Posts Tagged ‘children’s activities’

Many people are experimenting with coloring or dyeing eggs with natural dyes – have you been thinking about trying it? My family has a tradition to dye eggs with onion skins that we always called “Bunny Eggs”. These beautiful brown/golden eggs have a marbled look that adults especially love. If you are interested in trying to dye eggs naturally here are a few tips:

  • Start by making hard boiled eggs – use un-cracked eggs that have been boiled in a covered pot for 4 minutes, then left in the covered pot (removed from the stove) for 15 to 17 minutes. At that point place pot in sink and cover with cold water, let eggs sit in cool water until completely cool. Dry eggs. If you can’t color eggs right away, refrigerate them.
  • To make your natural dye – place a small amount of your natural material in a pot of 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil, and simmer for up to 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Remove materials and cool in the refrigerator.
  • Once dye is cool – add hard cooked egg and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Soak to desired color.
  • If you want to be able to eat the eggs, they must be kept refrigerated and only at room-temperature for 2 hours or less. These would not be eggs you would hide in the grass for example or someplace that animals could get to them.

Ideas for natural dyes:

Blue or purple – grape juice, red grapes, blue or blackberries, or red cabbage.

Brown – coffee grounds, black tea, or walnut shells.

Orange – ground cumin.

Yellow – orange or lemon peels, curry powder, or dandelions.

Pink – red beets.

Green – fresh cranberries.

Yellowish green – spinach.

Dark yellow/brown/rust – onion skins.

If you want a marbled effect to the dye, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the water before adding your egg in the dyeing process.

My family makes our eggs with onion skins wrapped around the raw eggs, with a piece of cheese cloth tied around it. Then the eggs are boiled. It takes a fair amount of skins, so you may need to buy a bag of onions. (Cheese cloth is usually found with canning materials or at the hardware to be used with staining of furniture.)

Hard boiled eggs that have been properly stored by refrigeration can be eaten for up to one week. Eggs are best not stored in the refrigerator door.

What natural egg dyes do you plan to try this year? I froze some cranberries and can’t wait to see what happens when using them to make a natural egg dye.


Penn State Extension, http://extension.psu.edu/plants/master-gardener/counties/adams/news/2015/dare-to-dye-differently-natural-dying-of-easter-eggs.

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/04/03/dyeing-eggs-the-natural-way/.

University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, http://lancaster.unl.edu/hort/youth/printer-friendly/coloringeggs.pdf.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County.

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School is out and it won’t be long before you hear that common theme from your children or grandchildren “I’m bored! There isn’t anything to do!” To stop summer brain drain, the research supported fact that most children lose part of their prior learning; it is a good idea to keep your children busy, entertained and educated. By planning ahead you will be ready for them. Ideas for low or no cost activities include:Education
• Check with your local library for a summer book or reading program. It may include special activities like magicians, craft programs, fun fairs, or animal programs.
• Look into free family movies – they may be available from your local movie theater, park system, or library.
• Visit the parks – find out if your community or metro park has a summer program. They often have fitness, craft, or fun days planned with community agencies. Even if they don’t have a program, it can be fun to picnic, hike, or feed the ducks.
• Investigate the MyPlate Kids Place – while we want to limit screen time to no more than 2 hours a day of TV, computers, or video games – MyPlate has games, videos and songs for combined fun and learning on rainy days http://www.choosemyplate.gov/kids/index.html.
• Go Fishing! – In most states children 15 and under can fish without a license – check to find out the laws in your area and visit that favorite fishing spot.
• Visit your State or National parks – while not everything they offer is free – many of their programs are free or low cost. Options include swimming, historical artifacts, nature trails, Park Ranger programs, even hiking virtual trails. A link to the National Parks is http://www.nps.gov/webrangers/ and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Kids site is http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/kids/kidsintro/tabid/19445/Default.aspx.
• Cook together – let your children decide on a few recipes that you will make together each week. Good ideas might be a healthy snack, a new food they have never tried, or a food that reminds them of a time in history (or a state they want to visit or a theme for the week). For example – blueberries or sea food from Maine or Johnny Cakes if you are studying the Civil War. The Nebraska Department of Education has an A to Z list of vegetables and fruits with a variety of ideas http://www.education.ne.gov/ns/nslp/FFVP/BINDERS/Binder1-Food_Service_Resource/FactsNutritionSection.pdf.
• Check with your local College or University to see if they have a College for Kids program. This will likely not be free, but is guaranteed to be very exciting.
• Encourage your children to volunteer – at the food bank, community garden, library, picking up trash, for your church, or helping an elderly neighbor or family member.
• If you run out of ideas check out this Penn State brochure with over 100 ideas – 101+ Ways to Keep Kids Busy, Penn State, Better Kid Care, http://www.betterkidcare.psu.edu/PDFs/101KidsBusy.pdf.
Try to have ideas each week that involve science, art, reading, history, and physical activity.

Sources listed above.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

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