Friday, April 24, 2009

Natural Egg Dye

Beets, Red Cabbage, and EggsWhile this won't be helpful for the Easter that's just over, you can pocket this idea away for next year. Last year we attempted to dye eggs with natural dyes. Since our class is only a half day, my co-teacher and I made several different colors out of various materials. Our thought was that most of the students would dye eggs at home with the kit you buy at the store and we could show them a different way of doing it.

Since the kids didn't see us make the dye the idea that we were doing something different was totally lost on them. My co-teacher decided that this year we would make dye with the kids. She found information on beets and red cabbage which coud be added to the egg cooking water. She cooked the cabbage for awhile at home and brought in a container of it so the kids could see it. The beets she brought in completely raw so she could cut them up and let the kids put the pieces in the pot.
Adding Cabbage to the Pot

So, with one pot of beets and another of cooked red cabbage, the kids carefully added raw eggs (yes, we washed hands after handling the eggs) and water to cover it all. Several kids decided to go with my co-teacher to put them on the stove. After the eggs were cooked we trooped down to the kitchen to see how it went.

The beet eggs came out a pretty mottled pink and the cabbage eggs were mottled light purple, also very pretty. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the finished eggs, so you'll have to take my word for it. We offered the eggs as part of snack. Most kids chose to try one, but as usual, the yolks were not popular.

I'm guessing we will do a variation of this activity again, so if you have any ideas, bring them on!

Allergy Note: If you have any egg allergies in class you should not do this activity. Instead, find other things to dye, like fabric or paper.
Cutting Beets
Note on the Picture Above: You can't see it in the photo, but there is an adult kneeling at the table mere inches away from the sharp knife on the table. No, we do not trust young two-year-olds with sharp knives, despite my desire to let them be independent.

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