18 Things We Only See in Elementary Schools

Elementary schools are home to some items that you won’t see anywhere else. Which items are we talking about? You’ll find 18 examples of them in this article. 

Alphabet Charts

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Alphabet charts are great for helping elementary school children become more familiar with the alphabet and a few basic words. Alphabet charts normally contain lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as some simple pictures showing words beginning with the letter. You won’t find these charts anywhere else but in an elementary classroom.

Tiny Milk Cartons

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The only place you’ll find tiny milk cartons is an elementary school. According to U.S. Dairy, “Dairy milk is an integral part of the federal school meals program due to its unique nutritional package. One glass of milk delivers 13 essential nutrients that fuel children’s growth, development, and learning, making it an important component of their overall diet.”

Behavior Charts

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Colorful behavior charts are also something exclusive to elementary schools. These charts reward children for good behavior and serve as warnings for those who misbehave. Colorful behavior charts are helpful visual aids that help younger children learn to listen to authority and behave themselves appropriately.

Large Picture Books

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You can find ordinary-sized picture books at the library but the best place to find oversized picture books is at elementary schools. These massive books are perfect for sharing a story with a group of young children. The size of the pages helps the children follow along with the reading and keeps them engaged. 

Dress-Up Corner

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An elementary school classroom is never complete without a dress-up corner. This corner is full of props and costumes that elementary school children can use to dress up in and allow their imaginations to run wild. These corners are often used during play days when it’s raining and the children can’t go outside.

Tiny Art Smocks

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You’ll know you’ve walked into an elementary school classroom if you see a group of tiny art smocks hanging on pegs in the art rooms. These smocks are the perfect sizes for small children and prevent them from making a mess of their clothes while having fun in art class. 

Handwriting Practice

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Another thing you’ll only see at an elementary school is a handwriting practice sheet. The statistics from Cross River Therapy show that “on average, 79% of U.S. adults [were] literate in 2022.” A lot of literacy success in the U.S. is thanks to handwriting practice sheets.

Classroom Jobs

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Elementary schools are the only places where you’ll find a list of classroom jobs for students to do. This list of jobs encourages students, from a young age, to be responsible and to help others. The list of jobs is usually kept in a place where they can readily see it. 

Story Time Rugs

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Another thing that you’ll only find at an elementary school is a massive story time rug. These rugs are designed to make story time more cozy and enjoyable and they’re big enough for the teacher and all of her little students to sit on together. 

Tiny Lockers

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Tiny lockers that are only so high are made for elementary school kids to keep their things in. These lockers are only small and very low, allowing the students to be able to access them. These are tailor-designed lockers that you won’t see anywhere else. 

Recess Bells

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Recess bells are unique to schools. These bells alert the children when recess starts and finishes. The bells teach the students obedience and let them know where they need to be and when. The ringing of recess bells provides structure and order to the school day.

Finger Paint

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“Finger painting is a great way for children to explore, learn, and develop through sensory play. When children can feel the cool, squishy texture of the paint and experiment with color and patterns, it encourages their creativity,” says Raising Children Network. You’ll only find massive displays of finger-painted creations at elementary schools. 

Educational Games

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The only place where you’ll find stacks of educational games for large groups is in elementary schools. These schools have fun games that get the children moving and thinking and help them learn in an interactive way. The games and their playing boards are normally massive, allowing lots of students to play at once. 

Drawing Displays

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Elementary school children are always drawing pictures. These go on big displays in elementary schools to showcase their fantastic work. You won’t find such a large display of children’s artwork done by different students all together in one place other than at an elementary school. 

Elementary School Paper

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Elementary school paper is different from standard school paper because it has larger lines and wider margins. These things help the students who are just learning to write to stay between the lines and learn finger spacing. You won’t find such a large collection of elementary school paper anywhere else. 

Clapping Games

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Triumphant Learning lists improved hand-eye coordination, practice in motor planning, and development of bilateral coordination among the benefits of teaching elementary school children clapping games. These games are essential for children, and you’ll only see them being done in large groups at schools. 


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Every elementary school has end-of-the-year performances where the children will perform something they have learned in class to students from other classes and to their parents and teachers. Attending these school performances is a proud moment for parents and something very unique to elementary schools. 

Classroom Sized Number Charts

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Number charts blown up to classroom size are another thing you’ll only find in elementary schools. These charts are normally hung on elementary school walls. They make it easy for the children to see the numbers and the bright colors and attractive fonts make math more fun.

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