I find mini muffin tins to come in handy for soooo many arts and crafts projects. When children begin painting it's important to teach the basics of how to care for their materials. One of those is to help them learn the habit of using one brush for each color, or a new brush when switching colors. If they are taught this, you will have so much less waste and they learn the value of taking care of their art supplies.
When they are older, they can learn to rinse and dry their brush properly between colors so they don't have to use several brushes, and even how to use a pallet with just a smear of each color to do as they please. But little ones don't quite have the dexterity to manage holding a pallet and painting at the same time, so for now they learn it this way.
|Using just the primary colors, plus the white and black on their own, we made all of these shades and colors! Color mixing is one of my FAVORITE art activities. |
Little ones, and even big ones don't always remember to use a new brush for each color, and colors can get mixed and muddy, rendering them unusable for future use.
I like to dole out small dollops of paint into the muffin tins so if any of the colors do get too muddy it's not the whole paint container that gets wasted.
Plus it's a little easier for little ones to see and reach all the colors when using the tin.
If the colors don't get too badly mixed up, I can even stick the tin in a gallon size zip lock and keep it ready for the next time.
For very young toddlers who are not ready to hold a brush or who haven't developed the desire to hold one yet, I like to just squirt some paint onto their paper and let them smush it around and hand or finger paint. Littlest ones shouldn't get left out of art experiences just because they aren't ready to hold a brush! It's a great sensory experience they shouldn't miss out on and a fabulously enriching activity that supports their development.
When we paint, we always have lots and lots of paintbrushes on hand. You really can not have too many brushes!