Where do you put the preschool projects to dry?

Sometimes, I will walk in a classroom and find activities laying all over cubbies, tables, and the tops of shelves to dry.

When you have lots of children or a few children who do lots of activities, inevitably you will need a place to let the activities dry. Thinking about where you are going to let activities dry may seem silly but it is actually part of planning your classroom setup.

Over the years, we have collected several different kinds of drying racks that we use so to keep wet and messy projects up and off the tables, cubbies, and shelves to dry. The drying rack above is a wooden stand with strings across. The papers are held onto the strings with clothespins.  This isn’t our favorite drying rack because it is not as easy to manipulate. Some of our students can hang their own activities but for the most part, I noticed that the teachers do most of the hanging up.

We also have flat drying rack. This drying rack is considered, by our teachers, to be one of the best drying racks ever invented. I am not sure where the school bought them from but I was told they are not cheap!

This drying rack has little metal shelves that slide in and out kind of like the racks or shelves you see in an oven. Sometimes the teachers will slide the rack completely out of the shelf and set it on the table…

So when the children are finished with something super messy, it can be easily placed on the rack…

Then the rack holding the messy activity can be picked up and slid back into the shelf to dry…

Our teachers love this type of rack because it is simple to use and in many cases, the children can even slide out a shelf part way, put their own art on the shelf then slide the shelf back into place without the teacher’s help.

I tell you all of this, not to promote any specific type of drying rack but to remind you that as you plan your classroom set-up, don’t forget to consider the things we take for granted like a trashcan, drying rack, or footstool for reaching the sink! They are all essentials that will help you and your students stay organized.

By |2011-02-03T00:01:13+00:00February 3rd, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Kjaere February 3, 2011 at 12:08 am - Reply

    I use this rack and never even thought of taking the shelves off to have the kids put the art on! This is going to change my life! Haha… thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Haha – I probably would not have thought of it either – I give all the credit to the teachers who teach me something new everyday.

  2. Amy A February 3, 2011 at 12:19 am - Reply

    I have one of those racks too, and absolutely love it!

    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:37 am - Reply


  3. Jessica P. February 3, 2011 at 2:35 am - Reply

    My early childhood teacher swears by those racks, good choice!

    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Our teachers do to Jessica!

  4. Danielle February 3, 2011 at 7:07 am - Reply

    I don’t teach in a classroom, but I homeschool. All of our art projects get hung on a yarn clothesline hung down the hall. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:16 am - Reply

      I am sure that looks really cute all hung up too:)

  5. Susan February 3, 2011 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Do you know where to buy the rack. Susan

  6. casey February 3, 2011 at 8:49 am - Reply

    We love ours too. Thy are around $120 from Constructive Playthings, but shop around. They can come apart at the bottom if used in a class that gets moved every weekend, so be careful. But they are kid friendly which makes for a happy teacher!

    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:10 am - Reply

      That is about what we paid for this one too! I just didn’t know where they got it from so thanks for your information!

  7. Amy Ross February 3, 2011 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I have a clothesline-on-a-pulley type thing the custodian rigged up for me. Pretty awesome (the custodian too-what would we do without them?)! This works very well unless the artwork is a little “drippy”, otherwise we put it on any flat surface we can!

    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:41 am - Reply

      I suppose a few sheets of newspaper underneath will take care of the “drippies!” Love the creative support of your custodian!

  8. Ms. Jessi February 3, 2011 at 9:35 am - Reply

    I have that drying rack and I love it! I bought mine thru Discount School Supply and it was less than $100.


    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Awesome Jessi – thanks for the link and helpful information!

  9. Bonna February 3, 2011 at 9:37 am - Reply

    A child care provider that I know picked up a bakers rack at an auction – complete with all the removable shelves. You know, the kind used in actual bakeries. She has tons of space. She puts storage items on the top shelves, like materials prepared for an upcoming collage, or the materials needed for a guided project and when it is time for that project she just takes the shelf out and ta-da!! Unfortunately, there isn’t wire allow for quicker drying, but she loves it and really makes the best of it. Just a thought!

    • Bonna February 3, 2011 at 9:39 am - Reply

      I think she paid $35.00 for the baking rack…what a steal!

    • Deborah J. Stewart February 3, 2011 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Now that is a smart and frugal shopper!! If I found something similar, I would definitely give it a try here at home.

  10. Pam February 3, 2011 at 11:36 am - Reply

    We have racks that look almost identical to that- but the individual racks aren’t removable 🙁 I definitely like yours better!

  11. Holly Davis February 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I had one of these drying racks in my classroom when I taught pre-k and loved it as well! It will hold tons of art!

  12. Gena February 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    We use cookie sheets and place them on a drying cubby that we have. Sometimes we place them on trays and stack them too.

  13. Barbara Forbes June 14, 2018 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I see two drying racks through discount school supplies. One is a wall mount one is mobile. Are either of these the racks you use? In the reviews I see that the mobile one is flimsy, but still 4.1 stars. I am looking to buy a couple for our preschool.

    • Lauren Barkes June 20, 2018 at 10:16 am - Reply

      We don’t use either! We have used a wire drying rack before, but the papers would slip between the rungs. Honestly, my favorite drying rack is a cardboard divider like this one…click here!

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