Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Easter Eggstravaganza

On Sunday afternoon we dyed Easter eggs and it was a fantastic mess! I had big plans to dye eggs naturally so a little 18 month old boy could participate freely.

Here's how it worked out for us:

I decided to only do four colors since our stove only has four burners.  We did beets for pink eggs, grape juice for blue eggs, spinach for green eggs, and paprika for orange eggs.

I basically made a "tea" out of each item.  I boiled the veggies/ spices in water for about an hour. The longer you boil the richer the color will be.  I heated the grape juice in the microwave.

I then let the colors cool until they were warm but not too hot to touch and added about 1/4 cup vinegar to each.

We took our colors outside and the fun really began...

Charlie's favorite was the grape juice.  I tried to sneak eggs into the other colors and he would take them out and plop them into the grape juice bowl.

Then I guess he got thirsty and didn't seem to mind the vinegar at all:

It was such a good experience for him to learn to dye eggs without a bunch of napkin-bearing, hovering adults.  He laughed and stirred and splashed and made a big disgusting mess.

Here's an exciting action shot:

Overall, the experience gets a 10 for a fun toddler activity. I can't even describe the carefree excitement Charlie had when we just let him do what he wanted with the activity.  He doesn't have the "don't make mess" filter that adults have.  He didn't know the eggs weren't supposed to crack and didn't really care what color they turned.  I love to see how his untrained mind works. 

If I had to rate the actual egg dying method (with the goal being really colorful and pretty eggs)... maybe a 2?

Here is how they turned out.  I'll let you guess which are Charlie's creations and which belong to the adults:

  • The two pretty pink eggs are dyed with beets.
  • The three yellow eggs were in the paprika.
  • The spinach didn't work at all.  After about 45 minutes in the spinach, we stuck them in the paprika -- those are the two peach looking eggs.
  • Those four grayish-blue guys spent about an hour sloshing around in grape juice.

We started with 18 and finished with 11.  Rob ate some, Charlie ate one, I have no idea where the others went.

If you are considering this egg dying method, here are some things I would do different:
1. boil boil boil -- maybe even for several hours.
2. Put the eggs in while the "tea" is still hot.
3. Use grape juice concentrate instead of the bottled stuff.

When it was all over, Charlie chased the dog around with the grape juice spoon, we stripped him down to his diaper out in the yard, and then moved on to his second favorite activity of the day -- bath time!


  1. It looks like he had a ton of fun!! I don't think I could deal with the mess but we all know that about me and you. I'm surprised Rob could handle the mess! Have fun hiding and hunting the eggs.

  2. turmeric is another option for yellow, but I really like how your paprika eggs turned out.

    Kudos to you for letting Charlie make a mess! You deserve a blue ribbon for creative and tolerant mothering. Keep it up!