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Teaching Kids How to Clean Up Art Supplies: Marker Clean-Up

Tips and tricks to teach kids how to cleanup after coloring.

My two young kiddos love art projects! Especially drawing with markers. But cleaning up the projects once they are done can get rather chaotic. So, I have pulled out my bag of tricks from my teaching days to create clean-up checklists for my kids. These checklists are perfect for allowing my kids the independence to do tasks by themselves, while I can help guide them in the process! Less stress for all involved.

Clean Up Markers 1

But you can’t just hand the kiddos the checklist and expect them to just do it. There is some teaching involved!!

I like to turn any teaching into a game. It makes things more fun for everyone.

Start with pulling out markers and paper. Let the kiddos draw beautiful creations.

When you notice they are starting to finish their drawings, pull out your checklist. Tell them that this checklist is going to help everyone clean up once we finish drawing.

Clean Up Markers 2

The first thing on the checklist is to push the cap on all the markers. Turn this into a game with young kiddos. I like to show them how you listen for the click. Then I will *almost* click the lid, but not all the way. I will ask my kiddos if the lid is on all the way. They catch on rather quick because I am being silly. So, I ask them to do it for me. This gets them in the flow of doing the task themselves.

Clean Up Markers 3

Once all the lids are clicked, all the markers should go back in the holder. Help the kiddos if they need help getting the last few markers in the holder and show them how to move the markers to make room for the remaining ones!

Clean Up Markers 4

Next, hang or display the pictures they created. I have used clipboards hanging on a wall to hold pictures or created magnet boards using giant car drip pans hanging from the wall. Give the kids a designated place for pictures to go!

Clean Up Markers 5

Finally, it’s time to wipe the table and wash hands. We use just a wet cloth to wipe the table. The act of wiping things down is a great way to transition to the next activity as well. It is an easy way to give the kids closure to the drawing they just created.

Download the Marker Cleanup Checklist here!

Keep the checklist next to the markers and paper. Pull it out every time the kiddos are drawing so they get in the habit of cleaning up every time they draw. It is the best way to instill respect for their art supplies!!

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Jessica is the founder of The Organized Mama; a professional organizing service and blog that inspires organizing a handmade home!  With a background in teaching, Jessica loves showing families how to live an organized life! She is also a wife to an amazing husband, mother to two kiddos & a fur-baby, crafter, exclamation-mark enthusiast, and lover of creativity. You can find her on all social media channels @organizedmamas and at