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5 Fun Ways to Use Dry Erase Markers Without a Whiteboard

If your kids love dry erase markers but you don’t have a whiteboard, you’ll love these ideas! We’ve come up with 5 fun ways to use dry erase markers for play and learning, and not one of them requires a whiteboard.

5 Fun Ways to Use Dry Erase Markers Without a Whiteboard - Happy Hooligans

You know how much we love using dry erase markers for various learning activities here in my daycare, right? Well, the wonderful folks at EXPO recently sent us a terrific collection of art supplies, and among them was their newest line of Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator (<–That’s my affiliate link to Canadians can order from Staples here).

They’re pretty awesome!


Expo Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator

What’s an ink indicator, you ask?

Check it out!

3 Expo markers with ink indicators

Each marker has a clear barrel at one end, so you can see exactly how much ink is left in the marker.


Teachers everywhere are cheering as we speak, I’m sure. No more running out of ink in the middle of a whiteboard lesson or presentation!

Dry Erase Teacher Fail


You’re gonna love these markers!

Great teacher gift idea!

Keep EXPO ink indicator markers in mind for back-to-school and when you’re shopping for teacher gifts! They’re vibrant, low odour, and way better than the scratchy, streaky whiteboard markers that you remember your teachers using.

You don’t need a whiteboard to get creative with dry erase!

We don’t have a whiteboard here, but that’s never stopped us from using dry erase markers for crafting and learning. There are lots of surfaces that dry erase markers work on!  That makes them awesome for kids art and learning activities. Kids can easily erase any mistakes they make, and do the activities time after time. Plus, we all know that half the fun of dry erase is erasing the ink. My hooligans love using them.

Alrighty! Let me show you the activities that we used our markers for the other day.

5 Fun Ways to Use Dry Erase Markers for fun and learning (without a whiteboard)


1. Sight Words with Dry Erase Markers and Plastic Plates

For the first activity, you’ll need white plastic party plates (dollar store), a black permanent marker (not pictured) and your dry erase markers.

The plastic plates serve as a mini whiteboard and for erasers, you use cotton make-up pads.

Expo Markers with Plastic Plates and Makeup Pad Eraser

For the youngest hooligans, I wrote simple 3-letter sight words on the plate in permanent marker, leaving the middle letter blank for the preschoolers to fill in with the dry erase markers.

For the older hooligans, I wrote 3-letter words and added blanks to the beginning and end of each word so they could add letters to build longer words.

This is a fun activity for kids to do solo, but they can also do this in pairs, taking turns adding letters.

Expo Dry Erase Ink Indicators Plastic Plates

To help the youngest children, I wrote the consonants and vowels all around the rim of the plate.  The kids loved filling in the blanks, wiping them clean and starting all over.  To store, just stack the plates upside down, and place the markers in the top plate.


2. Self-Portraits with Mirrors and Dry Erase Markers

Hand Mirror and Expo Dry Erase Markers

A mirror makes a great surface to draw or write on with dry erase markers! I got our hand-mirrors and the mirrored tiles from the dollar store.

The kids especially had fun looking into the mirrors and tracing our reflections to make self-portraits. 

Dry Erase Self Portraits Mirrors

For a fun vertical art activity, use a large wall mirror or a mirrored closet door.


3. Travel Art Kit with Dry Erase Markers and a CD Case

Expo Dry Erase Activity with CD Cases

Old CD and DVD cases work well as mini-whiteboards!

Replace the CD cover with a piece of white paper, tuck a make-up pad or a tissue into the case to use as an eraser, and you’ll have a portable art activity that kids can take “on the go”.

Keep your mini whiteboard and a few dry erase markers in the car or in your purse, and your kids will be entertained when you’re waiting in restaurants, the doctor’s office or the school car-pool line.Drawing on CD case with Expo Dry Erase Markers


4. Eraseable Preschool Worksheets with Dry Erase Markers

Expo Dry Erase Telling Time Activity

Print preschool worksheets and slip them into clear, plastic page protectors. Store them in a binder, and tuck a few cotton pads into the inside flap of the binder. You can make a whole workbook full of erasable activities for a fraction of the cost of buying them. What a great way for kids to work on spelling, math and colouring activities over and over again!

Expo Dry Erase Worksheets for Preschoolers

And lastly, our biggest, funnest dry erase activity of them all!

5. Dry Erase Hangman on a Sliding Glass Door

Kids playing hangman on sliding glass door

The hooligans love drawing and writing on a vertical surface, and they love playing word games, so this combination of the two was a huge hit.  We played game after game of “Hangman” on the sliding glass door on our back deck.

dry erase hangman on a glass door

To make our writing easy to see, I taped a large piece of white paper to the inside of the sliding glass door and we played our game on the outside. For the paper, poster board or the reverse side of a piece of wrapping paper would work well.

kids playing hangman on patio door with dry erase markers

This would be a great party game for kids, a fun family activity for a backyard BBQ, or a playful learning activity for a fun summer day at home.


Expo Dry Erase with Ink Indicator

Learn more about EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator here.


This post was sponsored by EXPO Markers. The ideas and opinions are my own.

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