Annual themed parties are a great way to make memories, keep your kids close and give you an excuse to see old (and new) friends. I have an aunt who has been holding an Easter egg dying party for 20 years. Some years she has a full house, some years it is just a few dye-hards, but two guests who are always there are her daughters who are now 28 and 20 years old. Even I, who don’t live in the same city as her, have grown close to some of her daughters’ friends from this annual party.
When my family moved away from my home state, I was looking for a way for us to make our own deep connections and memories in our new home and decided one Easter to begin hosting our own egg dying party. The first few years, when my daughter, her friends and their siblings were toddlers, were a bit messy and they did not pay much attention to their dying methods – dunking it in the dye and running off to play was a favorite, but we had a lot of fun and my mom friends appreciated me opening up my house for the potentially messy activity.
Eight years later, our family’s egg dying party is still going strong – we even have some friends that have come every year.
If you’d like to start your own egg-cellent tradition, here are some tips we’ve picked up along the way.
Save your Supplies – I have a plastic container dedicated to egg dying supplies. I save every reusable metal egg holder and plastic bowl. When the kids were younger, this saved us from fights about whose turn it was to use what since there are more than enough supplies to go around. Throughout the year if I find a plastic container that seemed like a good size for egg dying, I save it. For a while my daughter was on a rice kick and I would buy the microwavable rice bowls – they are the perfect size for egg dying.
Shop the Sales – each year after Easter I head out to Target or Wal-Mart to look for kits on sale, decorations to add to the festivities or anything interesting for the next year. Since we have a few brothers in our regular group, I always try to buy a fun games and activities to entertain them when they get antsy waiting for their eggs to dry.
Clean out the Craft Closet – as my daughter and her friends have gotten older, they’ve become craftier and egg dying is a great opportunity to show off those skills and the perfect opportunity to clear out the craft supply closet. Just supply them with decoupage and some old paint brushes and let their imaginations do the rest of the work – tissue paper, googly eyes, glitter, perler beads – we’ve used it all to cover and decorate eggs.
You can also set out sharpies and encourage them to draw on the eggs or have paint on hand so they can create a personal masterpiece. If they are stuck for inspiration, give them a challenge – who can create the best bug? Best or favorite animal? Paint a spring like scene?
Cover Up – we’re lucky that we live in Florida and have been able to hold the dying portion of the day outside but even the patio needs protection. I buy inexpensive plastic tablecloths at the Dollar Tree – you can also find good craft supplies there if your stash is running low.
Don’t Forget the Snacks –Dying eggs certainly seems to work up an appetite so you’ll want to have something to munch on. I ask everyone to bring a snack to share but make sure that I have a delicious dessert and plenty of ginger ale on hand.
Buy Vinegar by the Gallon – I make sure to buy the biggest bottle of vinegar I can find. Even if we don’t use it all I figure there are plenty of uses for it later. The first year I made the dye ahead of time but one year I was running behind with my preparations and our guests helped me mix it up. They loved watching the interaction of the dye tablets and the vinegar so now mixing the dye has become part of the day’s festivities.
Create a Clean-Up Station – dying eggs is dirty work so be sure to have a designated clean up area where kids (and moms) can wash their hands and supplies. We always have plenty of Fresh Kidz body wash on hand. Thanks to its all-natural ingredients it is gentle on young, sensitive skin and effective at washing away dirt, grime and dye stains.
Happy Easter and Enjoy your Egg Dying!!