Really, what is so hard about putting lids on markers after using them?!!
Fortunately, this cloud has a silver lining. For some time now I've been saving these lidless, dried-out markers so I could try making the recycled marker watercolour paints that I've often come across online. And I'm pleased to report that they really do work! All you need to do is sort your old markers by colour and put them to soak, tip-down, in a small amount of water. Here is what mine looked like after just a few minutes.
I left them to soak for a week, then tested the colours to make sure they were nice and bright.
At playgroup the children did 'watercolour' paintings using droppers and the old markers, which I had kept after the soaking was finished. The thick crayola markers were great to paint with, and I felt like an extra good recycler for getting one last use out of them!
The colours turn lighter when dry but are still very pretty:
So don't cry over lidless or dried-up markers - gather them up and go make paint!