Bathroom Procedures: The Toilet Spider
Look, I’m a dude. I get it: boys are gross and sometimes we can’t aim very well. Even as grown-ups. True story. After years of teaching kindergarten, I was struggling with bathroom procedures and how to keep the bathroom clean. Especially the boys peeing on the floor. Enter the toilet spider or the toilet target.
The toilet spider or target is a very similar idea to using Cheerios or cereal when potty training at home. But if we used cereal at school, we’d stand in the bathroom all day with a box of cereal. The toilet target is a permanent solution and gives the boys something to aim for.
Before the school year starts, put on 2 pair of rubber gloves.
Grab your Sharpie.
Get on your knees in front of the toilet. This puts you at a five-year-old eye level.
Draw your spider (or target, or happy face or mustache) to give the boys something to aim for.
You can do a spider or a target. Below are videos of me showing how I do each of them. I have always used a spider but decided to switch it up for the 2022 school year.
On the first day of school, take the boys into the bathroom and tell them that their job is to pee on the target. Make it fun. Make it a game. I also show them how to raise the lid and lower the lid and flush the toilet. You know….guy issues…
Then bring the girls into the bathroom and explain that the target is there to help the boys not make a mess.
Problem solved. Our bathroom floor stays dry 95% of the time!
Then I realized that five-year-olds need visual reminders. Lots of visuals. So this should be true of the bathroom too!
And as for this question: do students ask to go to the bathroom? Do they have a signal?
In our classroom, my students just go. If they need to go, they go. Because as an adult, I don’t have to ask to go. So I don’t expect my students to ask. I also don’t know if they really need to go or not, so they are free to go as needed.
For more ideas and resources, check out these posts: