CARE AND RESPECT OF MATERIALS: When I taught in the public school system with a class of 25 plus kindergarteners, I had to teach the children how to treat the materials in a way they could understand and embrace very quickly. Mr. Marker was one of the many ways I helped facilitate proper use of the cap.

Markers make big, bold marks! Think about the certainty and strength of a good marker. The biggest challenge of markers, though, is the lost caps! Markers dry out very quickly when they are uncapped.

In the Montessori tradition, teaching practical life skills is an important part of honoring the child’s dignity. Managing the marker cap is not just about keeping the marker from drying out. It is about helping the child learn how to manage, independently, the care of the marker through a complex sequence of motor skills.

Learning to manage markers and their caps can be a struggle for young children. Using stories and activating a child’s imagination can help them learn to respect and care for materials in a life-giving way.

How to Introduce Mr. Marker With Sally Haughey

A wonderful trick I learned was to introduce the markers as special friends. “I have a special friend who really wants to create art with you! His name is Mr. Blue Marker. He wears a blue hat. But here’s the thing – he has a special magic in his hat. If he loses it, all of his power will be gone. It’s important to take his hat and put it on his toes for safe keeping. When you are finished, put it back on his head. Listen for the snap!”

TUNE: London Bridges

Put the hat back on Mr. Blue, Mr. Blue, Mr. Blue!

Put the hat back on Mr. Blue, so he won’t dry out! SNAP!

Once the children understand how to manage the marker’s hat, it is time to show Mr. Marker’s superpowers. “Did you know that Mr. Marker has superpowers? I am going to show you what he can do! But first, I have a secret to tell you. Mr. Marker’s super-powers are activated by YOU!“ I model carefully taking off the cap and putting on the bottom of the marker.

Give each child a paper and Mr. Marker. WONDER with the children – “I wonder what kind of lines you can make with your marker’s super-powers?

IMPORTANT: I like to tell the children Mr. Marker does not like to be smashed into the paper.

TIP: To re-activate a dried-out marker, simply fill the cap with water and put it back on the marker for a few hours.

Book Recommendation

Purchase book here.

Everything has a place. Things last longer when we take care of them. A sweet book about taking care of our things.