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Easy ideas for making colored eggs with your preschoolers. Try one technique or try them all!
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Boil a dozen eggs in a large pot and let them cool thoroughly. Prepare the egg-dyeing area by covering a table or countertop with butcher paper or a plastic tablecloth. Kids should wear an apron and food-handling gloves to avoid staining. <br /><br /> Set up the egg dyes in separate containers. Make sure the eggs have cooled before starting. Use an empty egg carton turned upside down as a drying rack for your dyed eggs.<br /><br /> Now you're ready to begin!
This is an easy way to create striped patterns on your eggs. Begin with a bag of assorted rubber bands in differing widths. Wrap several rubber bands around an egg before dipping in a bowl of dye. Remove or add more bands between dyeing sessions to create stripes or interesting patterns. For best results, start with lighter colors first. Be sure to let the egg dry completely before removing the rubber bands or before dipping in a second dye.
Wax is the best way to create patterns on an egg, however, handling hot wax with small children can be dangerous, so the easiest way to do this is to use crayons. Let your child draw designs on her egg before immersing in the dye. Wherever the crayon leaves a mark, the egg will resist the dye. This works best when a dark-colored crayon is used with a lighter-hued dye, for example, red crayon with yellow dye, or vice versa. Parents can also introduce kids to the art of Pysanki, or Ekranian egg decorating, by placing the eggs in tinfoil in the oven for about 5 minutes at 200°F. When the crayon starts to melt, parents can wipe off the wax, revealing the patterns below.
Buy vinyl stickers or paper reinforcements in an office-supply or craft store. Stickers with graphic shapes work best, and this technique is easiest for younger children. Basically, kids place the stickers on their egg before immersing in the dyes. As with the rubber band technique, allow the eggs to dry before removing the stickers.
To begin, set up bowls of tempera or poster paints instead of food dyes. Buy inexpensive sponges and cut into various small shapes--squares, triangles, circles, zigzags--and assign one or two sponges to each bowl of paint. Let kids paint or stamp designs onto an egg or one that has already been dyed and is completely dry. Allow eggs to dry between each application of paint.
Dyed, boiled eggs should be kept in a cool place or at room temperature. They should be eaten within five days of cooking. If you don't want to eat the eggs, blow out the contents of your eggs using this technique: 1. Gently shake the egg to help break the yoke. 2. Use a small, thin nail to poke a hole in the bottom and top of the egg. 3. Blow out the entire contents of the egg and let it dry. This technique is best when dyeing eggs with older children (emptied eggs can be a bit fragile). However, once dyed these hollow eggs can be kept as long-term, colorful keepsakes.
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