An Easy Alternative to a Bathroom Pass

If your bathroom pass was a crumpled, germ infested, barely recognizable piece of wilted lamination after a long school year and now lives in the garbage can, you might be looking for an new, more sustainable idea for a bathroom pass for next year. I saw this idea from a colleague, and thought it was smart and efficient (and a little less germy).

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It’s very simple to make – Hang a whiteboard with an attached eraser and marker hanging from a piece of string. If a student goes to use the rest room they write their name under the correct column. Only one boy and one girl can leave the room at the same time. When they return, they erase their name.

This system is nice because you can easily look up and see WHO exactly is gone, and if you wanted to get more detailed, you could have them write the time they left, (for older students) to see if they are ‘wasting time’ in the bathroom. From a safety standpoint, you can see who exactly is in the rest room during a fire drill, etc.

Do you make a new pass each year?

What else are you planning to re-do for next school year?

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Kristen

    I always use something ridiculous. One year I had the kids wear Flava Flav style big round clock necklace, one year it was a skateboard with no wheels and last year I had the kids carry (new) plungers. I LOVED the plunger idea because it really cut down on the kids who wanted to leave class just to walk around. haha. They really only left class if they truly HAD to go to the bathroom. I painted one handle of one plunger blue and the other one was light purple, so girls took one plunger and boys took the other. The above idea in the article is a good one for keeping track of who signs out but doesn’t address the kids needing to carry a pass. The year I did the clock idea was probably the most sanitary, and it was pretty funny. Again, some kids didn’t want to wear it, so they waited to use the bathroom for another class so it really helped to cut down on kids leaving class…

    • Those are SO FUN! Thank you for sharing. I wish I was in your art class.

    • jeffreywp

      I honestly think my 3rd grade boys would try to use the plunger and it would come back wet. LOL!

  • Joe

    I like using the system found here: