We don’t typically dye Easter eggs at my house. I won’t buy toxic dye kits that contain a ton of fake colors, and natural egg dyeing leaves much to be desired in the kid+fun department. I know, all season long, at all the green blogs you read, you’ll see this, “Natural egg dyeing is super fun for kids!” or “Kids LOVE dyeing eggs naturally!”
I disagree. In fact, I sometimes wonder if many of the folks at said green sites have ever even made homemade Easter egg dye and then colored eggs with young children.
Don’t get me wrong, non-toxic egg dye has a lot going for it. Obviously I like that non-toxic egg dye is, well, non-toxic. Also, making an egg bath with veggies, fruits or flowers is a fun science experiment for older kids. Natural egg dyeing can also appeal to younger kids who have unusually large amounts of patience, but honestly, I have some major issues with the “fun factor” involved.
Here’s how natural egg dyeing goes…
- Gather tons of veggies and fruits (flowers and other nature goodies if you like).
- Make a million pots of water and boil those items down.
- Strain the water free from berries, stems and such.
- Add vinegar.
- Add eggs.
- Wait OVERNIGHT for the colors to set.
- See your colored eggs!
Wow, and it only took, um… about 12 hours. I don’t know about your kids, but my kid, at age three, four, five and even older, wasn’t the type to be overly impressed with the idea of carefully soaking eggs for hours and hours. You know why kids like those terrible, icky old fake colored Easter egg dye kits? Because you get instant, eye-popping results. Easter eggs in a flash.
Real honest to goodness egg dyeing the natural way is extremely time consuming. There’s a quicker hot-method, but it’s not a safe method for young children, so you have to use the longer cold method.
Adults like natural egg dyeing – very young kids – not so much. We dye other stuff around here – like cloth and play clay, but not eggs because it’s simply not too much fun for little ones.
Still, I don’t suggest you run right out and buy one of those toxic egg dying kits. Here’s what I recommend:
- Wait until your kids are old enough to appreciate this project, which likely won’t be until they’re older.
- Use the Eco-Eggs Easter Egg Coloring Kit (shown above), which will offer much quicker results – not as quick as a regular egg dyeing set, but faster than homemade and the dyes are totally safe and natural.
- If you do dye eggs naturally be very clear with your kids that you WILL NOT be getting instant results, at least, not with most homemade dyes.
My number one suggestion is that if you’d like to color eggs with natural items, is that you color the eggs before hand then let the kids go wild with other fun egg decorating techniques. For example…
Martha also has ideas about how to make and decorate an Easter egg tree.
Other ideas about how to decorate eggs…
All of the crafts above can be made with naturally colored Easter eggs that still have the egg inside (just keep them cold until you decorate) or can be made with eggs that have been blown out. Learn how to blow out an egg.
If you’re still excited to try coloring your own Easter eggs naturally, no worries. I’ll be back later with a quick primer, but remember, some kids may not have the patience for natural egg dyeing.