Spring has sprung, sort of...so naturally Piece of Love and I decided to cook (and craft) up something super special for Easter with my mini and our friends.
What you are about to witness is an egg-stravaganza of a good time! This is definitely not your mama's egg dye recipe. We used only natural ingredients that I am telling you, you probably already have at least 2 of in your kitchen, to concoct our dyes -- no artificial food coloring here. Kids will love experimenting with very edible veggies and eggies!
First up, Jen gathered, measured, chopped and boiled the veggies and spices at her house. I am crafty but not cookly. Cabbage (purple/green), onion skins (orange/red/brown) and tumeric (yellow) were boiled and then simmered (covered) for 30 mins.
Making the dyes is simple, mix 1 cup of water with each ingredient. Follow along and you will end up with vibrant hues: 1 cup chopped purple cabbage + 1 cup of water; 1 cup of red onion skins + 1 cup of water; 1 cup yellow onion skins + 1 cup of water; 1 tbsp ground turmeric + 1 cup of water.
After the 30 min mark, Jen let the dyes cool, strained them each into another containers, added 1 tbsp of vinegar to each color and VOILA...glorious colors!
Next up, hard boil your eggs then let them cool -- your choice of white or brown -- see below that the white eggs vs brown eggs come out totally different colors with the SAME dye! Go buy some marshmallows, gather stickers, yarn, crayons and all your spring-tastic craftacular doo-dads and go forth and plan your dip-dip-dipping extravaganza! Well, at least you know that's what Shep and I did...
I set the scene at my house for a little Spring "sp-egg-tacular" decorating party. No need to spend $$$$ on your little soiree. It was The Dollar Store to the rescue. I supplied the dye and all the fixins; the moms brought their own eggs.
Sheppie and I invited two of our fave mom/mini duos with toddlers: Kim/Siena and Katlin/Jack. All the babes were between 18-24 months and have done some sort of "art" project before but this was a whole new ball game! We named the colors over and over and said the word egg 9,999 times. I found stickers on my floor the next day which means we had a good time.
We all worked with our minis to dip, dunk, squeeze and stick the eggs and marshmallows into the colors. While Jack ate his eggs (!), Siena used an eye dropper to drip dye onto the eggs. The turmeric is a bit thicker than the other dyes so that worked well with the dropper. Shep used his paintbrush to delicately brush the eggs with dye and then we discovered that dunking the eggs into each color was our best bet. Each white egg sat fully immersed in the dye for around 20 minutes.
Organic dye is much different than synthetic dye. This is not a quick 'dunk and you're done' project. As these are natural ingredients they take time to seep into the egg shell. You have to take a 'simmer + sit' mentality. So, while your eggs are working on getting colored and you and your minis are waiting (patiently) on them to brighten, break out another project for the group. Play a game...paint a picture...count jellybeans. Sticking to my Spring has Sprung theme, I had small porcelain birdies for the babes to paint (from you guessed it, The Dollar Store).
Our Egg-stravaganza lasted about 2 hours. Sheppie became quite the scientist and wore his 'focus face' like a champ. This is one of my favorite things about him recently. His ability to (somewhat) understand what we are doing and really sink his teeth into it. I am not saying he egged it up for 2 straight hours, but he showed real interest in the project and that's all I can ask from my almost-two-year-old.
I have never dyed eggs before...I am Jewish...but I wanted to experiment with natural dyes and I LOVE any and all crafts so Spring/Easter seemed like the perfect way to get colorful...
The marshmallows didn't take the the natural dye the way I had hoped so I'm not even showing a photo. They certainly weren't Pinterest-worthy. The white eggs were the winner (see above) in terms of picking up the brighter colors. Organic brown eggs took much longer to dye up to 2 hours (see below) and didn't come out as vibrant -- but cool nonetheless...very earthy/moderne!
Now it's your turn! Go forth and egg-speriment it's sure to be an egg-stravaganza! (You see what I did there?)