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My son got a number of craft items for Christmas - most notably an art centre from the Early Learning Centre. Together with this, we purchased a number of items that we thought he would need with this and, to go with the paint, we opted for these non-spill paint pots from the Early Learning Centre. I will admit to being sucked in by the 'non-spill' in the title. Whilst I wanted my son to have the freedom to express his creativity, I didn't want my kitchen/playroom covered in paint if I could help it. These seemed to offer the perfect solution to spilt paint (even if there was still the danger of splashes of stray paint to cope with!).
The pots come in a pack of 6 for £4 (cheaper in a sale event or with a discount code that there frequently seems to be). They are clear plastic pots - about the size of the average child's drinks beaker. On top of each pot is a different coloured lid - green, blue, orange, red, pink and yellow. These come in two parts - one is the part that attaches to the pot and this is a circular piece with a hole in the middle where the brush can be dipped. The other part fits on top of this and twists to seal the pot so the hole is no longer visible. They can be untwisted slightly to reveal part of the hole and the brush dipped through here - hence the non-spill.
I usually fill the pots about a centimetre deep in paint, which is suitable for our needs. The pots fit nicely on the tray under my son's easel so they are easy to store and use. If my son is using one of his 'chubby' brushes from the Early Learning Centre he has a little more trouble dipping them in than his thinner brushes - but it is definitely possible. They do help prevent spillages and even dripping brushes as the plastic scrapes excess paint from the brush as it is pulled out of the pot. We have found them to be ideal for our sometimes over zealous toddler. I also find that they clean up very well with a little soapy water and not much scrubbing - the clear plastic hasn't been tainted at all or gone cloudy. My one negative is that I think a couple of clear plastic lids should be provided for colours that don't have a coloured lid - for example we have black and white paints and if I put these in the pot with the pink lid, for example, this confuses my son as he is identifying the colour of the paint he wishes to use by the colour of the lid.
Overall though, very decent value and work well too. Recommended.
Last year my Daughter, who had just turned 2 came across paints! She is very creative and loves to draw and make things, so I let her paint now and then but only with the small watery palettes you get for kids, mainly due to her age. Watching her paint after a few weeks, I noticed that she was very careful and hardly got any paint on herself or on her little table, so I thought I'd let her get some 'proper' paints. So, the following pay day, me and my partner had a trip to the Early Learning Centre for some paints and accessories for her. After choosing about 6 colours of bottled ready mix paint, I then went to look for some pots in which to put them in when in use, as obviously with the type of paints they were, I needed some. There were quite a few on the shelf, including some empty palettes and different sizes and shapes of pots and tubs. I was just going to settle on a palette when my partner spotted these pots and pointed out they were the only ones with lids, so they would be much better, mainly due to the fact that we'd had a brand new carpet put down. I agreed, paid, and went on my way.
WHAT DO YOU GET AND WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE
In the box, you get 6 paint pots, each are 20cm in height, which is an ideal size to dispense just enough paint in. Each pot is clear plastic, and each has their own coloured lid, obviously to indicate what colour is in the pot, which, really you don't need as the pots are clear and you can see what colour is in them, but obviously the lids are easier on sight for your child. You get black, white, blue, yellow, green and red. The plastic is quite thick on the pots, so even if you drop them, just like most of ELC's products, they wouldn't crack very easily so they are very much durable.
The lids just clip off really easily and are in two parts. The base of the lid has a hole just big enough to fit in your paintbrush, and a small ridge where you can wipe excess paint off your paintbrush, which will then drip back into the pot. There is also a space, which acts as a paintbrush holder, where you can lay your paintbrush on top of the pot without it rolling off. The second part of lid is mainly for when storing away and just clips onto the base lid, and once on, you can turn it around really easily to close over the paintbrush hole. (Just think like a large salt container where you can turn the lid to change it from pouring to sprinkling).
I fill the pots just half full with paint, as this was just enough. I found that if I fill them too much, then my daughter gets paint halfway down the paintbrush, so not much is needed to get a decent amount of paint onto the brush. My daughter found it really easy to dip in her brush, wipe the excess on the lid and paint really tidily and mess free.
Of course, she knocked them over a couple of times, and as the hole is in the centre of the lid, the paint can't just spill out as where the hole is inside the lid, it has a plastic piece acting as a stopper, so the paint rolls up to the lid but can't spill through the hole unless you actually hold the pots upside down!
I also find that when using these pots, it's a lot harder for your child to mix different coloured paints into other colours by accident, as by the time the brush goes through the hole, it wipes the excess onto the edge so it doesn't all stay on the brush. Obviously there are little bits which get in but as I use ELC Ready Mix Paint which is quite thick, just a little mix gets rid of the other colour.
