Monday, June 30, 2014

4 Tips That Are Sure To Save You Time Every Week

Does Your Painting Center Get You Down?

Fear not, my 4 tips will transform your painting center into a "no-hassle" zone! 
Maybe is was a Picasso in the making!

Tip #1:

No more washing paint brushed every day!  Just get yourself some sponges and poke a hole in the center.  

You can cut rectangular sponges into squares.
I tried leaving the sponges as rectangles, but they kept knocking over the
paint cups they were next to.  Squares worked out best.  

Or use these cute ones I found at the 99 Cent Store.
The good new is that these are 4 for $1.00.
The bad news is that these are the only 4 colors they come in.

All you have to do is wet the sponge and place it over the brush handle.
So cute, and they last for a long time.

Pull the brush handle about 1/2 inch up while pressing down with your other hand on the wet sponge to hold the brush in place and keep the sponge from creeping up the brush handle as it dries.  

That's it!  The next morning, just slide the dry sponges off of the brushes and you are ready to paint.  

I like to color match the sponges to the paint colors since wet paint often gets on the sponges and you won't want to cross contaminate!  :)

Tip #2:

Line up your paint bottles in rainbow order. 
I don't know if they still make the Mickey Mouse paint sample cards,
but you can just use squares of colored construction paper.  

 Use Mickey Mouse paint sample cards (or just colored construction paper) to label where each bottle belongs.  
Looks like we have got a supple of every color right now.  

Then, as you are racing out the door to go to the bathroom office, you can glance at your paint rack, check out which paint bottle is missing, and then you can be sure to grab the right color of paint while you are at the supply room.  

Tip # 3:

This one is from my friend, Lauren, who has helped me so much!  She even worked at my booth at the So CA Kindergarten Conference last February.  She told me to line my paint cups with plastic sandwich bags before filling them.  Then, clean up is a breeze.  You just lift the bag out and toss it in the trash!  
Thank you, Lauren, for your cool tip!  

I also rub petroleum jelly on the tops of the concave paint cups.  This helps when I finally get around to cleaning the tops of the paint cups.  
You rub a thin layer of Vaseline on the colored, concave tops.

To be honest, since I have been using the wet sponges, I don't clean out the paint cups too often, but when I do, the Vaseline on the tops of the cups really helps a lot.

Tip # 4:

I cover my entire painting easel with a plastic table cloth.  I like the ones with the felt back the best.  I wait for them to go on sale for $1 - $2 and keep them in the closet until I need a new one.
You just have to slit the tablecloth to allow the clips to come through.  

One large rectangular table cloth is big enough to cover the easel and the paint trays.  I change them only about 4 times a year.  I wait until they look like this:
Holy paint bomb, Batman!  I'm sure glad you keep
extra plastic tablecloths in the closet for emergencies like this!

Well, really, this is what happened when I had a sub one day and the kids decided to paint the table cloth!  Yeah, we had a talk!  A long talk!  

Anyway, my old easel looks as good as new because I just keep changing the table cloth!  I love to match them to the seasons too, so keep your eyes peeled for seasonal plastic table cloths.

Hope these tips help to keep the painting center alive and well in your classroom. 
See you all tomorrow!
Palma :) 

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And here is our Color Pack that includes templates for creating tons of class books:
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