5 Reasons Why I’ll Never Dye Easter Eggs With My Kids Again (and What We Do Instead)

I thought coloring Easter eggs with my kids was going to create lasting memories. I was wrong. I’ll tell you why and what we do instead of dealing with the mess and disappointment.

Close up of cute little girl using water colors, painting Easter egg, and her hands alsoPhoto: Shutterstock/Jovan Barajevac

My kids are at a perfect age for enjoying every holiday on the calendar. They’re 7 and 5, so it’s almost like the anticipation of the next joyful season gets us through the doldrums of everyday life. This is especially true during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but then there’s a holiday lull after the New Year’s Eve potluck. We are in a holiday hangover. Sure, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and that lifts our spirits as much as paper hearts and drug store chocolates can (those 2 for $1 chocolates really can lift my spirits), but it’s not until Easter that full holiday joy returns.

One rite of passage that I was really looking forward to with my kids was dying Easter eggs. We’d create family memories that they’d carry with them to adulthood and share with their own kids someday. I was wrong—so wrong—and I’ll tell you why coloring Easter eggs wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

5 Reasons We Don’t Dye Easter Eggs

1. It’s massively anticlimactic.

In my excitement of the season starting a new tradition, we picked an afternoon, set up our supplies and gathered in the kitchen. Each kid had a dozen perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs and their own cups of colored water for dunking. They were done in less than five minutes. Five minutes! All that build-up for memorable family bonding, and it was over in about the same time as a commercial break.

2. It’s incredibly messy.

If this had been a great experience, I wouldn’t have minded the mess (as much). But, after my kids fled the kitchen, I was left with nearly a dozen cups of colored water, copious wads of half-used paper towels, a table full of spills and splashes, and wet eggs. This isn’t what I envisioned for our afternoon of bonding. It took me more time to clean up than it did for them to color their eggs. Luckily, I didn’t have to break out my vinegar for deep-cleaning.

3. Eggs are perishable.

It’s not like I didn’t know eggs had to be refrigerated before diving into this crafty endeavor. But I didn’t think about that in terms of Easter egg hunt logistics: You can’t hide them too early, kids have to give them back to you to put in the fridge after they find their stash and, if you have an indoor hunt you better remember where you hid each and every egg (sometimes it snows on Easter in Wisconsin).

4. My kids don’t like hard-boiled eggs.

After all the fuss, they aren’t really excited about their loot. When you think about it, what kid would be excited about a treasure of hard-cooked eggs? They’d much rather have a plastic egg filled with candy or a couple quarters.

5. We have so many leftover eggs.

Now that the party is over, the guests are gone and I’ve cleaned up the kitchen from Easter dinner, I have two dozen hard-cooked eggs in my fridge to deal with. Since my kids won’t eat them, my husband and I will have to sacrifice our cholesterol for the sake of not being wasteful and I’ll be tasked with coming up with creative ways to use up all those hard-boiled eggs.

The Easter Tradition We DO Love

For our egg hunt, I just give them what they want: plastic eggs filled with candy or cash (it’s a win-win). Since I like to make a special Easter brunch, we save the leftover shells to plant seeds inside. There are no hard-boiled eggs needed, and it’s a great way to get a jump on our spring garden.

Country women, eggs, easter, plants, kidsPhoto: Taste of Home

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Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.