STORAGE AND CLEANING
If your child will possibly be painting the next day, then you just need to pop on the top part of the lid, or if you have kept the top part on whilst painting, then you just turn it to close over the hole. I prefer to remove the top lid when in use, as this way they stay clean and you can just pop them on without having to clean them up first.
When you leave paint in the pots, I've left them a few days and when I have got them out to use again, the paint is still good enough to use and none is dried up. This is stated on the box that they can be used to store for a few days without emptying out, and it actually does this. This is because the lids are very tight and when closed, no air can get in to dry them up, which is handy when you will be using them again very soon, instead of cleaning everything away and wasting paint.
Of course, if you want to clean the pots out, it is very easy to do. Most children's paints which you would use in these pots are water based anyway, so with a little rinse of warm water, the pots are clean and paint free within seconds.
ALL IN ALL
The only problem I have with these pots are that I begrudge buying black and white paint, and my Daughter never wanted black or white either as she loves brighter colours, so I had to put pink in the black pot and orange in the white pot. Obviously this isn't a problem if you have black and white paint, but they only sell this one set, so obviously, if you have a lot more colours and needed a second set of pots, then you'd be putting different colours in the pots anyway. I think they should maybe sell them separately with a lot more choice of colours so you can choose which ones you want, but obviously this isn't a big reason not to recommend them.
They are Early Learning Centre's own brand, so you can buy direct from them at £4 at the moment, which I think is a very good price as they do what they say on the box. They had an arts and crafts event when I bought them, so I got them for about £2 or £2.50, and ELC do these events quite often so if you can catch them at one of these events you can get them at this price or maybe cheaper, but even so £4 is still a very good price for them.
All in all I would definitely recommend these for your child if they love to paint. They are easy to use, easy to clean, do exactly what they say on the box, durable and affordable.
If you have children who love painting then these are a must have item. So far only two of my children are old enough to enjoy painting but these little pots have saved me a lot of time and stress!
They are basically small plastic cups with a coloured lid. The lid is in two parts and the outer part twists around to reveal a hole. You fill the pot with paint and put on the lid and then twist it open so that you can fit a paint brush into the hole. When your children have finished painting you simply twist the lid shut and they are ready to be put away until next time.
I only got these last christmas from the Early Learning Centre for £6. Before I had these handy little pots I just squired the paint into small trays. This takes a bit of time if you have more than a couple of colours and can be very messy because the trays get tipped up and the children rest their elbows in them and all sorts of things. Also children have a short attention span and so painting is often forgotten after a few minutes. You are then left trying to scrape the unused paint back into the bottle or end up throwing it away.
These have made painting time much easier for Mum.
My two year old has just received a pack of ELC Non Spill Paint Pots for her birthday. She's mad on painting but so far I've managed to divert her attention towards other toys because I can't face the mess! However, since we've tried the new non-spill paint pots I worry no longer. They're just perfect for little ones (and big ones!) to use. They have a number of advantages: They're only £4 for a box of six pots - excellent value. They're designed so that the brush can stay upright in the pot while you're using it. There's also a groove in the top so you can rest the brush on the lid. Because of the specially designed lid, if the paint pot tips over (which is inevitable in the hands of an enthusiastic two-year old I'm afraid!) the paint won't leak and make a mess. My daughter dropped one on our solid wood floor the other day and there was no mess whatsoever. I dread to think what it would have been like if we didn't have these special pots! The pots have ingenious twisty tops so that when you've finished painting you just twist them closed and they keep the paint from drying up so that it's ready to use next time. (which saves money of course) They're big enough to contain enough paint for any little budding Picasso, yet small enough for tiny hands to hold. The pots are clear, with different coloured lids (red, yellow, blue, green, black and white) which means you can either fill them with paint the same colour as the lid (for easy recognition) or if you put a different colour in, you can easily see the colour through the side. This works quite well as my daughter has purple and orange paint, as well as the basic primary colours. The hole for the brush is quite large (although not large enough to spill paint!) so you can use nice thick brushes. It also means that you can refill the paint pots without taking the lids off (useful i
f your little artist runs out of paint half way through their masterpiece). We have the ELC ready mixed paint in sqirty bottles so they're perfect for this. The only disadvantage we have experienced through using them is that the lids can get quite messy during painting so I usually have to give them a wipe off once they're closed before I put them away. A tip - get at least six paint brushes, one for each pot - or the colours will get contaminated and you'll just end up with six pots of purpley brown paint!! Have fun! We have!
Ingenious non-spill paint pots that won't leak when knocked over.