Monday, April 11, 2011

Easter Eggs | An Adventure

I was the teacher who never did crafts with my students because of the mess I knew was bound to happen and I wanted nothing to do with it. In fact, now is the perfect time to thank my dear friend, Cathy. Cathy, thanks for being such a great homeroom mom and doing crafts with my students.  You will never know how much I (and I'm sure, they) appreciated that!

I have done little crafts with Addie (gluing buttons on construction paper and making pictures, sewing finger puppets), but never anything that pushed me beyond my confort zone.  All of our crafts fall into the "safe" category- nothing that can be splattered, stain, or otherwise leave Mommy traumatized in any way.

Then, I picked up an egg dying kit.  I knew Addie would enjoy it, but I didn't realize how much I would, too.

When she saw the kit in my craft closet (which was open for a cleanout/purge/prepping our Baby's album), she could not put it down and kept asking when we could do the Elmo eggs (the kit has a Sesame Street theme).  I explained, according to the pictures on the box, that first we had to cook the eggs, then put them in cups, and they would turn colors (honestly, how many details do you need to give a three year old? Generalities work well for me.). 

On Friday morning, after Brian had his devotions, Addie found the kit and brought it to him.  "Daddy, we cook the eggs, put them in cups, and then they color!" Brian couldn't believe she was giving him the directions for "coloring" the eggs.

While we ate breakfast, I boiled 13 eggs. I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of good eggs to work with.  Addie sat on the counter and I let her place the eggs in the big pot (the stove was not yet on) very gently so they wouldn't crack.  As I suspected, two of the eggs expanded partially out of their shells.  I had those as the second part of my breakfast. All of the others were taken out of the water, put back into an empty egg carton, and placed in the fridge to keep from going bad.

After I cleaned the living and dining rooms, I called Addie into the kitchen and pulled out the egg dying kit (which I had hidden earlier in the morning). Addie was beside herself!  We laid down several layers of newspaper and she put on one of  Daddy's t-shirts.  I got all of the dyes ready and told her what I was doing with each step.  I loved it when I told her that I was getting warm water for the cups- "Not too hot and not too cold. Just right!" she said.

Then we began the process of dying the eggs. We only did 10- 2 for each color of dye.  She was so careful and gentle with the eggs.  I was amazed at how painless this project was (Laugh, I know you want to.) She used the little tool to turn the eggs over and over until they were the right shade of the color they were in. Then I took them out of the dye and placed them in the little drying holder.

After they were all dyed, she got to pick one egg and all of the rest went back into the fridge. The kit came with character holders and stickers so she decorated her little egg with all seriousness.  As she finished an egg, it went back into the fridge and we would bring out another for her to decorate.  We decorated four before lunch time.

Then it was time to clean everything up.  The dye was dumped in the sink, the plastic containers rinsed and put in the dishwasher (just going to save those for craft projects), and the newspaper tossed.  For lunch, I made a small egg salad sandwhich for Addie using the extra egg that I had made but didn't use. In the evening after Daddy left to have a Guys Night Out with Dad, Jim, and the son of Dad's friend, we decorated some more eggs.

According to the April 2011 edition of Better Homes and Gardens, as long as the eggs have not been at room temperature for more than two hours, they are safe to be eaten.  The dye we used was a non-toxic pure food color dye- be sure to check what your dye label says before eating.

If you attempt egg dying this year, I hope your experience is as enjoyable as mine was.  I'll definitely be dying eggs with Addie in years to come.


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