Tic-Tac-To-Do Lists {And Other Uses for Dry Erase Markers}

Tic-Tac-To-Do Lists {And Other Uses for Dry Erase Markers}

Have you ever seen (or purchased) window markers? I picked up a set a few years ago, but they turned out to be one of those craft supplies that I horde. After all, they were on the expensive side and I didn’t want them to get used up…even though I’d obviously bought them so that we could use them. Silly, right?

Then I realized that you don’t even need fancy window markers; dry erase markers work perfectly well on windows for a fraction of the cost, especially if you stock up during back-to-school sales.

These days, we regularly dry erase markers on the windows and sliding glass door for to-do lists, schedules, memory work, and more!

Here are a few of our favorite ways to use dry erase markers on the windows:

Tic-Tac-To-Do Lists

While we have a basic checklist that we use for homeschooling, I occasionally like to switch things up when we’re struggling to focus or stay motivated. And that’s how the tic-tac-to-do list came to be. We realized that the window panes were shaped like a tic-tac-toe board, so I listed 9 tasks that each of our girls needed to complete for the morning and they “raced” to see who could get all of the boxes initialed first.

While we used it for schoolwork, it could just as easily work for chores, homework or any other type of to-do list!

Checklists

While the tic-tac-to-do list is fun, sometimes we just write plain ol’ to-do lists on the windows, wiping off each item as we get it done so that we can visually see our progress through the day.

Countdown Calendar {And Other Uses for Dry Erase Markers}

Countdown Calendars

Before our trip to Disney two years ago, I traced a Mickey Mouse outline on the back door and wrote “Days Until” in one ear and “Disney” in the other. We then changed the number every day as we literally counted down the days until our trip. It was simple, easy to remember and convenient since our back door is right beside the kitchen table!

That Christmas, we used the same concept to count down the days in the cute little Christmas tree above, and my girls often make a countdown for their birthdays as well. It’s frugal, clutter-free and fun for the whole family!

Easy Holiday / Seasonal Decor

Although we’re not big seasonal decorators, I’ve always loved adding window decals to the windows for special holidays. Unfortunately, after a bad experience with too-sticky decals that pulled the tint off our windows, we’re hesitant to use them anymore, but dry erase markers are another fun way to decorate the windows for the changing seasons.

For example, I’ve drawn a tree trunk and branches on the door before so that we can add the things we’re thankful for using orange, red and green markers as the leaves on our colorful fall tree. I’ve also occasionally drawn a seasonal landscape on a couple if windows, although even those child-like drawings stretch my skills!

Play Games

For parties, holidays and special occasions, you can also use dry erase markers on the windows for traditional party games. We’ve drawn a large pumpkin outline and used construction paper cut outs with tape to “pin the features on the pumpkin.” You can also use the window grid to play actual tic-tac-toe. Or play other pencil-and-paper games like hangman on the window instead!

Memory Tools {And Other Uses for Dry Erase Markers}

Memorization

As classical homeschoolers, we value memorization, and one of our favorite ways to reinforce memory work is to write it on the kitchen door in large print so that we’re reminded to continue practicing it while we eat and go about our day. This works not just for school work, but for Bible verses or anything else we want to memorize too!

Minimalist White Board

We don’t have a dedicated school room anymore {I never wanted to use it when it was in the upstairs loft because it was isolated from the main area of the house!}, and there’s no room for a big chalk board or white board in our kitchen, so we use a small white board for a lot of our school work.

However, I’m just as likely to use the back door for my lessons, especially when I want to write big enough that all of the girls can see it or I want to be able to leave it up for several days. We learned Roman numerals this way, and I was able to create a chart of the Roman numerals on one side of the sliding door so that we could practice translating various numbers on the other side!

Practicing Math Facts

Similarly, the girls will sometimes use the windows to practice math facts. This is especially helpful when I want them to actually practice the entire number sentence — i.e., 4+3=7 — rather than just spitting out the answer.

Or when they’re getting frustrated by the math problems they need to do for the day, I’ll encourage them to move to the window instead, since switching things up is often enough to help them readjust their perspective and attitude.

Window Schedules {And Other Uses for Dry Erase Markers}

Schedules & Routines

We’re big on schedules and routines in our family (although we hold our schedules loosely since life is messy!), and when we’re instituting a new routine — at the end of summer or a long school break, for example — I’ll often write the schedule on the door where everyone can see it. This works just as well without actual times if your family prefers even more flexibility!

Mess-Free Art Time

And finally, one of the easiest ways to keep our two youngest daughters busy when they’re bored and being disruptive is to simply hand them a jar of dry erase markers and prompt them to draw a picture on the window. They love arts and crafts anyway, and dry erase markers are special enough to grab their attention even when a coloring book might not, but without the mess of painting at the easel!

What other ways do you use dry erase markers on your windows?

Mandi Ehman is the blogger behind Life Your Way. She and her husband have four beautiful girls plus one baby boy, and together they live, work and homeschool on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Mandi loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.