Item of the Week: Sad Markers

If you have young artists in your home, I'm guessing you also have a handful of markers that are either dried out or have so little color they aren't useful anymore.  Unfortunately, marker failure is just a part of life. Sometimes those caps don't click on properly or a stray marker ends up capless under the couch. But who wants to look at a dingy sunset or faded blue sky that would leave even the Dalai Lama uninspired? Not me! 

Take a moment to test your markers on a piece of scratch paper. This is a great job for your preschooler. If the markers don't quite have the pizazz they once had, set them aside until you have a good collection. Find some clear shallow glasses or jars and fill them with about an inch of water.  Take off the caps and dunk the markers in head first.

Place your marker experiment  in a window for a few hours to watch the light shine through as the colors swirl into the water.  Any combination of colors will produce a cool result. The longer you leave them in the more saturated your mixes will be. 

Place your marker experiment  in a window for a few hours to watch the light shine through as the colors swirl into the water.  Any combination of colors will produce a cool result. The longer you leave them in the more saturated your mixes will be. 

This experiment is neat for many reasons:
a. it teaches the idea of repurposing something that would otherwise be tossed away
b. it stretches your marker buying dollar
c. there are science connections made through color mixing-try putting yellow and blue markers together or invent your very own color combination
d. you can create a versatile new art material to use at home

The markers can briefly be used straight from the containers to create fine lines/dots. Otherwise, dip some brushes in and use them as liquid watercolors.

The markers can briefly be used straight from the containers to create fine lines/dots. Otherwise, dip some brushes in and use them as liquid watercolors.

After all of the color is drained from the markers you can go ahead and say your goodbyes. The liquid watercolors that they leave behind will remind you of all the rainbows, clouds and elephants you made together.  At Little Loft, we love the versatility of liquid watercolors and use them in many colorful rainbow-y projects. We hope you give your markers a second chance to achieve even more greatness. 

P.S. Save the caps too! We have fun poking those into play dough.