There are probably others ideas you’ve tried and I’m sure one can find ideas from a Google search but I really like the effect of using the markers like a paint. It’s a bit messy and takes some time to set up but I think it’s worth the time and effort. My kids love it too and that’s important to me as well.
Here I am removing the bottom of the marker. When I use the pliers my hand tires after a while but with a good heavy duty wire cutter the caps remove easily. BTW, if one wanted to he could simply remove this cap, add a little water and the marker would work again. You have to add just the right amount of water but it does work. I’ve not tried it that way much so I don’t know how long they last but I suppose one could just keep adding a little water until they are completely out of ink.
Once the bottom cap is removed I used a thin paintbrush end to remove the inner fiber cylinder that contains the ink.
Once it is dislodged from the tip, the fiber cylinder comes out easily.
Finally I place several of the fiber cylinder and the tips in a small amount of water and let them soak. They are ready to use in minutes. I add the paint lids (I have the spill-proof type) and I cover them at night. The only downside is that after a while, if the fiber cylinders are left in too long, the paints starts to smell. So after a few days I remove them. By that time most of the useful ink has been drained.
Now it just occurred to me that I don’t have an example picture so I will have to start looking. Please share your thoughts and ideas on the uses of dried out markers! Happy Thanksgiving!