When a child makes a mark on a piece of paper with a marker, the mark is constant in its color. The magic happens when water is applied and the pigment disperses, allowing beautiful shades of color to spread across the paper.

With this Play Invitation, children can explore concepts like constancy, change, and transformation while developing curiosity and hypothezising skills.

Child makes marks and uses water to explore what happens

What Could Lead Us to This Play Invitation

  • Children have been curious about color mixing;
  • Children are excited about transformation and producing change on things;
  • Children have been playing with magic.

Materials Needed

  • Markers in a variety of colors
  • Watercolor paper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water

Setting up This Play Invitation

  1. Lay the paper on a table with the markers near by.
  2. Prepare the water in small jars with brushes.

How to Create the Drawing

  1. Invite children to scribble to their hearts’ content with the markers. With older preschoolers, you might need to demonstrate wild and messy markings.
  2. Give the children a pot of water with a brush and invite them to apply water to the marks and see the magic happening.

Child paints water over markers marks.

How to Nurture the Natural Unfolding of the Child’s Identity During This Play Invitation

  • Children have the right to scribble at all ages – especially those children whose fine motor skills are unfolding at a slower pace. This Play Invitation brings joy and delight to making wild marks.
  • Honor children’s thinking processes by supporting them with open-ended questions. In this Play Invitation you could ask What changed when you painted the water on top of your marks? and What caused the change? Listen and value children’s ideas and theories of what happened when they applied water to their marks.

The Academic Learning Opportunities

  • MATH: Develop directionality and spatial awareness (up, down, left, right, around).
  • PHYSICAL: Develop fine motor skills and explore a sensory experience through the marker and water.
  • SCIENCE: Explore transformation, constancy and change in the materials.
  • ART: Investigate how colors mix and how a colored line can disperse.


Invite children to dance with a rhythmic gymnastic ribbon. You can also challenge one child to dance and another to draw the movements of the ribbon in the air.

Book Recommendation

Purchase book here.

A delightful book about a dinosaur who scribbles.