art,  art supplies,  paint

Products for painting activities

I’m going to share some fun painting ideas this week, but before we get to those I wanted to share a few of my favorite paint-related products.  These are all my personal favorite paints, supplies, and clean up helpers! This post includes Amazon affiliate links.

When it comes to watercolors, Crayola is hands down the best brand.  The colors are bright and the packaging is easy for little ones to use independently. Crayola 8 Count Watercolors Are my favorite because half the fun of watercolors is mixing new colors, but they also have an 16 count set.  I am personally not a fan of liquid watercolor simply because they are so concentrated that they tend to stain, and since you do have to mix the colors with water there is a lot more potential for spilling.

As far as tempera paint goes, Colorations Washable Tempera is my favorite. It’s available in gallon jugs or smaller containers. I completely understand the economic and storage reasons for buying the gallon jugs, but as a teacher I hated these huge jugs.  The pumps were always clogged and when you try to pour them out they make a splashy mess, so I’m partial to the smaller containers.  These are super washable (although the purple is a bit hard to get off) and they don’t ruin clothes.  The colors are bright and the paint is thick without being heavy.

Next up, brushes.  Please, please, please invest in nice brushes.  The little ones that come with watercolor sets are crummy, and the children think so too! Kiddos will stick with painting projects longer when they have a nicer brush that actually holds a fair amount of paint.  My other recommendation for brushes is to buy them in bulk because they don’t last forever.  No one wants to use an old brush that doesn’t move because it’s got so much dried up paint caked in the bristles.  Sometimes it’s best to just throw them away – which completely goes against our nature to save and reuse everything! Here are some of my favorite brushes:

These Camel Hair Paint Brushes are the best for watercolor and small projects.  The bristles are soft and the brushes are sturdy, plus this set includes assorted sizes. 
These Chubby Paint Brushes are a kid favorite.  When I put out an assortment of brushes, these are the ones that they fight over.  The short, thick handles make them easy to control and they are thick enough for larger projects and heavier paints. 
Another kid favorite are these Foam Brushes.  They are perfect for exploring texture and adding interest to an otherwise ordinary picture, but they are also a ton of fun.  They can be a little messy, but mostly because the children get so excited to use them.  You could also make your own using kitchen sponges. 
I have yet to find a kid’s paint smock that I like. The ones that are available aren’t great at covering clothing, ans they don’t fit very well.  In all honesty, what’s worked the best for me has been old t-shirts that are just a bit big for the children in my class.  The sleeves are usually long enough to cover the children’s rolled up sleeves, the t-shirt is long enough to cover a good portion of their pants, and they cover both the front and back of the the child’s nice shirt.  If you’re worried about the paint soaking through the t-shirt you can always have the children take off their shirts that they wore to school and put on their paint t-shirts over bare skin, since they cover everything anyway.  These are also so much easier to store and wash than a smock, just throw them in the wash!
What products do you love for painting? Check back tomorrow to see my hints for keeping your space clean when the kiddos are painting!

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