Easter Activities with Children

Spring is a time of rebirth. Eggs have long been a symbol of new beginnings. People in many parts of the world colour eggs at this time of year. This year, spring is like no other – all the more reason to celebrate what we can and feel the interconnectedness of the world while taking solace in family togetherness…

The following are some fun ways of dyeing eggs with items we have in the kitchen and around the house. Various methods are given as supplies may vary from household to household. These activities are intended for adults and children to enjoy together.

Please have on hand:
Plenty of soft cotton rags for patting eggs dry
Empty egg carton for air drying
Small deep bowls (or yogurt containers)
A spoon for each colour
White vinegar

Cooking Eggs (or not)

Eggs to dye may be raw or hard-boiled. To hard boil, cover eggs in cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Put into cold water right away.

White eggs allow for vibrant colours. Brown eggs give earthier tones.

Making Dyes

Yellow:

1 Tbsp turmeric or curry powder
2 cups of water
Bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
(Eggs dipped in these yellow dyes will need to be rinsed lightly when taken out.)

Blue:

1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
2-3 cups water
Bring to boil. Simmer for ten minutes or until soft. Remove cabbage.

Brown:

Very strong coffee or tea
or straight soy sauce or beet juice
Add 3-4 teaspoons of white vinegar to each of the above dyes as a fixative. Pour each dye into a small deep bowl. Once dyes and eggs are cool, they are ready to use! Use a separate spoon to ease eggs in and out of each colour dye.

*Take a look around the kitchen for other likely dye ingredients – blueberries (lavender), onion skins (brown), avocado pits (pink), etc, etc. Have fun with it!

Making Designs

Tape:

Rip small pieces of tape and stick onto a white egg. Place in the dye for a time – the longer it is left, the darker it will be. Pat or air dry on an egg carton. Remove tape. (For Grade 2+: tape may also be cut with scissors, allowing more precision – flower and geometric designs work well.)

Light-coloured Crayon/Candle end:

Use the end of a small candle or wax crayon to make marks or designs on the egg. Dye the egg. The designs will remain white. (Marks or shapes may be preferable to precise designs, as it is difficult to see designs as you go.)

Stockinette tube/ Nylon stocking:

(Best for Grade 6 +)

Cut a length of nylon stocking or stockinette tube 6″ long. Tie a knot in one end. Pick some small leaves or flowers with interesting shapes – thinner leaves work best. Ease an egg into the stocking while positioning the leaves around it (this can be fiddly.) Fasten the end of the stocking with another knot (or rubber band/twist tie/string) so that the leaves are held snugly in place. Dye with a strong colour. Let dry partially before cutting open/unwrapping.

Candle Dripping:

(Best for Grade 7 +)

Cover the table surface with newspaper. Hold the egg in one hand and a taper (tall) candle in the other. Allow the candle to drip spots of wax onto the egg, turning it carefully to keep the wax from dripping down. This gives lovely spotted eggs. Experiment for different effects. Put in the dye. Wax can be chipped off with fingernails or a popsicle stick or left on.

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!
Anika Chen
Handwork and Parent & Tot