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Math Baskets Center With PVC Pipe

 Today I’m sharing how I used PVC Pipe to make our new math basket storage shelf!   You see, we have this amazing storage unit for our literacy tubs and I wanted the same thing for our math baskets.  But these amazing units are old.  Like 30 years old.  So you can’t find them.  So when you can’t find a math baskets shelf, you load up on PVC Pipe and Dollar Tree dish tubs and make one!   It was so easy and took me about an hour.
learning centers kindergarten
So this is our original math baskets center shelf.  It worked OK.  It wasn’t quite wide enough so the baskets kept falling.  And since there are only three baskets for each group, the baskets had multiple activities so they students had to grab a bag and take it with them.   So really it was just always a hot mess.  This is different than our reading tubs because they take the reading tub with them.  Again, I wanted to bring that consistency into our center time.   (I’m leaving the original how to instructions at the bottom of this post for anyone who wants them!)
And here is our new and improved math baskets center!!!
math baskets
You can see it’s very similar to the original math baskets shelf just bigger.  I tweaked the measurements to fit the Dollar Tree dish tubs.  The Mister color coded the Dish Tubs with duct tape to match the math groups and the center wheel.  Now our math baskets or math centers work just like our reading tubs or literacy centers!  The measurements are on the picture.  Again these measurements are for the 8 quart Dollar Tree dish tubs.
For the NEW math baskets, you will need:  (Follow the steps below in the directions for the original math tubs shelf!)
3/4″ PVC pipe
28 pieces cut into 27″ sections
48 6″ pieces
27 7″ pieces
12 elbow pieces
14 cross connectors
28 T connectors
The total cost for this project:
PVC Pipe and connectors was about $60.  The baskets were $36.
Compared to all of the other options we’ve found online, this is a bargain!

Here’s a little video of me working on the math baskets shelf!

Below are the measurements for the original shelf:

(NOTE:  I followed the same steps to make the new, larger math baskets shelf.  Just the measurements are different!)
54″ long (cut into 2 27″ pieces)
20″ tall (cut into 5″pieces)
10″ deep
Here’s how we made it:
We bought 5 pieces of 3/4″ PVC pipe that was 10 feet long.
We cut 12 27″ pieces.
Then, we cut 6 10″ pieces.
Next, we cut 24 5″ pieces.
Then we pieced the 27″ pieces together with a cross joint.  (These are in the plumbing section at Lowes/Home Depot)  This will give you the front and the back.  You will have 2 pieces that look exactly the same.
To make the shelves, we placed 5″ pieces vertically using the cross joints.  We did this on the ends and the middle.
Then we placed the 10″ horizontally to make the shelves deep enough to allow the baskets to sit on the pipe.  We connected the top bottom with elbow pieces to make feet for the center to sit on.
That’s it.  It’s really simple.
Total cost:  $30 for the shelf and $9 for the baskets.  The fittings (cross, T and elbow) are the most expensive part!
The measurements are specific to these baskets from the Dollar Tree.  If you use different baskets, you will have to tweak the measurements!
For more information on how we run centers, check out this post!

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