendation is probably not a shocker, right? So, consider purchasing a few extra boxes of tissues and earmark those for your kid’s Art Teacher. (S)he will thank you!

WIPES: The Bottom Line

Clorox Wipes are not safe to be used in classrooms because it contains unsafe chemicals. Visit EWG.org for better options.Clorox Wipes are a no-no for general classroom use (or they should be) because they are NOT an all-purpose cleaner. They are for disinfecting an area that has been exposed to a substance that is harmful or contagious.

On top of that, Clorox Wipes are toxic. Often, these products aren’t even used properly. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org), a non-profit research and advocacy group:

All disinfectant products, including bleach, need to stay on the surface for a certain duration of time to work adequately, so always read instructions on the label. You might be surprised how many wet wipes it takes to ensure the surface stays wet for the full 4 to 10 minutes directed on the label.

Other important instructions include keeping out of children’s reach, washing hands after using, rinsing surfaces with water after using and don’t use on skin. After disinfecting a kitchen counter or cutting board, wash it before using again.

Did you know that?

Do you follow those instructions at home?

Perhaps you should ask if your child’s teacher follows them at school because these wipes are a common classroom supply.

ALTERNATIVES

WANT TO CHECK OUT A PRODUCT on your own? See the list of brands in EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning database.

DISH SOAP: A Slippery Proposition

Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Soap is a great option for classroom use. Visit EWG.org for more options.You read right: dish soap. It’s the best thing to help him/her keep your child healthy and clean during class. BUT, there’s a catch. Most of the popular stuff out there isn’t particularly healthy. They’re loaded with chemicals harmful for adults and kids! That said, the purchase of dish soap to help with clean up (both material and bodily) would be appreciated by your child’s Art Teacher.

You can use the links below to educate yourself, if you are interested. You may find something healthier to use with your own family.

BRAND RATING STORE
Dr. Bronner’s Pure
Castile Soap
A CVS, Rite Aid. Walgreens,
Vitamin Shoppe
WholeFoods 365 Everyday
or Seventh Generation
C-D WholeFoods, Target
Dawn C-F Acme, ShopRite, Walmart,
CVS
Ivory or Joy D Acme, ShopRite, Walmart
Great Value, Palmolive
or Up & Up
D-F Acme, ShopRite, Walmart,
Target, CVS, Rite Aid
Ajax F Acme, ShopRite, Walmart,
CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens

STICKERS: For a Job Well Done

At the Elementary level, often times dollar store items like stickers can be helpful for the Art Teacher. When you teach hundreds of students finding incentives that won’t break your bank can be challenging. Stickers (rather than toys, beads, or things that make noise or light up) fit the bill, though. If you go this route, get a couple boy-centric sheets and a couple girl-centric sheets. Characters and those without messages are best.

Well, that’s my list! If you have any recommendations, please post them in the comments below. I would love to continue the discussion.

Forever Supplies

The good thing about these supplies is that they’re good for any time of the year. So, if school has already started, you can still put a smile on that Art Teacher’s face with a bag containing some of these goodies above. Hey, I’m an Art Teacher! Would I lie to you?

Artwork Spotlight

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona LisaOkay, forgive me for my defacement of this priceless work of art but it got your attention, right? The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, was painted over a period of time: 1503-07. Learn more by visiting the Khan Academy where their video discussion of the painting sheds some interesting light on the artist and his subject.

For a more in-depth look at the painting, you can also explore The Mona Lisa Foundation. (yes, they actually have a foundation! Who knew?!)

Good stuff all around!

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