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 dye.
Science experiments to try with leftover easter dye with your toddlers
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. Here is the food coloring that I used.
Show how plants absorb water & explain Capillary action:
Take two to three different colors of leftover dye each in a cup and put a lettuce leaf or any flower with a stalk inside each of one of them. 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.
You can also observe how the level of water in each cup is reduced as the plants absorb them.
A cool experiment to do with leftover easter dye that the whole family can enjoy
Walking water science experiment: This is a different twist combining the above two experiments. This is more of an observing activity that the whole family can enjoy.
- 6 empty glass jars or plastic cups,
- paper towels
- The primary color leftover dye mixture.
Take equal quantity of each primary color dye mixture(Red, Blue & Yellow) in 3 cups and place empty cups in between. Place them in a circle. 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. 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 below. Repeat the steps so that each cup should hold two strips of paper.
The fun part is to observe how the paper towel absorbs the liquid and transports it to the next cup through capillary action just as 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.
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.
Note: The color liquid I used here is a mixture of vinegar, food color, and water. I used a splash of vinegar to try this as the leftover easter dye would have vinegar. That might have altered the results a bit.
Tie-dye paper towels:
Tie-dye paper towels are so much fun. Give them a tray, cups of leftover dye in different colors, paper towels, and spoons(or any syringe, dropper tool). 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. 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.
Some other cool thing to do with the leftover dye
Splatter and resist painting:
Grab a cardstock and any shaped object(like circle or square) around the house to act as a resist. Before beginning cover your work surface. Use a paintbrush or a toothbrush to splatter the color liquid onto the cardstock. Allow it to dry and you can use it to make your own cards for your friends. I would recommend using a toothbrush for tiny splatters and a paintbrush for larger drips.
Since you have would have already mixed vinegar in the dye. It is so easy to set up this activity. Give them the leftover dye mixture with a spoon and a tray or a bowl of baking soda so that they can experience the volcanos by pouring the colorful vinegar liquid on the baking soda. My son scooped a spoon of baking soda and put it into one of the cups of colorful liquid to experience the volcano effect. Either way works for this experiment. He even tried to mix colors by transferring one color onto another color using spoons and pour them onto the baking soda tray.
You could also try Exploding baggies science experiment.
Hide and seek tub:
Want a quick and easy idea to use up the leftover easter dye. Dumb all the colors inside a big tub, you will probably end up in a black or brownish liquid. If you want it darker, add a couple of black food coloring and add sensory items like pipe cleaners, pebbles, beads, etc for your little one to explore and seek. Based on their age, you can alter this activity. If you have a young toddler you can name each item as they find and for 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!