Why this 2nd grade teacher let her students draw all over her white dress

Check out her colorful creation!
Haley Curfman asks her second grade students to draw on a plain white dress.
Haley Curfman asks her second grade students to draw on a plain white dress.Haley Curfman / Instagram
/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

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Kids love to color, but most adults don’t exactly encourage them to draw on clothes. Then again, Haley Curfman, a teacher from Blackwell, Oklahoma, isn’t your average adult.

Curfman, who runs a blog called The Weary Teacher, came up with a brilliant way to let her students express their creativity and create a lasting memento for herself after getting inspired by a fun craft she saw on Pinterest.

The second grade teacher bought a plain white dress from Amazon — the white dress is now sold out, but you can still score a mint green version that's light enough to show marker — and some fabric markers, and let her students go to town, encouraging them to fill the dress with colorful artwork in their free time.

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It's the second year in a row that Curfman has asked students to decorate a dress, and she shared their handiwork in a Facebook post that's gone viral, garnering 130,000 likes and 65,000 comments by publish time.

Curfman told TODAY Style she hopes to continue the project, which can take anywhere from two weeks to a month to complete, in the years ahead. "It's a great project, and an even better keepsake. I hope to do one every year," she said. "Facebook users have suggested I wear them at the students' graduation one day, and I think that's a great idea!"

Last year, Curfman entered the dress into the county fair and it took home a blue ribbon. She said her students were pretty excited to see their creation on display. "My students were proud every time they saw it, and they should be because they put a lot of thought into their drawings and kind words."

Curfman encouraged her students to draw something that makes them happy, and gave them free reign with one exception. "The only 'no' is to not 'X' things out," she explained. "I have a lot of students in second grade that like to mark things out and start over. I just tell them to turn their mistake into something beautiful."

This idea works not only in classrooms, but in any scenario where you want to encourage creativity and learning. Here are some white dresses and fabric markers we love.

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