I love a painted noddle necklace or finger painting collage just like everyone else. Making a mess is half of the fun of making crafts! However, sometimes due to time constraints, staffing, or complexity of the craft we integrate in these no mess hacks. These tricks are super simple and the supplies can be found at Target, Walmart, and Amazon.
Kwik stixs are paint sticks with an easy grip for little hands.It existentially works like a marker but the contents dispensed it paint. It dries in 90 seconds! This comes in handy when we are doing a craft that has a lot of different components. The vibrant colors work on almost any surface. It is painting without smocks, cups and brushes. Get your hands on a pack here!
These are one of my favorites! Dry erase crayons save me from wasting paper and constantly having to reprint hand outs. For tracing pages and worksheets Dry Erase Crayons are my go to. They allow me to reuse worksheets over and over again. They easily wipe of off with a tissue or wet wipe. They even wash off the wall! These crayons also allow my students to have a way more functional grasp than a regular dry erase marker.
This is an awesome trick for keeping glue from spilling all over the place. Glue sponges are a huge time saver when working on interactive notebooks. Simply place a clean sponge in a Tupperware and pour in some liquid glue, and let sit over night. It is that simple! Students simply take their selected paper, push it on on the sponge, and PRESTO! Simply but the lid on the box and reuse it over and over again! Supplies can easily be purchased at the grocery store, online, or even the Dollar Store!
Art trays are a life savor when working with multiple students at once. We always prep our crafts ahead of time. Art trays help us keep materials organized and in place. We use different sizes for different materials. Sometimes they are even color coded. These storage trays also double as work trays. Students can keep all their materials contained and work in the same area.
All the mess but half the clean up! Messy Mats are just like an ordinary placement but way more durable. They also have grid lines that work as a great guide. We lay these down under student work for a quick clean up. No time is wasted wiping down the table, we simple just pull up the mats!
Please note we do not use these for all of our crafts and neither should you! Using a typical glue stick or paint brush is an opportunity to practice fine motor and functional skills as well as building up a tolerance for students with sensory processing difficulties.