Spring is here, and that means field days and field trips! As the weather turns sunny and warm, kids and teachers both want to get out of the classroom. But sometimes after everyone is outside, it’s difficult to keep track of your students! That’s why I started doing this easy tie-dye t-shirt project early in the spring. As you can see from this photo of my former class on a class trip to the zoo, when everyone is wearing the same color shirt, it’s easy to locate them no matter where they are. It’s also really helpful for your parent volunteers because they know exactly who’s in your class. Therefore, they feel more comfortable speaking to any of your students who are acting a bit rambunctious.
For years I had thought of doing a tie-dye project with my class, but the whole thing always seemed so messy. I remember walking by classrooms where kids were tying shirts and squirting dye onto them, and the project seemed like way more than I wanted to tackle.
But one year my entire grade level decided to tie-dye shirts, with each class choosing a different color. They explained that it’s easy when you have the kids tie up their shirts at school and you take them home to dye in your washer. Yes, I know! I thought the same thing! Whoa! I’m not putting purple dye into MY washing machine! However, they convinced me to give it a try saying that all it takes to clean the washer later is running a wash cycle with bleach and hot water. I followed their directions and it really was easy! My students loved tying their shirts and creating their own unique designs, and it was terrific to have the shirts ready to go for field day and for our spring field trip.
Because I love this project so much and want others to try it, I’ve written detailed directions explaining exactly what to do. I also included sample parent letters requesting the t-shirts and money for the dye. If you want to try this with your class, download Tie-Dye T-shirts Made Easy for all the details.
Making tie-dyed t-shirts was a great activity for boosting class spirit, and it proved to be an excellent classroom management tool as well – or maybe I should say, an excellent outdoor management tool! I hope your students enjoy the project as much as mine did!