My grandkids love to paint. I used to set them up with a paper plate onto which I squirted piles of whatever colors of paint they wanted to use. That worked and they had a blast. However, after a while, they usually ended up swirling all the paints left on the plate together into one brownish blob. That was fine too. They were learning what happens when colors mix together. But since they love to paint often, I would rather they have plenty of paint to make their pictures instead of throwing away a plate full of a color they don’t want to paint with!
I found a good deal on a paint easel (two sided) so more than one can paint at a time. It is really a chalkboard on one side and white board on the other, but we tape paper to each side and it’s a paint easel! When we first set it up, I put some little plastic cups, that I had saved years ago for my painting, into the tray. That worked great. But I wanted to find something that I could seal and the kids could use the leftover paint again. On the next trip to the craft store, I found the perfect thing…It was a package of containers for storing beads that screw together so the bottom of one container is the top for the container below it. The top container has a small lid that screws on to seal it. So now I squirt some paint into each container and when the kids are finished painting, I screw them all together and save them for the next painting session (which could be later in the same day.) When they want to experiment with making their own colors, I let them use the plastic cups that did not have lids to mix their paint in. I did shop for containers that were specifically for paint (in the painting sections of the craft store) but was not finding any that would fit the tray. What I was finding was also much more expensive than the bead containers and would not have stored as compactly. Sometimes you have to be creative and think outside the isle! These bead containers (which I found in the jewelry making section) would also work great for storing paint for a special small project you may be working on.