One of the most annoying 'chores' during my first year of teaching was managing that messy paint. I had these big cups with lids and matching paintbrushes (seen below), but it was inevitable that the colors would be mixed by 'that one kid' (you know which one) and then the whole giant cup of paint was ruined. Even when they used the correct brush with the correct cup, those kiddos who did the crazy-Picasso-helicopter-arm paintings managed to still mix colors. Grrrr.
Although I loved the cups and concept, it was a little more mental stress than I wanted to dedicate to paint cups. I also had some overly picky girls who refused to use pink paint that had been tainted with a speck of brown. What to do?
Squirt bottles + ice cube trays = love
I can't tell you how much I love this. I found packs of these clear squirt bottles at Target in the kitchen supply area (a lot of other stores have them as well). I bought 12 and made sure I had enough for each color (including pink, skin colors, and gray). I also labeled the outside with the color names.
You could also opt for the cheaper (and disposable) version too...
I wanted to throw in an action shot of them and of course I can't find my picture... imagine the ones below... but larger... and all filled with paint. I'm so ashamed that I had to hunt for a picture. :(
Modern Teaching Aids ~$11
This was my 'helicopter arm' kid... possibly the most hilarious child I've met.
Why I love it:
- less paint wasted
- kids were independent and would only squirt out a little of each color they needed... then a little more if they needed it
- less 'mixing' of colors
- no dried up paint if we didn't use it during the week
- I only needed to get the gallon size paint bottles out when the squirt bottles got low
- Ice cube trays fit perfectly into the easel rack
- only one paintbrush needed per side... they rinsed with water in between color change
Science Connection: I only left the red, yellow, blue, white, and black bottles out when we learned about colors in science. They had to learn how to make their own green, orange, purple, pink, etc. Hahaha...... such a meanie.