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Ellen, I loved your idea of using pet food dishes to hold water and/or beads,
etc. for little ones...am on my way out to the dollar store to find some of
these tip-proof containers!
Here's an idea that I posted last year on this site, but that I think is
worth repeating. Give the kids sponges to absorb excess water from their
brushes. After they wash their brushes between watercolors, for example, they
dab their brushes onto a sponge. Not only do the sponges absorb much better
than paper towels, but this method saves our ecology.
For my little ones we say together, as they paint with watercolor: Dip, dip,
dip (my paintbrush in water to give it a bath) Dab, dab, dab ( my paintbrush
on my sponge to dry it off) and Dress, dress, dress (my paintbrush up with
color). The whole class repeats Dip, dip, dip and dab, dab, dab, and dress,
dress, dress as they learn to use the paints. Before I devised this, I would
have many ruined boxes of paint as my 5- year-old artists would forget to
wash or dry their brushes between colors. Susan on Long Island
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