We run through markers pretty quickly around here, and normally Travis’s school has a great recycling program for dried-up ones. But with school closed, I found a new use for those dried-up markers today: toddler paint brushes!
I simply set out paints for Veronika (using old play dough jars as paint pots), and showed her how to dip the tip of the marker in the paint. It then becomes a brush!
These work best as “dot marker” paints. If you have enough paint on the tip, you can get more of a smeary line, but Veronika was quite content to dot dot dot.
She worked so carefully, dabbing first in the paint and then on her “canvas”.
I also squirted some paint onto her paper so she could run a marker through it for thicker lines.
She eventually decided it was fun to smear all the lines together with her hands. Here’s her final masterpiece:
As an alternative method, turn the dried-up markers into “watercolors”. For this version, I placed a shallow dish of water on Veronika’s high chair tray, along with white paper and a few markers with very little ink left.
As you dip in the water, the colors become vibrant once more, with a pretty, swirly effect very similar to watercolor paints.
Veronika again loved the process of dipping…
She also discovered the little dish was wonderful for splashing her hands in, and tried to make some watery handprints on the paper.
Next time I would use thicker watercolor paper for this activity, but in a pinch, regular printer paper was fine. She dumped a little of the water right out onto the paper, which really made the colors blend and swirl!
You’ll know the game is done once the tip of the marker turns white, and then it’s time to recycle.