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Last time I discussed this topic, I extolled the virtues of using sturdy, plastic cups for better organization and clean-up in the classroom. You can find that post here. I stand by my word that cups are by far the cheapest and quickest way to store, distribute, and put away manipulatives and other materials in the music room. However, I’ve discovered something else that also makes the list.

The travel soap box.

I’m not the first person to think of using soapboxes as storage. When I searched for an image to add to my blog, I was surprised to see that there were several, and most were from Pinterest. However, the images and blog posts I found were geared toward uses for the home. So I decided to put together my own list for soapboxes in the music room.


  1. Crayons for our Boomwhacker composition activities
  2. Mini popsicle sticks for rhythm writing
  3. Pipe cleaners for vocal exploration
  4. Mini Solfa texting sticks
  5. Music dice for composition activities (I suppose I should get the dice first!)
  6. Rhythmic or melodic flashcards for early finishers
  7. Manipulatives, manipulatives, and more manipulatives!

The list could go on and on.

I do have a few concerns however, so please reply in the comments if you have first-hand experience using these in your classroom. First of all, they are more expensive than plastic cups. One dollar may not seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly when you have to buy one for each student. And if you’re like me, you might want to buy a different color for each grade level. My second concern is that the snap closure would break, rendering them nearly useless. If I’ve learned anything about materials in the classroom, it’s that kids are rough with them.

Still, I think soap boxes are worth a try. What simple and inexpensive containers do you use daily in your classroom or at home?

P.S. Be glad that I spared you a terrible pun about being “on a soapbox”. It was difficult. I was tempted…