According to the History Channel, Easter Eggs are an ancient symbol of life that are often connected to the spring season. Believed to date back to the thirteenth century, egg decoration is viewed as an established art in which special dyes or paints are used to add color. Although using paints to decorate Easter Eggs should be avoided when working with children (or for those planning to eat the eggs later), there are many commercially available dye products available.
Preparing Eggs for Easter Decorations
Before beginning the egg decorating process, parents should decide what type of egg will be used. Two primary options exist. These include using hard boiled eggs or using empty shells.
Hard boiled eggs should be prepared ahead of time, and given a rest period to cool. Avoid using hot eggs that have just been taken out of the boiling water. This may interfere with the coloring process, and could pose a burning danger for children. Store the hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator until they have cooled and are ready to use.
The empty egg method includes first emptying the egg from the shell and washing it out before beginning the coloring process.
Easter Egg Dye and Color
After deciding on an egg preparation, parents can prepare the egg dye solutions. Only products labeled safe for children and non-toxic should be used. Never use a paint or other craft product that is not intended for food. There are many commercially available color products that range from traditional bright colors to novelty decorations that feature flowers and other embellishments.
Easter Egg coloring products can be altered to achieve slightly different variations. Add vinegar to the mix for bright colors or dilute with extra water for more pastel hues. Varying the amount of time that the egg spends in the dye bath will also change the brightness of the color.
Another option is to make a coloring medium. Choose a child friendly edible option such as food coloring mixed with water or a natural dye made from a food product. Look for bright or dark foods that easily stain such as blueberries or beets. A responsible adult can boil the food in a saucepan with water to release the color. Once the desired color is achieved, allow the water to fully cool before using.
Decorating Easter Eggs With Kids
Decorating eggs for the Easter holiday should be a fun family activity. Try some of these options for an extra special experience:
- Wax resist decorations: Prior to placing the eggs in the color use a plain way crayon to draw simple decorations, shapes, or patterns. Try dots, stripes, or spring flowers. Once placed in the dye, the color will not stick to the waxed areas.
- Rainbow eggs: Kids can create a rainbow of colors on each egg. Carefully hold the egg and dip into different colors for different sections.
- Color blend eggs: Explore art and color mixing! Start the egg in one of the primary colors (yellow, red, or blue), and then move it to another. Watch as yellow eggs turn green after being dipped in blue, and blue eggs turn purple after being dipped in red.
- Themed eggs: Make a nest full of robin blue eggs or color each one in a solid shade and then line them up in a rainbow.
Easter Egg decorating can be a great experience for families during this holiday time. Remember to observe safety rules which include only using approved, non-toxic colors and dyes, and always supervising children of any age. Choose a simple dunk and dip method, or try out a more challenging rainbow effect for a specially decorated egg.