art,  art supplies,  paint

Tips and tricks for keeping things neat while painting

I honestly have no problem with a little bit of a mess, and I think it’s inevitable when you’re painting with preschoolers. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use strategies to make cleaning up easier.  Here are some great tricks for prepping your painting space so that clean up is a breeze.

  • Store your paint in disposable containers with lids like baby food containers. If you need to clean up before the kids are finished you can just snap the lids on the paints, and then once they are done you can toss the containers.  This is also a great way to make sure that you aren’t wasting paint. 
  • Cover tables with shower curtains, or with Glad Press and Seal wrap.  When painting is over you can clean up the table mess easily – and without scrubbing anything! Dollar store shower curtains can be used a couple of times before you’ll need a new one. 
  • Have children paint on cookie sheets or milk trays so that wet pictures can dry on the trays.  This will eliminate the possibility of messes made while transferring pictures from the table to the drying rack. 
  • Keep your cleaning solution close.  When the paint does end up somewhere it shouldn’t you’ll have the best luck getting it out if you treat it fast.  Keep whatever cleaner you use close by so that you can treat potential stains immediately. 
  • Talk about expectations before you get started.  Are you finger painting or using brushes? Where do brushes go when you’re done painting? do the children need to wear a smock? Where do paintings go when they are done? Answering all of these questions before you start painting will prevent misunderstandings that can cause messes.
  • Designate an art space.  Try to do your art projects in the same space every time, this will help confine messes to this space.  Chose an area of the classroom that has tile floor, or that is close to the sink and set this space up so that your art and cleaning supplies are always close at hand.  

What other tips and tricks do you have for keeping painting projects clean and manageable? Share your favorites in the comments!

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