Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Eggs with Little Ones

Whew! It's good to be home. I love visiting family, but a week is a long time, and I felt like I needed a vacation once we got back. But finally the laundry pile is back to a manageable size, we have more clean dishes than dirty, and I'm back into my routine. It's good to be home.

Yet, I've suddenly realized that Easter is upon us, along with all of the activities, church services, and food. And I've hardly had time to plan for any of them! I still don't have shirts for the boys to wear under their Easter sweater vests, neither has appropriate dress shoes, and it looks like I'll end up having to wear khakis and a polo shirt to the Easter service! Thanks to CVS and Walgreens, the Easter baskets are done, but we don't have any eggs for the baskets yet. Hmmm... Looking back at my memories of Easter, I think of the egg decorating. Mix the tab with vinegar, hold the egg in the floppy wire contraption, put the egg in the dye, take it out, and put stickers on it. In all honesty, the stickers were the only exciting part. And then they sat in the fridge for weeks and no one really wanted to eat them. Why did we bother?

I picked up two free egg decorating kits from CVS last week, and Kroger has their eggs on sale for $1/dozen. I realized that if I could could make egg decorating fun enough, than that's some pretty cheap entertainment! On recipezaar, I found several different methods for decorating eggs, and I'm looking forward to trying them all when the boys get older, but this one is what we did today... with a few modifications to make it toddler-friendly.
  • Mix your dyes in separate cups (store-bought, food coloring, or home-made) though you don't need as much liquid as usual.
  • Put three hard-boiled eggs in a colander in the kitchen sink (the mess is contained!)
  • Sprinkle the eggs with vinegar so the color soaks in better.
  • Stand your child on a sturdy stepladder at the sink and hand him a paintbrush (we used one of the foam ones that soaks up paint/dye very nicely)
  • Paint one color at a time, letting the dye sit for a minute or so, then rinse the brush and eggs before doing the next color to avoid mixing them.
  • Rinse well and dry on a paper towel. We'll probably add stickers later today.

It makes a lovely tie-dye effect, the child gets to be more creative than with the dip method, and the paint brush makes application easy for children lacking the fine motor skills required for more complex dying techniques. We all had a blast, clean-up was a snap, and our eggs look great. Now, to find out if the boys will eat hard-boiled eggs!
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