11 Apr
2014
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Tie Dye Fun with Kids

Tie dye is one of my favorite crafts to do with kids. We’ve dyed socks, t-shirts and twin sheets. I currently have a sack of dyed clothing ready to wash and dry.

Tie Dye T-Shirts

Our county’s first graders will converge on the public library in a few weeks to celebrate Wyoming Reads. Each first grader will be given a new, hardcover children’s book at the early literacy event. Each year the first grade classes at my boys’ elementary school tie dye shirts to wear to the event. The tie dyeing project is a great art and science experience for the kids and provides the added bonus of making them easy to spot among the hundreds of other first graders at the Wyoming Reads event.

Helping tie dye with the first graders is one of my favorite activities to help with at school. I’ve been known to help tie dye even when I don’t have a first grader. Most of the kids have no experience with tie dye and some don’t know what it is. This year the kids had five different patterns to choose from. Each child picked their pattern and an adult folded the shirt while they watched. The kids then dyed their own shirts, choosing which of the available seven colors they wanted on their shirt.

Tie dyeing is like making colorful snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. My favorite part of the process is seeing the kids’ excited faces when their washed and dried shirts are given back to them. They’ve created this item and are always surprised by the result. We talk with them on the day of tie dyeing about which colors put next to each other on their shirts will make other colors (red+yellow=orange). It’s magical when they see what they were told actually happened.

Stack of Tie Dyed T-Shirts

I’ve used dyes from craft stores, but like the results using products from Dharma Trading Company. The colors stay bright and vibrant for much longer than dyes I’ve tried from big box stores. Tie dyeing can seem overwhelming your first time. It can be messy, so I like to tie dye outside if possible. It is time-consuming. There are several steps to follow, but none are difficult. Dharma is an excellent resource for tie dyeing how-to questions. The biggest tie dye project I’ve completed was helping 100 preschool kiddos tie dye t-shirts during Vacation Bible School one summer. I tied the shirts beforehand, but had the kids dye their own. The lesson was on how each of us is created uniquely just like the tie dye shirts we created.

I think a tie dye party is needed this summer with my kids and their friends. It’s an idea I talk about almost every summer, but never do. This may just be the year I follow through.

I’m linking this post to:

The 36th Avenue Link Party Palooza

 

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