The only thing more satisfying than opening up a new set of Crayola markers? Creating your own!
When kids open this set, they will discover a plastic storage container/work station combo, along with all of the materials they need for creating their markers. There are a few brief assembly steps for the work station, and younger kids might need a helping hand to snap the pieces in place, but the process is quick and easy. Once it is assembled, the station has a variety of features to help with the marker-making process, including a detachable mixing tray and tons of storage, to make the activity virtually mess-free and easy to put away. While this isn’t the first marker making system Crayola has put out, the compactness, storage space, and colorful design make this version stand out.
The actual process for making one of the markers is very straightforward and easy to follow. There are 12 steps in total, each written out and shown as a photo to make it even easier for kids to complete the project independently.
To start, kids will use the mixing guide sheet and the three included bottles of ink — blue, red, and yellow — to create their preferred marker color. This part of the process has a very strong educational value, as kids learn about the science of mixing colors. For example, they can see how adding just a few more drops of red can completely change the shade of orange.
The color sheet features 18 different color options, but — especially after they have made a few markers — kids can try concocting different colors on their own. However, as the sheet notes, it is important that the total number of drops is never higher than 15, or else the marker won’t be able to soak up all the ink.
Next, kids place a marker core into the mixing beaker to absorb that colorful ink. While it soaks, kids can follow the next few steps to assemble the outer marker casing. Then, they add the marker core and — using built-in lever — snap all of the pieces together. They’ll need to let the marker sit upright for a few minutes to let the ink finish spreading through the marker core and tip. All of the marker components are clear, which is a fantastic touch — it means kids can watch the (very cool) process of the ink absorbing.
After that, the markers are ready to write! First, kids should test their marker on a scrap piece of paper, just in case there is any excess ink in the tip. Then, they can use the marker to write a color name of their own invention onto one of the included labels. Apply the label, then this marker is ready to join any art supplies collection. I will note that, depending on the color, the marker might not write quite as boldly as a traditional Crayola marker, but it will still hold its own for writing and coloring.
Whether kids decide to make all 16 markers in one sitting or space out their creative creations over a longer time span, the fun of this set just keeps going as kids create masterpieces with their new, personalized art supplies!