Let's Get Crafty
- Draw a design on an egg with a white crayon. Dip the egg in the color. The crayon will resist the color. Do this over several times, to make a really complex pattern. I will never forget the day my mom showed me how to do this, there was no turning back to the plain egg from that point on!
- Make an egg mosaic using torn pieces of tissue paper and glue sealer, like Mod Podge.
Traditional Egg Decorating
I come from a Polish Ukrainian family, where the art of pysanky is a traditional craft. I don't usually let my four year old do crafts with an open flame, but my niece, who is seven, will be taking lessons at the local Ukrainian club. There, she will learn the history of pysanky and the meaning behind the designs and colors. If you or your children would like to learn this fine art, check your community paper or call a Ukrainian club. This would be a really fun parent-child (older) class and an Easter project to share for years to come.
Although we'll be passing on the pysanky lessons this year, another family tradition my daughters and I can do is using natural dyes from foods you already have in the house. You simply boil the eggs (approximately 15 minutes) with a teaspoon of vinegar and the food item. For example, beets make pink and yellow onion skins make a yellow/orange color. There are a variety of foods and juices you can use to make your dyes and not all have to be boiled. You can find lots of ideas for colors on the Internet. It was educational for my daughter to learn about natural dyes. She let out a big "wow" when I showed her that an onion could dye eggs. I let out a big something else when I couldn't get the lid off the beet jar, only to have it come off in a big explosion of pink. Yes, beets do make a good dye if my walls are any indication.
Consuming Decorated Easter Eggs
Not all decorated eggs will be safe to eat. Brenda Bazylewski, from the Manitoba Egg Producers, has three tips about consuming decorated Easter eggs:
- When decorating eggs use non-toxic, edible vegetable dyes.
- Do not keep decorated eggs out at room temperature for more than one or two hours.
- Store eggs in the refrigerator and consume within one week.
- Purchase Grade "A" eggs and use within the date marked as "Best Used Before..."
A Tisket a Tasket…Make Your Own (recyclable) Basket
I've had to place a moratorium on Easter baskets in my house-not the goodies, just the baskets. Every year, the very generous aunts and uncles would give my daughter a gorgeous basket (the colorful wooden or plastic kind) filled with Easter treats. But each year, all I had left was the chocolate foil wrappings, Easter grass and ANOTHER basket to stow away. Here's an idea for a recyclable Easter basket that the kids will have fun making!Materials
- A clean, plastic four-litre (one gallon) milk jug
- Washable glue
- Pom-poms or cotton balls (pink and white)
- Felt and/or black and white construction paper
- Washable marker
- Wiggle eyes, black pipe cleaners
- Before you start, make sure your jug is clean and dry with the label removed.
- Hold the jug by the handle to sketch a bunny head and the section you will be cutting away. The bottom part opposite the handle is the nose. Cut down from the lid and then up to make the floppy bunny ears. Make sure you don't cut away the handle; this is how the wee ones will carry their treats!
- Glue on the eyes and a nose. You can use felt or construction paper for the eyes. Cut bigger circles out of the white and smaller black circles for the insides of the eyes. Most jugs have the large indentations that you can use for the eyes. Felt or a pink pom-pom will make a nice nose.
- Fill with Easter grass and Easter loot!
You can cover the entire jug in pom-poms or cotton balls for the full fluffy bunny effect. You can also cut holes on either side of the nose and pull black pipe cleaners through to make whiskers (I always fold the ends of the pipe cleaners, so no one gets poked).