September 1, 2004

Tie Dye!

We went to a great birthday party this morning. We made tie dye shirts! The kids had a good time doing it and thankfully I had help with Sirah or I don't know how I could have helped make three tie dye shirts. Rhiannon was very into it but Ciaran lost interest and we found his shirt floating in a bucket of red and I have no idea how long it had been there! The mom was very organized and I would recommend this activity for others if you are organized.

She gave each child a pair of rubber gloves and a tee shirt in a plastic ziploc bag. Then she had premade the tie dye each color in a big bucket - the kind you use to wash your car (.99 at Walmart) - she made each color and placed the buckets on a big sheet of plastic. She placed a paint stirrer in each bucket and labeled the bucket and the stirrer with the color. Then she had a dozen or so patterns and directions printed out and in ziploc bags so kids could see what the shirt would look like and choose their patterns and follow the directions. She had buckets of rubber bands nearby, both thin and thick.

Each child choose their directions and set to work on their shirts with parents helping as needed. You can find the complete directions and printouts at the RIT dye site. I choose a simple marble pattern for Ciaran (he choose green and red) and Sirah (purple and white.

Of course Rhiannon chose one of the most complicated, a donut and rosette pattern and used every color available to her. The shirt came out better than we thought it would - and she was the last one done.

Considering the ages of the kids involved I was amazed at how nicely all the shirts came out and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves and have a sense of accomplishment. When they were all done cleanup was pretty simple - we rinsed the buckets threw the gloves in the plastic roll and rolled it up and threw it all out. The kids placed their completed shirts in their individual ziploc bags to bring home (after the big group photos) and she even included take home instructions to follow! Then the kids played and enjoyed cupcakes and watching presents being opened.

I highly recommend this activity and think it was a great birthday party - I think the key to its success was how organized this mother was ahead of time. The RIT website really offers some great step by step directions that were easy to follow and implement.


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