When I had enough for one child to have about five or more apiece, I started setting up a color making station in the water table which I dragged outside along with the box of bottles. The weather was in the 80's, perfect for a water activity.
I figured we would pour water in the bottles using pitchers of various sizes, and even watering cans. Ironically the hose is located indoors in our atrium, so I dragged that out as well.
Then we would use droppers and pipettes to add liquid watercolor paint which I poured into baby food jars and placed into the water table as well.
When it was time to go outside, I opened up shop.
It was a disaster. I had too many customers and not enough sales clerks or space. Water was spilling everywhere, paint was being diluted. Kids were soaked. It was time to shut her down and regroup. It took me about 45 minutes to set the activity up, and about 2 minutes to have it go to pot. Oh well.
Determined to make this work, I took the bottles and the pouring parts out of the water table and set up a mini station inside on the floor of our atrium closer to the hose (I had to refill those pitchers at lightening speed, though reflecting on this I could have let the children use the hose themselves...headslap). I left the watercolor paint and the droppers in the water table.
Ah, this was more like it. Things flowed much better (pun intended).
Water pouring station
So, after the children filled their water bottle to the top, they added the paint, choosing from a variety of colors. Inevitably they added so many different colors the water turned that purpley-brown color I'm sure everyone who paints with children is familiar with. After they did that several times (I let them get it out of their system), I reminded them that there were plenty more water bottles and when they made the water a color they liked, they could cap it and retrieve another. I also told them if they didn't like the result they could pour the water on the plants and start over again.
I was so busy during this activity that I didn't realize the children were helping each other and working together- one holding the bottle while another added color.
Here are some photos of the final products:
I can't wait until fall when we can put these to use!
*I personally use a refillable stainless steel water bottle but that is a conversation for another time.
However I will post this image of plastic gathering in the ocean, which is one that haunts me: