Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dyeing eggs with toddlers, the good times just keep comin'

Holy controlled chaos, every year I think it will be better!  This year wasn't actually soooo bad, but I do learn a little bit each time. 
Semi-crunchy mommy that I am, I decided this year to try making some dyes from berries.
Luckily, my crunchiness goes only so far and I had a kit of Paws too!  The berry dye worked okay, but the colors were not nearly as bright and it took a lot longer.  My daughter did had great fun though squeezing the berries to get all of their juice out!  If you're interested, I sort of followed the same rules as the Paws tablets.  I tossed a couple of tablespoons of vinegar on them, then added hot water.  Why hot, you say?  I don't know, it sounded like a good idea at the time!
So, I boiled the eggs, then burned my fingers getting them out.  Note to self, don't use your large pasta pot to cook the eggs if you plan on making spaghetti for dinner within the hour.
Then, it was time for the fizzy, bubbly dyes!

Someone told me about the whisk trick a couple of years ago.  I wish I remembered who, they deserve a medal.  You have to be a mechanical genius to work that stupid, flimsy wire loopy thing.  My husband loves it.  Whatever, give me the whisk any day!  Actually, most of the time I give up on all of it and use my fingers.  This year, we bought the "marble" Paws kit.  Turns out, it's pretty much the same stuff but with marbling instructions.  Still, it was a nice effect.  The only problem was, you need veg. oil for the marbling effect and all I had was extra virgin olive oil, which is about 600 times more expensive.  So, if you want to marble, get the right stuff! 
My husband also used a white crayon to draw designs and the kids' names on the eggs.  He gets pretty into these things (presentation man and all).  It was cute and the kids loved seeing things "magically" appear on their eggs.  My baby boy lost interest pretty early and roamed off to find something to "crash" but my daughter loved picking the colors (pink of course) and dictating to hubby what to draw on the eggs "I want the cow jumping over the moon Daddy."  No simple requests for that one!
Overall, the eggs came out great and with minimal mess.  Especially the marbled ones, they were by far my favorite.  So, here's my tips on egg dyeing with little ones:

1) It's a two person job, enlist a husband, grandma, or friend.  You will need someone keep the kids from eating the tablets or dyeing your dog pink.
2) Read the instructions and make sure you have everything you need (clearly this is the one that I struggle with).
3) Spread newspaper, or go outside, or spread newspaper outside.  I find it's also a good just-before-bath activity.
4) Don't worry about them being just so, kids have more fun when you're having fun.

So, that's all.  Happy Easter!!!

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