Who loves fun but hates messes? I’m raising my hand. When my kids ask if they can use the paints, I make them go outside. If glitter is involved, it’s usually a solid, “Not today, maybe tomorrow.” And Easter eggs? Get out. They are the worst. First of all, the dye never really gets quite as dark as you’d like and when four year olds decide the eggs need to do a little color hopping, they’re really upset when their egg comes out looking like something the dog coughed up instead of those beautiful eggs they see on TV. Not that my kids watch a lot of TV….There is good news for parents like me who aren’t super nice, but want to appear to be. There are alternatives to that vinegar-smelling, shirt-staining, mess-making egg dye. Not a ton, and nothing crazy-incredible that will knock anyone’s socks off, but sometimes we pick our battles. And winning the best Easter eggs battle isn’t one I’m very invested in.
Thank you Tattly (www.tattly.com) for introducing me to even more cool things to do with temporary tattoos. There’s a chance I have a stash of temporary tattoos in one of my (many) junk drawers. So how does it work? Like magic. Apply the tattoo to the egg like you would your skin, just very carefully. For a fun look, use them on blue eggs (laid by Aracaunas or Ameraucanas) which can be purchased from home-based farms, chicken hobbyists, or on Craigslist I bet. You can find temporary tattoos almost anywhere, but I favor Tattly as well as Love and Lion (www.loveandlion.com).
This one is a little harder because the round shape of eggs makes it difficult for larger stickers to stay on. It’s doable, but might be frustrating for perfectionists. I’m not a perfectionist, so I lay out sheets of stickers from the dollar store and let my kids go crazy.
For this, you might want to go to a craft store or almost any big-box store and get the fake white eggs. Yes, they do exist and are perfect for tiny, not-careful-at-all hands. Also, if they aren’t all found on Easter morning, you won’t puke a month later when you find them behind the couches or under cushions.
Here’s what I propose: adults do the egg dying after children are asleep. Solid colors or half and halves. The next day, the eggs will be dyed, dried, and ready for decoration. Sharpies are what you want here, so know that a little marker on the hands might happen. With supervision (I can tell you that permanent marker doesn’t come out of couches. Or easily off of cupboards. Or off of shirts. Or wood floors. Or computer screens…) let your kids make funny faces, rainbows, etc. If you’re really nice, google eyes are fun.