In recent years, headphones and earbuds have made their way into nearly every school classroom and student backpack. While this technology provides incredible learning experiences, it also adds one more thing for kids to keep track of and teachers to find a place to store. Angela S, a member of the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE Facebook group, recently shared her own plans for classroom earbud storage and asked other members for their thoughts. Here are some of their ideas and a few more we rounded up.
1. Mini Storage Tubs
Angela noted that her students have to travel to three rotations with their earbuds, plus she wanted an easy way to make sure they were all returned at the end of the day. Her solution was to have kids carry them in these little plastic containers, which would be returned to their student mailbox at the end of the day. That way, she’d be able to tell at a glance if any were missing.
2. Plastic Zipper Bags
Angela was a little worried that the containers took up too much room, so other teachers suggested she use plastic bags instead. Use smaller ones for earbud storage, or larger bags for full-size headphones. Try pinning or clipping them to a board so you can easily see if any have gone astray, or just stack them in a storage basket or bin.
Source: More Time 2 Teach
3. Divided Organizer
Leah D pointed us in the direction of this popular earbud storage idea, which keeps them all neatly in one place. You can find these divided storage containers in craft stores or the hardware section of home improvement stores.
Source: Inspire Love Learn
4. Hanging Jewelry Organizer
Kelsey S uses a jewelry organizer (like this one) hung in her classroom for earbud storage. A pocket chart like the one shown above is also a perfect fit.
5. Hardware Storage Box
If you’re looking for something a little sturdier, Tina C recommends a storage box with small drawers. Label them with numbers or student names. Larger drawers could also be used to hold each student’s computer mouse, if they have them.
Source: The Young and the Educated
6. Shoe Pocket Organizer
One headphones storage idea was suggested by multiple teachers – the over-the-door shoe organizer. These are large enough to hold earbuds or headphones. No door? Hang it from hooks on a wall or bulletin board, or use magnets to attach it to a filing cabinet.
Source: Fun for First
7. Magnetic Spice Containers
These magnetic spice racks have become trendy, so they’re easy to find. Stick them to a filing cabinet or use a couple of inexpensive cookie sheets. Beth B pointed out you could also just glue magnets to the back of plastic tubs like the ones Angela S is using.
Source: Cassandra Kelley/Pinterest
8. Mint Containers
If you (like most teachers) go through a lot of mints, you’ll love this idea suggested to us by Cheryl C. Mint containers, both the round plastic ones or the metal tins – you know the ones we mean – are great for storing earbuds. Bonus idea: Have students decorate the containers for a fun art project!
Source: Penny Pinchin’ Mom
9. PVC Pipe Rack
Feeling handy? This easy DIY PVC pipe rack is a great way to hold larger headphones. Hit the link below to learn how to make one yourself.
Source: Organized Classroom
10. Chip Clips
Pick up a few packages of chip clips and some Velcro, and create your own headphone and earbud storage wherever you need it. If you’ve got a metal cabinet nearby, just get the chip clips with magnets built in, and you’re good to go!
Source: Mrs. D’s Corner
11. Binder Clips (Method 1)
Oh, binder clips. Is there anything you can’t do? Use them to wrap earbud cords, then hang from a pushpin or small hook. You can label each clip with a student’s name or number.
12. Binder Clips (Method 2)
Attach the binder clip to the edge of a table or shelf, and wrap the cord around. Done! An easy way to keep earphones right at the workstation or desk where they’re needed. (Check out the video below to see this method in action.)
Source: The Kim Komando Show/YouTube
13. Wooden Clothespins
Pick up a pack of wooden clothespins at the dollar store, and you can craft enough earbud storage for your entire class in minutes. Just glue two pins together and wrap the cords as shown. Dress them up with washi tape, and write student’s name or number on them if you like.
Source: The Pin Junkie
14. Pill Bottles
Strip off the labels and run the bottles through the dishwasher to thoroughly sterilize them. Then, add some fun washi tape and labels. (Use this idea only for older kids who are able to open child-proof caps.)
Source: One Good Thing by Jillee
15. Blanket Rack
For bigger headphones, try a blanket rack (also known as a quilt rack). Coil cords in plastic bags, or wrap them with pipe cleaners to keep them out of the way.
Source: Two Boys and a Dad/Pinterest
How do you manage earbud storage in your classroom? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.