You dyed the eggs. Now you’re wondering what to do with the leftover dye? There are many cool activities for kids to try with leftover Easter egg paint. Or stock up on dye after Easter for these fun science experiments and art activities that all answer the question… what to do with leftover dye?
Fun things to do with leftover dye
Today we have some really fun ideas for unusual science and art activities for kids of all ages that use leftover Easter egg paint.
If you’ve already discarded Easter egg dye, many of these activities will work with food coloring or even leftover paint. Get creative with recycling and reuse!
Scientific experiments with leftover Easter paint
1. Show how plants absorb water and explain capillary action
This super simple and fun science experiment is easy to do at home or in the classroom.
Materials needed for the plant absorption experiment
- leftover dyes
- cup for each color
- Lettuce leaf or flower stalk for each color.
Instructions for plant absorption experiment
- Use two to three different colors of leftover paint in a cup at a time.
- Place a lettuce leaf or flower with a stem in each of them.
- Watch as the leaves or flowers observe the dye water and explain capillary action and how plants absorb the water and carry it to the tips of each stem to grow.
- You can also watch the water level in each cup decrease as the plants absorb it.
2. Walking water science experiment
This is another twist that combines the two dye activities above. This is more of an observation activity that the whole family can enjoy.
Supplies needed for the Walking Water Experiment
- 6 empty glasses or plastic cups,
- paper towels
- The leftover dye mixture of the primary color.
Instructions for the Walking Water Experiment
- Take equal amounts of each primary color mixture (red, blue, and yellow) in 3 cups, placing empty cups in between.
- Place them in a circle.
- Take a paper towel and cut it lengthwise into three strips. If it’s a whole sheet, you can cut six strips from a single sheet.
- Then first place two kitchen paper strips in a mug. One half of a strip should stay in the cup and the other half should bend into the next cup as shown in the picture above.
- Repeat the steps so that each cup should hold two strips of paper.
- The fun part is watching the paper towel absorb the liquid and transport it to the next cup by capillary action.
See capillary action in action
The plant absorbs the water by capillary action and transports it to the tips of the leaves. Since paper towels also have fibers, the same science takes place here as well. And also when two color liquids are mixed a new color is created and we can talk about the color wheel and the creation of the secondary colors.
What if the water isn’t running?
If this experiment doesn’t work, try changing the amount of liquid in each cup or the layers of paper towel i.e. instead of one layer you can try using two to three layers of paper towel to make it work faster. Experimenting with a single layer of paper towel, it took me about 3 hours to see the result.
I let it sit long enough to see what happens and the result was that the paper towels started to dry out and I didn’t see any transmission. Try it yourself to see what happened with your experiment and let me know in the comments below.
3. Colorful volcanoes
You would have already mixed vinegar into the paint. It’s so easy to set up this activity.
Supplies needed for colorful volcanic activities
- Leftover dye mix (which has vinegar in it)
- spoon or dropper
- Tray or bowl of baking soda
Directions for colorful volcanic activity
- Place the baking soda in a layer at least 1/2 inch thick in the bottom of a bowl or tray, such as a baking sheet.
- Using a spoon or eyedropper, kids can drip the vinegar and colored liquid onto the baking soda, resulting in a nice bubbly burst.
- Kids can also experiment with mixing colors onto the baking soda.
Related: Children’s reaction to baking soda and vinegar
4. Experiment with exploding baggies
Check out our exploding bag science experiment that could use leftover dye instead of food coloring.
Art activities with leftover Easter egg paint
5. Color mixing activity
Give them the primary colors and let them develop the secondary colors by mixing them. A plastic egg carton and a few spoons work well for this activity. If you don’t have an egg carton, plastic cups and spoons work well too.
6. Resist splashing and painting
Let’s make some fun original graphic cards with the leftover Easter egg paint!
Necessary accessories for splatter painting cards
- Any shaped object (like circle or square) around the house will serve as a resistor
- Old toothbrush or brush
Instructions for Splatter Painting Cards
- Before you begin, cover your work surface.
- Use a brush or toothbrush to squirt the color liquid onto the cardboard.
- Let the paint dry and use it to create your own cards for your friends.
Notes for creating splatter maps
I would recommend using a toothbrush for tiny splashes and a brush for larger drips.
7. Tie-dye paper towels
Tie-dye paper towels are so much fun!
Supplies are needed
- Beakers with dye residues in different colors
- paper towels
- Spoon (or any syringe or dropper)
Directions to tie-dye paper towels
Ask the children to fold the paper towel as they like and pour the color liquids as they like with a spoon to create the tie-dye effect.
Great activity AFTER the other leftover coloring activities
This is a good activity to extend the time of any of the above experiments. We’ve tried tying paper towels almost every time we play with the food coloring. We dry the towels to use in craft projects or to tidy up future activities.
8. Hide and seek tub
Want a quick and easy idea to use up that leftover Easter paint? Pour all the paints into a large tub, you’ll likely end up with a black or tan liquid!
Darken the liquid
If you want it darker, add some black food coloring.
Add a sensory hide-and-seek!
Add sensory items like pipe cleaners, pebbles, beads, etc. for your child to explore and search for.
Change activity based on age
Based on their age, you can change this activity.
- If you have a little toddler, you can name each item as they find it
- Older toddlers prepare a sheet with all the items you will be adding and laminate it. Ask them to match each item as they find it.
How much fun!
More colorful fun from the kids activities blog
What’s your favorite way to use up leftover Easter egg paint?