April 8, 2012

Boost Class Spirit with Tie-Dyed T-shirts!

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.

How to Download the Free Directions
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. You can download Tie-Dye T-shirts Made Easy from my Teaching Resources website on the Odds N Ends page.   

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!


  1. We have used class t-shirts for year, but have always purchased them (for a cost of about $7 each). This is a more cost-effective idea! Thanks for the idea. We will use it next year for sure!


    Fun in Room 4B

  2. Can't Imagine, tie dye shirts are now available in very cheap prices, so don't be fool by putting efforts on an old shirt. Shop from our collection. Thanks !!!

  3. You can also use acrylic paint to paint a small logo on the shirt. Acrylic paint should stay on the clothes even when washed if you do one or two coats of a color such as black. It could be a fun project creating a logo for your classroom!

  4. Wow! Really nice.Tie dye shirts it is good in design and color.I also like to wear tie dye shirts.thanks.

  5. Love this idea. I made them once with my class with a mom coming during playtime, pulling a couple of kids at a time to put the dye on. The then put each in a baggie and took them all home to wash for us. Either way...great way to have something that is the same, yet different!


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