Fun with Do-A-Dot markers

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I decided to give Do-A-Dot markers a try after many of you mentioned them on my favorite art materials post. So today I had them set out for Maia and Daphne to use after school. (We also tried them once with the toddler art group.)


Maia's showing Daphne how to use one of the markers in this picture. These are not your average skinny markers — they are quite large, easy to grip, and are more like painters in how they are used. Pressure on the tip releases the marker ink.


Here's Daphne making some dots and marks on her own.


The two of them giggled almost nonstop! I realized this is the first time I set up a project for both of them at the same time. I clearly need to do this more often (maybe even every day) now that Daphne is able to participate. She had so much fun!


Yes, that's a blue tongue you see. Crayons, chalk, and markers all still go into Daphne's mouth. I move her hand and the art material back to the paper, many times, saying "keep the marker on the paper." And she will, eventually. But at 13 months she's still testing everything with her mouth as well.


This is, perhaps, the most interesting result of the afternoon. After experimenting with the Do-A-Dot markers for a while, Maia asked for some paint. She did a leaf rubbing with a Lamb's Ear and a crayon, then painted stripes of dots with the tempera paint. I thought at first that it was in response to the dot markers, but she said they did something similar in art class at school today. I love it!

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  1. Jennifer says

    One warning if you are going to use these with other kids, you may need to ask them not to destroy the markers.
    The first time we used them a friend was over (3 1/2 at the time) who immediately ripped off all the foam on the top of each marker. They are easily destroyed.

  2. Anna says

    Hi! I have a 13-month-old too and am new to your blog- I’d love to incorporate some starter art projects into our days- What do you suggest for such a young child? I love the dot markers idea- thank you for the link- I love that they’re everything-free and non-toxic! Can you please tell me what kind of paper your girls are using?

  3. says

    I love these markers! My 2-yr. old loves using them!
    First time visitor to your blog! I found you through Facebook and am a follower now!

  4. says

    I work part time in a preschool and I do not know what it is about these oversized markers but they are a huge favorite! We are sorting this week at waddleeahchaa,stop by and look at the surprizing free materials we are useing to sort with. :)

  5. Preschol Mom says

    I’ve got a questions not related to this post (though we do love Do a Dots!). I was trying to make the marker holder you posted about before and I read some scary warnings about plaster of paris on the side of the box. Something about inhailing the dust in your lungs. So is it safe once it’s hard or if the kids chip it will it be a problem?

  6. Alacrity_danger says

    We use these almost daily in our art but I bought them from a bingo store online for $1 a piece and they have a wide range of colors.

  7. says

    Maia is working on a sheet of poster board for the dot markers and both girls are using sulfite paper:
    For a one year old, I would introduce her to some basic art materials – crayons, markers, and paint. The attention span is short but enthusiasm is high (or can be)! “First Art” by MaryAnn Kohl is full of great age-appropriate art activities if you want some ideas. And, if you want lots of background info, “Young at Art” by Susan Striker is another one I read when starting out.

  8. Alacrity_danger says
    They are .79 a piece.
    Another great toy from there are the magnetic bingo chips and the magnetic wands. The kids here love them! We use our bingo supply stuff almost every day and the kids never tire of them.
    I keep the bingo daubers in the art supplies the kids (my daughter and the kids I babysit) have access to. We’ve had them for a few months and they are still going strong.

  9. Liisa says

    Thank you for the art ideas that they can do together, I was just thinking this morning that I felt sad that I set out art for Maia (4 1/2) and my 14 month old gets left out a bit. She has access to chalk board, crayons, etc but I struggle to find projects for both. Looking forward to more great ideas! And don’t you just love when they laugh together, makes my heart happy :)

  10. Two Chicks and a Hen says

    My girls LOVE these. We haven’t done anything too crazy with them so far–they just like to pound them on paper. I think they really like that motion as a contrast to drawing.

  11. says

    how do you keep your table so clean? (and your floors? – Ive seen you let them go on the floor!) My table is permanently stained with paint, tissue paper, permanent marker, scratches etc… any way just commenting on Im jealous over your clean table (and kids???) lol I’ve never seen those dot markers in australia.. they look fun!!

  12. kstemler says

    what is the black board/paper underneath the painting?
    it looks perfect to protect the table- we use paper that comes w/packages but, it’s not the best.

  13. says

    I just pulled out our dot markers as a rainy day activity. Thank you for reminding me it would be great for toddlers too. My 17 mo old enjoyed them more than I expected, although he became a bit captivated with the lids; putting them on, taking them off. He’s into that.
    It was a great art activity for my two kids (4yrs & 17mos) to do together.

  14. says

    Oh, my table is plenty stained. I try to keep the especially messy projects in the studio, but the dining table is stained with all the same things you mentioned.
    I’d never seen these dot markers here either and didn’t even know about them until a few people mentioned them on the blog. So maybe look around — they still might be available in Australia.

  15. Lesa says

    The Do A Dot Markers are made for children and the formula is quite safe and washable. The bingo markers are not made for kids, I’d be a little worried about the potential for toxicity.

  16. says

    I’m also new to all these with a 15th month old boy. I can’t wait to get him started but wanted to know what the big deal with the eco friendly paints and markers. I can understand why people would stay away from petro free crayon etc but does anyone know what they put in conventional brand’s non-toxic paints and markers? I’m using the pip squeaks washable markers but my son love to draw on his hands with it and even try to put it in his mouth. Is that safe? It says non-toxic but so does the conventional crayons but yet there are parents who get concerned with these crayons. is there a real need for me to be getting the more expensive stuff sold at the eco friendly sites such as stubby pencil or clementine? if the conventional paints or markers are just as safe? does anyone know anything about this?
    while my son is young i would like to introduce him to a more natural product where it’s safe but not sure if i need to pay the extra bucks.
    Thanks Jean for making this blog! very inspiring I’m trying to put together my own toddler group hopefully soon once i get all the stuff together.