Kids definitely want to have their own water bottles, especially if they are coughing. While we do have a water fountain that we regularly wipe down, some prefer their own personal bottle and I am a-okay with that.
What I am not okay with is when it tips on the table and spills water on their workspace and the space around them, or if it's left on the ground and gets bumped by feet and chairs, or if it's left around the classroom and can't be found when needed. Because we move so much for Daily 5 and Writing Groups, kids are not staying at their space all morning, either, so a more centralized spot was needed across the board.
We are fortunate to have a sink in our room and a fairly decent-sized countertop that we knew would be the perfect place. I have loads of these document-sized baskets that I wasn't using and placed one right next to the sink to serve as the gathering spot for these bottles.
Now, when someone needs a drink, they can either head to the sink to use the water fountain or to use their own water bottle. It's a simple and effective organizational strategy that has saved me loads of tripping and mopping up! Plus, since they're in the basket, I can easily scooch them aside if I need additional countertop space for a bit or to wipe it down at the end of the day.
One rule I do have is that the basket needs to be empty every Friday so that water bottles get washed, although most get taken home each day. They also need to have a name on them, and I am happy to lend a Sharpie in case a kiddo needs to get theirs on one.
I made this simple sign that you can pick up on Google Docs HERE. I laminated it and used lots of clear tape to ensure it didn't get wet and ruined.
Have a wonderful Monday!