Easter is just around the corner and my kids are excited to attend the many community Easter egg hunts in our area. Sure, I could run to the store and grab a few packs of pre-filled eggs to donate but this defeats the purpose of the classic Easter egg hunts I remember as a child.
We will certainly have plastic eggs filled with candy but I want to include real eggs! I want my kids to have the experiences I had as a child that included boiling eggs, dying them and then being able to enjoy them. I remember the pride I felt as a kid when my beautifully dyed eggs were all dry and ready the night before for the Easter bunny.
There are so many products on the shelves these days that make it easy for little hands to dye Easter eggs. I’ve tried many of them in the past and always seem to come back to family traditions which include our old plastic shower curtain used as a floor mat for crafts, a few small plastic cups, white vinegar, Kool-Aid packs of our favorite flavors, a plastic spoon and of course real eggs!
First, gather supplies:
- 1 shower curtain or table cloth (old or new – you can find the plastic shower curtain liner and table cloths for cheap at places like Dollar General or Dollar Tree or clearance after a holiday)
- Plastic cups (got them on sale with coupons at Walmart and paid $1)
- White vinegar (found the store brand white vinegar for about $1 if you don’t use it that often in your home)
- A few packs of your favorite flavors of Kool-Aid (found at Walmart for $.24 each)
- A few plastic spoons (found in a pack of 20 at the Dollar Tree)
- A dozen extra large real eggs
- Empty egg carton
- Plastic trays or baking sheet to contain accidental spills (this also helps to create individual work spaces to keep my kids from arguing over who has more or less)
- Plastic gloves to avoid getting Kool-Aid dye on hands
Start by setting up your Easter egg craft area. It’s easier to have this done before you start boiling the eggs and it keeps my kids busy helping in the kitchen.
- Lay out your shower curtain or table cover over a large flat surface.
- On each baking sheet, line up about 3 or 4 of the plastic cups.
- Open each Kool-Aid pack and add to the plastic cup. Add ¼ cup of room temperature water to each cup with Kool-Aid and stir well with a plastic spoon. Add a teaspoon of white vinegar to each cup with Kool-Aid (this helps set the color on the egg shells).
- Include about 3 or 4 extra plastic spoons per baking sheet.
- Tip: Clean the empty egg carton and dry with a paper towel. Leave open on the table to have something to set the eggs in to dry once they have been colored with the Kool-Aid dye. I have poked holes in the bottom of the egg cartons in the past with a toothpick and put the carton on a paper towel to allow any excess dye liquid to drain so my eggs turn out completely dry without puddles of color left over in the carton.
Second, boil your eggs. Now in The Hot Mess Kitchen tradition we will need to avoid boiling our eggs for too long. I’ve got a tendency to boil them to the point of where the egg shells crack in the pot. It HAS happened in the past but we usually sacrifice the cracked shell boiled eggs for things like deviled eggs or egg salad. No one complains when a fresh plate of deviled eggs are served alongside an oven baked ham for Easter. Also, on a normal day this is OK because I will be peeling and eating them anyways. This is a no go for Easter eggs. We are looking to cook them just to perfection without the shells cracking.
Here are a few tips to get you started in the right path for cooking the perfect eggs for Easter.
- Start by adding your eggs one at a time to a sturdy pot
- Make a single layer of eggs to avoid them hitting each other
- Cover eggs with room temperature water until the water is about an inch over the eggs
- Bring to a rapid boil and then remove from heat and cover with a well fitting pot lid
- Let sit on the stove to continue cooking for about 15 minutes (I just move mine to a back stove burner that is cold).
- Carefully remove eggs from hot water with a slotted spoon and run under cold water in the sink in a colander or in a large bowl with ice and cold water until eggs are completely cooled (about 5 or so minutes).
Next, dry the eggs and get them ready for the Kool-Aid color. If you used a colander to cool them, you can let the eggs sit for a minute and they will dry off. If you used the bowl with ice water method, you will want to drain the water leaving the eggs in the bowl for easy transport. (Tip: Use a large wooden spoon to put at the side of the bowl. Tip bowl slightly forward to drain the water. This method will get the water out and keeps your eggs in the bowl!)
Now for the fun part. Lets get some color on those eggs! Using the plastic spoons, put an egg on the spoon and carefully drop down into the cup of Kool-Aid color. My kids like to use an extra spoon to hold them with kind of like spoon tongs so the eggs don’t make a splash. We leave our eggs in the coloring cups for about 5 minutes a piece, occasionally using a plastic spoon to move them around to make sure all sides of the egg get dye on them. Once the eggs have a good color on them, use two plastic spoons and the tong method mentioned earlier to remove one egg at a time to put back in the egg container to dry. We usually put ours back in the fridge overnight or let sit for about an hour or so if we plan to use them the same day for an Easter egg hunt.
Now you have beautifully dyed Easter eggs using Kool-Aid ready to go for the hunt or for decoration. I hope you will share our easy egg dying tradition with your family using the Kool-Aid method to enjoy for many Easters to come! We would love to see pictures of your Easter eggs here in the comments or shared on The Hot Mess Kitchen Facebook page. Visit and LIKE us on Facebook at The Hot Mess Kitchen where I am always sharing my favorite posts about recipes and kitchen tips!