Kids love crafts, and coloring Easter eggs is a fun tradition that parents have been doing with their children for many years. Of course, when our great grandmothers were dyeing eggs with our grandparents, they probably were not using the egg coloring kits that you can find at the store today. If they were not using egg coloring kits, what did they use to dye their Easter eggs? They may have used one or more of the following natural coloring methods.
Choosing which colors of dye to make can be a lot of fun. Canned blueberries, red cabbage leaves, or purple grape juice can be used to make blue eggs. Papery, yellow onion peels or carrots can create vibrant orange. Asparagus and spinach can be used for a green dye. Make golden yellow Easter eggs with chamomile tea and pink eggs with beet juice or cranberry juice.
Before you begin to prepare your natural egg dyes, make some hard boiled eggs and refrigerate them. Then, prepare some dyes by putting the dye ingredients into its own pot of boiling water. Use a handful of dye ingredient for each cup of water. Turn down the heat and let the dyes simmer until you get the colors that you like, then remove the pans from the heat and let the dyes cool.
Transfer the dyes to jars or bowls where they will be deep enough to cover the eggs, and then add two or three tablespoons of white vinegar to each of the dye solutions. Wash the eggs with warm, soapy water to remove any residue from the shell that could affect its ability to absorb the color. Next, place the eggs into the bowls of dye and refrigerate them in there overnight. The longer they soak, the brighter the color will be.
Your toddlers will have fun helping you choose the colors for their natural egg dyes. They may even enjoy using crayons to draw on the eggs before they are dyed or putting rubber bands around them to create unique designs. Since the dyes are natural, they are safe for kids. Just don’t tell the kids that, or they will enjoy dyeing their hands as much as the eggs.
Photo by stockarch on morguefile.com.