This post is brought to you by I Love to Create and Blueprint Social. The opinions are my own.
I remember how excited I would get tie-dying shirts when I was a kid. Every year at Girl Scout camp, we would tie-dye our shirts using giant vats of dye. It was fun, but would definitely get messy with all the mixing of colors. I love that I can now tie-dye with my four year old. He loves making crafts and being able to wear a craft afterwards is even cooler! We’re sharing a few ideas on how you can easily throw a Tie-Dye Party for Preschoolers and Tie Dye Your Summer!
You’re probably thinking tie-dye and preschoolers don’t go together very well, right? Wrong! The great thing about tie-dye is there really isn’t a wrong way to do it, making it perfect for the preschool age range! They can be independent and do it very little assistance, but still love their end result.
I’ve learned that girls are much more cooperative with picture taking! How cute is this friend in her tie-dye shirt?!?
We were sent this awesome Tie-Dye Party Kit from I Love to Create. Included in the kit is everything you need (except the shirts) for 6 people to tie-dye. You’ll find 18 bottles of vibrant One-Step Dye, 6 pairs of gloves, 6 sets of rubber bands, a disposable plastic table cover and a project guide. The kids brought their own cotton shirts to dye and I had some women’s shirts for the moms to dye!
Personally, I think tie-dye belongs outside with kids (and most adults) because accidents will happen and it’s easier to just keep it all outside.
We set up a few snacks for our friends including tie-dye cupcakes, pretzels and juice boxes. You always need snacks at a party!
I had a new idea for tie-dying that we tried, but didn’t quite work out as imagined. I’m sharing this with you so you can try to alter it and see how it works for you.
My idea was to put the shirts in an aluminum pan with a paper towel under the shirt. I had squirted some of the dye into vegetable trays that I picked up at the dollar store and stuck a bouncy ball or ping pong ball in each section. I thought the kids could pick up a ball and drop it on their shirt and roll it around to spread the dye like we have done similarly with paint and paper.
It didn’t work out quite as well as I had thought, but Charlie was so patient with trying. It did create a sort of splatter look. I’m curious if styrofoam balls would have done better.
I showed everyone how to do the bullseye technique, which I think is one of the easiest for little ones. Just pinch your shirt up from wherever you want the center of your bullseye and pull your remaining down, forming a cone shape. Wrap with rubber bands and get dying!
While some of the preschoolers put rubber bands on their shirts and really tied them up, others preferred to just let loose and squirt dye wherever they wanted. That’s the great part about tie-dye, it’s always fun and never wrong!
For ideas on how you can set up your tie-dye station, check out the video below.
Use 100% natural fiber fabric only (cotton, silk, rayon, wool)
Do not add water to your bottles of dye until you are ready to use it.
Get your fabric completely wet, then completely wrung out, before applying dye. This makes the dye soak into the fabric immediately, which lessens the amount of dye you need per project (more economical!).
Keep dyed fabric covered with plastic (bags work great, but you could also wrap in plastic wrap) to prevent it from drying out; fabric that dries before the dye is finished setting can result in weaker color concentration and less intensity.
Use a shoe box, aluminum pan or another container to tie-dye in. This keeps excess dye in the box and makes it even easier to clean up.
- Wear the gloves! Always wear the gloves, even when preparing the dye bottles.
- After putting gloves on, wrap a rubber band on wrist to keep the gloves on. They’ll easily slip off the hands of little ones otherwise.
We had a really windy day for our party, but I was just happy it didn’t get rained out. Because of the wind, I kept our decorations to a minimum. This is a little out of character for me, but they would have been all over the yard if I had set them up. You can grab some super cute free printables for your tie-dye party from Lillian Hope Designs.
Each kid from the tie-day party went home with their shirt in a gallon-sized food storage bag and directions on what to do when they get home! You can print those directions out from the printables link above and tape them right to the bag.
This girly did a rainbow bullseye with a little direction from her mom. If you like the pottery in the back of her picture, check out Bootleg Pottery– it’s her Daddy’s!
When was the last time you tie-dyed?