I published recently about how to explain Easter to children; this week Miss 2 has been looking longingly at the vast arrays of chocolate eggs that seem to be everywhere we go. I do have some allergy friendly chocolate for us to eat next weekend but it isn’t egg shaped! I thought instead we’d start a family tradition of making our own (non-chocolate) edible Easter eggs. Messy play afternoon here we come!
Making your own decorated dyed eggs really is ridiculously easy as long as you prepare carefully – the degree of care being directly proportional to the age of your child. So for Miss 2, I hardboiled the eggs and mixed up the dye while she was napping. I put out all the craft materials we needed plus extra drawing paper to distract her during clean-up. I had paper towels and cleaning products directly to hand; we wore aprons and messy play clothes; I set everything up on a metal kitchen bench with lino floor directly below us; I cleaned up spills that touched anything other than the bench immediately – including the little pot of yellow dye that she knocked over; I ran a hot bubble bath and popped her in it afterwards. Net result – great time, no damage to the kitchen, and we both have normal coloured skin the next day!
FYI I did try blowing one egg and decorating it once hollow. Miss 2 admired it for a brief time and then experimented with the physics of force meeting a hollow mass. The squishing was pretty much what I expected to happen. It’s less work and more satisfying to just eat the results after decorating them!
- White vinegar
- Food colouring
- Eggs (hardboiled)
- Little bowls or containers
- Empty egg carton
- Optional: crayons, rubber bands, stickers, velcro dots, poster paint, paint brushes, tooth brush, glitter & glue.
- In little containers mix up the water, vinegar, and food colouring. You can use approx. 1/2c water, 1T vinegar, and 10 drops food colouring but it’s pretty forgiving. The main thing is that you need the vinegar to help the dye set. You can use less water and more vinegar, or adjust to the size of your containers. You might want little bowls to dip or big glass jars to fully submerge several eggs.
- Prepare your hardboiled eggs.
- My favourite was drawing on them with crayon (it shows through the dye).
- You can obscure parts of the shell with rubber bands, stickers, velcro dots etc., dye it in one colour, remove the obscuring parts, and then dye in a second colour.
- Dye the eggs.
- You can completely submerge them or just dip them (your fingers may get a bit colourful). The colour will vary depending on length of time submerged (i.e. less time means lighter, more time means darker).
- Try creating colour gradients you can experiment with things like: submerging the entire egg for a short time, then half the egg for more time, then the base of the egg for longer again.
- After dyeing the egg in one colour, you can ‘paint’ it with another dye. The dye will run so you can to make rings or just splash.
- Try dipping the egg in two different colours (i.e. half the egg in each).
- You can let the dye dry and then speckle it with gold or bronze poster paint using a toothbrush.
- Try concentrated dye (with just a few drops of water to dilute) and then sponging it on.
- Let the eggs dry. You can rest them on a drying rack but an empty egg carton is ideal!
- Eat and enjoy (or refridgerate for later)