Friday, April 26, 2013

How NOT to Waste Paint in the Classroom

A million years ago, (ok, last fall) I was still teaching art. I would have to say Pinterest has been a revolution for seeking out new project ideas. I spent countless hours, pouring over "kids' art" websites and coming up empty handed. So although I am no longer teaching art, here's the best tip I found back in the dinosaur days of my art career:

I read about this in the back of an otherwise dull art book for kids: Dispense paint to your class in ice cube trays. It's neater, easier AND portable. I used to go from class to class. In the old days, I'd pour paint out on plates for kids and have to either trash the left overs or tediously scrape the excess paint back into the bottle. Not easy to do in a 10 min. turn around time between lessons. Well, this is a revolution: you can pour out the paint. Many kids can share. They can mix colors in the empty spaces. There is very little waste, it is neat and clean, no paint can spill, you can stack the trays, slip them into a plastic bag and travel to another classroom, save left over paint from one day to the next OR take the paint home and scrape it back into the bottle at your leisure.

Then, if you have a picking vice (and who doesn't?) you can spend a happy hour or two peeling dried paint out of the little cube spaces if you've used Acrylic paint....or...throw them in the dishwasher if you used Tempera.

I don't know about you, but this little trick made all the difference in teaching painting for me. I imagine it would work beautifully at home too.

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