How to Dye the Most Vibrant Sea Shells!
I have a confession to make, one that I haven’t shared with anyone – ever. Would you know that we have never dyed Easter eggs with the kids?!
I know, shocking, right?!
It is not that I don’t love Easter, because I do. It is one of my favorite holidays. I don’t have anything against eggs or food coloring. I am the first to eat scrambled eggs and I thoroughly enjoy when my food is artificially colored to look like a happy unicorn pooped all over my plate, really, I love it.
But… every single year it is the same, I buy the egg coloring tablets in a fancy little kit. I stock up on eggs, thank God they are on sale this time of year… and then nothing… The eggs eventually get used for omelettes and the coloring kits are now stacked a mile high in my craft closet.
This year I decided to take the pressure off from having to eat bright orange hard boiled eggs… instead we decided to dye sea shells – and to make them as vibrant as possible!
I don’t want to ruin the ending of this riveting tale of my motherhood Easter egg dyeing failure. However, I can tell you that I no longer worry about wasting twelve hens’ egg-laying efforts. From this point forward, we will dye the most vibrant sea shells. The sea shells make perfect sensory bin fillers.
[bctt tweet=”Dye sea shells for a colorful #SensoryBin filler! Vibrant textures galore! #SPD #Autism”]
How to Dye the Most Vibrant Sea Shells:
- Go to the beach with your children. Make sure you bring a small pale and shovel for each of the kids, a towel, sun screen, hats, sun glasses, water shoes, bathing suits, beach towels, snacks and drinks.
- Or you can do as I did: we went to the beach with one small pale and one shovel for them to share – THAT WAS IT!
- Walk along the beach or dig in the sand for sea shells.
- Or bring a toddler who hates the feeling of sand on his feet, is afraid of the water and terrified of the dogs frolicking on the beach. You will then halfway stand and halfway sit as you try to reach for the sea shells without ANY sand touching your child.
- Spend an hour taking in the beautiful scenery of the waves crashing along the beach, peacefully meditate as you quietly search for the most stunning treasures of the sea.
- Or you balance a screaming toddler on your hip as you shout instructions at your preschooler to hurry up and just find ANY kind of sea shells before his brother has a complete meltdown.
- (I promise, things get easier from this point forward, the next step only involves food coloring. Who doesn’t want dyes all over their kitchen, hands and clothes?!)
- Bring the sea shells home and wash them thoroughly in warm soapy water. You want to remove any sand and salt residue from the shells.
- Fill each small bowl with 1/2 cup WARM water, 1 teaspoon gel food coloring, 2 teaspoons vinegar.
- You can mix the gels to get the desired colors. (i.e. 1/2 teaspoon yellow and 1/2 teaspoon blue = green)
- Stir the mixture thoroughly with a metal spoon.
- Be sure to wipe it clean between stirring each bowl so you don’t mix the colors.
- Put the sea shells gently in the bowls.
- Make sure they don’t stick out of the colored water.
- Or you can drop the sea shells in the colored water from as high up as possible, just to see how far the colored water will splash onto the counter, floor and perhaps even the walls.
- Remove the sea shells after 15 minutes.
- Use the metal fork to lift the shells out of the bowl.
- Or you can let your kids fish them out with their bare hands. Rush to find baby wipes when they scream bloody murder because their fingers are blue.
- Then yank their shirts off after they wipe little blue fingers all over their new Paw Patrol shirt. (It’s your choice!)
- Place the wet sea shells on a paper towel and leave them to air dry, either inside or outside.
- Once they are dry you can use them for their intended purpose. They make awesome fillers for sensory bins or decorative jars.
Our little guys really enjoyed this craft project, and so did I. No really – I DID enjoy it. Although it didn’t turn out as serene and tranquil of a project as I had envisioned, we still had a lot of fun. One thing is clear to me now, I understand WHY I never dyed Easter eggs… we don’t even eat hard boiled eggs in our family!!!
Going forward, sea shell dyeing it is! Please join me in this movement – save an egg, dye a sea shell! Please, stay tuned for more completely honest craft project instructions!
This is another fun and colorful craft to do with your little helping hands!