Decorating eggs at Easter is a fun and exciting pastime for kids, but it can also be a messy one, particularly when liquid dyes are used. Aside from the potential spills, drips and stains egg dyeing can bring, many parents are becoming increasingly concerned about the chemicals in commercially sold Easter egg dye kits. This unease has led to them to seek out natural dyes as well as other alternate non-toxic means for decorating eggs with children.
Do to the ever expanding DIY craft market, there are a wide variety of materials and methods that can be used in the absence of traditional dye kits for decorating eggs. Depending on the age of the children involved and the degree of messiness assisting adults are willing to endure, dye-free egg décor can be pre-school simple or artistically intricate.
Perhaps the best material to work with when decorating eggs with small children is stickers. Purchased stickers provide instant gratification while allowing little hands to customize their Easter eggs with everything from smiley faces to animals to their favorite Disney characters. Large craft stores feature entire aisles of stickers in a wide range of sizes and styles to accommodate every imaginable theme.
Alternatively, custom stickers could be made from large blank labels such as those used for addressing packages. Kids can color and draw freehand on the labels with regular markers, colored pencils, or crayons. Those with limited drawing ability can use stencils to create colorful geometric patterns, or simply make their own abstract designs. Temporary tattoos could also be used to decorate eggs for Easter, as could nail decals.
Perhaps the only drawback to decorating Easter eggs with stickers is that the eggs are still mostly white (unless using brown eggs). For kids with even minimal drawing ability, food coloring pens such as Food Doodler and Gourmet Writer, allow for adding straight or curved lines and simple designs with less hassle and mess than egg dyes. The more drawing skill kids have, the more elaborately they will be able to decorate their eggs.
In addition to food coloring pens, there are a number of food paints available that could be used instead of dyes to decorate Easter eggs. These are probably best suited for older children and teens, and can be obtained from retailers that carry cake decorating supplies.
No matter the age of the child involved Easter egg decorating with stickers, edible pens or paint, temporary tattoos or a combination of all three, parents can rest assured they will be doing so dye-free and with a lot less mess.