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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET creative and authentic art 47 Always be on the lookout for items you can use in your art center. One day my mom offered her beloved Tupperware to anyone who could possibly use it. I saw these little plates that held matching cups and immediately thought, “Art!” Mom was delighted that I could use her Tupperware—until she heard I was going to use it for paint! I explained that her plates would be well loved and well used in this unconventional manner. And indeed they have been! They are perfect paint palettes! Plastic microwave food containers, takeout food containers, or any other containers that are shal- low and wide enough to accommodate the rollers work well to hold the paint for rolling. (Discount School Supply sells a four-paint roller tray that lasts for years.) Be sure to use a container that has a lip so the roller doesn’t push out the paint. If you like, you can also use squirt bottles to squirt the paint directly onto the paper, canvas, or tray. Spray Painting Tupperware plates used as paint palettes Rollers and Rubber Brayers Painting with rollers is a favorite with twos and threes. Rollers are fun to use, and there are so many choices available these days! Purchase as many dif- ferent types as possible. If you rinse them after each use and store them carefully, they can last quite a long time. Rollers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures. Foam rollers are typical in early child- hood classrooms, and they are inexpensive, but my personal favorites are small trim rollers (from the hardware store) and rubber brayers. Each type of roller produces a different textured effect, and you can feel the difference as you paint with them. Sample a variety of rollers to see what you like, and observe the children carefully to see where their in- terests lie. To spray paint with twos and threes, use small spray bottles from your local dollar store, hardware store, or garden store. Any small-handled spray bottle will do. Spray painting works best with water and liq- uid color. To make this type of spray paint, fill the bottle with water to one inch from the top. Next, add the desired amount of liquid watercolor paint or food coloring. Put the lid on and shake the bot- tle lightly. Alternatively, you could use water and a few tablespoons of tempera paint. With this type of paint, close the lid tightly and shake the bottle hard to blend the mixture thoroughly. This type of spray paint produces artwork that is more textured. Spray painting is a big hit with young children! Following are a few tips for spray painting with young children: • You can use spray paint indoors at the easel or on very large pieces of cardboard. • Because it can be quite messy, most teachers prefer to do spray painting projects outdoors. Clip large paper (butcher paper or large easel paper) to a fence with clothespins, and then spray the paint. When the children are not using the spray bottles, turn the handles back- ward and hang them on the fence. • Keep children a safe distance (at least three feet) apart, and make sure children don’t spray one another, especially in the face. This is particularly a concern during warmer weather, when they may be tempted to use the paint to COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL