You have dyed the eggs. Now wondering what to do with the leftover dye? There is a lot of cool kids activities you can try with the leftover Easter egg dye. Or stock up on the post-Easter sales of dye for these fun science experiments and art activities that all answer the question…what to do with leftover dye!

collage of things to do with leftover easter dye - colorful ideas for dye activities for kids

Fun Things to Do with Leftover Dye

Today we have some really fun ideas of unusual science and art activities for kids of all ages using leftover Easter egg dye.

If you already disposed of Easter egg dye, many of these activities also will work with food coloring or even leftover paint. Get creative with recycling and reusing!

Science Experiments Done with leftover easter dye

1. Show how plants absorb water & explain Capillary action

This super simple and fun science experiment is easy to do at home or in the classroom.

leftover dye liquid in cups and lettuce inserted in each cup to observe how planet drink water
Can you the lettuce leaves drink the water?

Supplies Needed for Plant Absorption Experiment

  • leftover dye colors
  • cup for each color
  • lettuce leaf or flower stalk for each color. 

Directions for Plant Absorption Experient

  1. Use two to three different colors of leftover dye each in a cup.
  2. Put a lettuce leaf or any flower with a stalk inside each of one of them.
  3. Observe how the leaves or flowers observe the dye water and explain about capillary action and how plants absorb the water and carry it to the tips of each stem to grow.
two lettuce leaves in different stages of color absorption
Has the Color Absorbed into the leaves?
  1. You can also observe how the level of water in each cup is reduced as the plants absorb them. 

2. Walking water science experiment

This is a different twist combining the above two dye activities. This is more of an observing activity that the whole family can enjoy.

colored water in cups with paper towel strips in between arranged in a circle with colors transferring between the cups
Watch the Color Walk up the Paper Towels!

Supplies Needed for Walking Water Experiment

  • 6 empty glass jars or plastic cups,
  • paper towels
  • The primary color leftover dye mixture. 

Directions for Walking Water Experiment

  1. Take equal quantity of each primary color dye mixture(Red, Blue & Yellow) in 3 cups and place empty cups in between.
  2. Place them in a circle.
  3. Take a paper towel and cut it into three strips lengthwise. If it is a full sheet then you can cut six strips from a single sheet.
  4. Then insert two paper towel strips in a cup to start with. One half of a strip should stay in the cup and the other half bending over to the next cup as shown in the picture above.
  5. Repeat the steps so that each cup should hold two strips of paper. 
  6. The fun part is to observe how the paper towel absorbs the liquid and transports it to the next cup through capillary action.

Watching Capillary Action in Action

Capillary action is how the plant absorbed the water and transported it all the way to the tip of the leaves. As paper towel also has fibers, the same science happens here too. And also when two color liquids are mixed, a new color is formed and we can talk about the color wheel and how the secondary colors are formed.

What if the Water Doesn’t Walk?

If this experiment is not working, try changing the quantity of liquid in each cup or the layers of paper towel i.e instead of one layer you could try using two to three layers of paper towel to make it work faster. When I experimented with a single layer of paper towel it took me around 3 hours to see the result. 

I left it so long to see what happens and the result was, the paper towels started drying out and I didn’t see any transfer happening. Try it for yourself to see what happened to your experiment and let me know in the comments below. 

3. Colorful volcanos

Since you have would have already mixed vinegar in the dye. It is so easy to set up this activity.

collage of a toddler playing with baking soda and leftover colorful easter dye liquid to create volcanos

Supplies Needed for Colorful Volcano Activity

  • Leftover dye mixture (that has vinegar in it)
  • Spoon or dropper
  • Tray or a bowl of baking soda

Directions for Colorful Volcano Activity

  1. Place the baking soda in a layer of at least 1/2 inch thick across the bottom of a bowl or a tray like a baking tray.
  2. Using a spoon or a dropper, kids can drop the vinegar and colored liquid onto the baking soda resulting in a lovely fizzing eruption.
  3. Kids can experiment with mixing colors onto the baking soda too.

Related: Baking soda and vinegar reaction for kids

4. Exploding Baggies Experiment

Exploding baggies science experiment - leftover easter egg dye could be used as the coloring for this experiment

Check out our Exploding baggies science experiment which could use leftover dye instead of food coloring.

Art Activities Using Leftover Easter Egg Dye

5. Color mixing activity

Give them the primary color dyes and let them come up with the secondary colors by mixing them. A plastic egg carton and a couple of spoons work well for this activity. If you don’t have an egg carton, plastic cups and spoons work well too.

a toddler mixing color in a egg carton
What a cool way to learn the learn color wheel and secondary colors.

6. Splatter and resist painting

Let’s make some fun original artwork cards with the leftover Easter egg dye!

collage of splatter and resist painting using two plastic cups as resist and using paintbrush and toothbrush to add splatter onto the cardstock

Supplies Needed for Splatter Painting Cards

  • Cardstock
  • Any shaped object(like circle or square) around the house to act as a resist
  • Old toothbrush or paint brush

Directions for Splatter Painting Cards

  1. Before beginning cover your work surface.
  2. Use a paintbrush or a toothbrush to splatter the color liquid onto the cardstock.
  3. Allow the dye to dry and you can use it to make your own cards for your friends.

Notes from Making Splatter Cards

I would recommend using a toothbrush for tiny splatters and a paintbrush for larger drips. 

7. Tie-dye paper towels

Tie-dye paper towels are so much fun!

collage of tie dye paper towels using leftover easter egg

Supplies Needed

  • tray
  • cups of leftover dye in different colors
  • paper towels
  • spoons(or any syringe or dropper tool)  

Directions to Tie Dye Paper Towels

Ask the kids to fold the paper towel however they want and pour the color liquids using a spoon as desired to achieve the tie-dye effect.

Great Activity AFTER the Other Leftover Dye Activities

This is a good activity to extend the time of any of the above experiments. We have tried to tie-dye paper towels almost every time we play with the food coloring. We dry the towels to use in craft projects or to clean up future activities. 

8. Hide and seek tub 

Want a quick and easy idea to use up the leftover easter dye. Dump all the colors inside a big tub, you will probably end up in a black or brownish liquid!

Black water in a tub for hide and seek tub activity using leftover east egg dye

Making the Liquid Darker

If you want it darker, add a couple of black food coloring.

Add a Sensory Hide and Seek Hunt!

Add sensory items like pipe cleaners, pebbles, beads, etc for your little one to explore and seek.

Change Activity Based on Age

Based on their age, you can alter this activity.

  • If you have a young toddler you can name each item as they find
  • Older toddlers prepare a sheet with all the items you are going to include and laminated it. Ask them to match each item as they find it.

How fun! 

More Colorful Fun from Kids Activities Blog

What is your favorite way to use leftover Easter egg dye?

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  1. I like this idea too. My kids love anything resembling paint. We dyed pistachio shells and glued them onto paper. I posted some pics of our results on my blog.

  2. What a great idea! I had not thought about this one but as I am getting ready to dye Easter eggs with the grandkids this week you have given me some wonderful ideas on how to use the leftover dye. Thanks again for your tips and having such a remarkable site.