We know we should heed Monica Geller's instructions for pen and marker care: "You want to push the caps until you hear them click." But kids forget, and when they come back to use them, they are sad. There, there. Dried-out markers need not be sent to the art supply junkyard just yet. You can revive them as vibrant liquid watercolors.
How do you make this miracle happen? Simply soak the marker tips in water. It's something that school art teachers do to stretch the lifespan of their limited supplies.
My daughter's paintings with her new watercolors.
Small mason jars are great for this project because you can cap them when you're done. The markers in each jar don't need to be the exact same colour — you can group similar shades together. Use a small amount of water and let them sit for a few days, or up to a week if you want greater intensity. To extract every last bit of colour out of them, you can even use a pair of pliers to take the ends off the markers and pull out the entire ink sponge.
The liquid watercolors should last you a while. Everyone will be relieved, especially you, the parent, who paid for them.