I recently subscribed to Family Fun Magazine and got totally inspired to do some Easter crafts with A, despite the fact that A is about 3 years too young to really participate. But I can always count on him to provide moral support, if nothing else.
We started out dying eggs, which I knew would be a complete disaster if I actually let Alex "get his hands dirty". And I'm totally not the type who's afraid of making a mess with an art project, but here's the thing...Alex + eggs + bowls of food coloring = flying eggshell fragments, crushed and useless piles of whites and yolks on the floor and table, a semi-permanently tie-dyed toddler, and a Yorkie with egg farts. Not exactly the experience that would leave us with pleasant memories of creating holiday tradition.
"Patient" is not a world I would use to describe Alex, so expecting him to sit still and wait calmly while I dip round objects into vats of colored liquid, while I ooh and aah over the results after taking the colored balls out, then refuse to let him touch anything would be cruel and unusual punishment. So after I had dyed a few eggs, I let him have a couple to color on with crayons while I dyed the rest. He promptly took the two eggs in hand, smashed them together, and grinned with satisfaction over the crunching sound they made as bits of eggshell rained down on his head.
He then proceeded to bite one of the eggs, gagged on the shell, and threw up all over himself.
Despite that little setback, my eggs turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself. I used a combination of white store-bought eggs and some beautiful brown eggs Bill's chickens had laid and dyed them with Neon food coloring that I found at the grocery store. I experimented with the dye a bit, and what resulted was really intense jewel colors that make the eggs look more like precious stones than Easter eggs. I LOVE how they look, and I HATE that I can't keep them forever.
At least I have pictures, although it is so hard to capture the real vibrancy of the colors on film, especially with the bad lighting in my kitchen. But you'll get the idea, I think. And I'm sure some of you are thinking, She had to read a magazine to find out that dying eggs with your kid might be a good Easter activity? But the real "crafty" part of this project was not the dying, rather, the idea to turn the eggs into cute little chickens by gluing on eyes, a beak, and a little tuft of hair, placing them in the cups cut from an egg carton, and suspending them from a tree or light fixture. I made some modifications from the original instructions in the magazine due to time constraints and logistical issues, so my eggs ended up hairless and nested inside of soup bowls as part of my table setting, which I think was just as good.
The second project we did was to create handprint lilies by tracing around Alex's hand on a piece of paper, cutting leaves and stamens out of card stock, and attaching them to a green dowel rod. The extent of Alex's participation in this project was sitting still long enough for me to trace his hand, which, if you know Alex, requires considerable effort on his part.
After doing his part, he busied himself with some Easter-inspired coloring pages while I finished the lilies.
I think the lilies turned out super cute, and they served as the centerpiece on our Easter table before we distributed them to the Grandmas and Aunties as Easter gifts.
So that was about the extent of our pre-Easter activities this year. I'm hoping that, by next year, Alex will be ready to do some projects from start to finish, or at least, that he can help dye eggs without making himself puke. That would be a good start.