Easter Activities: Dyeing Eggs Naturally

Suzanne Murray
Toddlers & Preschoolers
10
easter eggs

Photo by sunmoonstars

Ever peel a dyed Easter egg and see all the color that's penetrated the shell? Ick. I don't want my kid ingesting those chemicals and artificial colors. Even when egg dye kits are labeled "non-toxic," they usually contain coal tar and petroleum products. No, thanks.

The dyes used in conventional coloring kits aren't very kid- or planet-friendly either: Red No. 3 has been linked to tumors and Yellow No. 5 to hives, according to studies done by the FDA. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the FDA for a complete ban on Red 3 in the United States.

Of course I know there's not enough dye in an Easter egg (or even two or three) to kill my kid, but I try to eliminate toxins wherever and whenever I can. So we'll be coloring Easter eggs the eco way this year.

Dyeing Easter eggs naturally is fun, easy, and inexpensive.

 

Ingredients

1. Hardboiled eggs (free-range, organic, white)

2. White distilled vinegar

3. Water

4. Herbs, fruits, or vegetables to get your desired colors. Here are some suggestions though you'll find that other fruits and veggies work just as well.

Red: Beets or cranberries

Orange: Tumeric

Yellow: Cumin, lemon rinds, onion skins, saffron

Green: Spinach

Blue: Blueberries, red cabbage, grape juice

Brown: Coffee grounds

 

Directions

In a saucepan, simmer water and your dying agent for about 15 minutes. (You’ll need about a ½ cup of berries or vegetables and 2 teaspoons of herbs or grounds per cup of water.)

Strain the dye into a bowl, then add 2 to 4 teaspoons of white distilled vinegar.

Submerge hardboiled eggs into the dye—color will vary depending on how long you let the eggs soak.

 

Naturally dyed eggs often aren't quite as vivid as those colored with synthetic dyes, but they're still beautiful.

 

Have you ever dyed eggs the eco-friendly way? How did they turn out? Any tips you'd like to add?

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