Make Tie Dyeing With Kids FUN in 5 Steps – Tips and Tricks

Tie Dyeing is fun.  That is for sure.  Tie dyeing with kids is fun but can be really messy if you are not properly prepared.  We had a really fun time experimenting with Tulip One-Step Tie Dyes last weekend (before it SNOWED on  Mother’s Day in Denver, CO) and I thought I would share how we made it successful and fun WITH kids.

Step One:  Allow for craziness but plan to get that out BEFORE you break out the dyes.  I put on music indoors and had the girls use the zip ties to tie up their pillowcases (and 1 bandana) while being silly and goofing around.

Step Two:  Have the kids each write their name on a plastic ziploc bag, grab their tied up project and take it all outdoors to a grassy area off your beaten path.  Before they sit down to dye, let them get some energy out and play a little.  Then talk about the fact that dyeing will take a few minutes and it is important to cooperate, share colors and be calm until you are done and your project is IN YOUR BAG.  Prepare the dyes ahead of time and bring them out in a basket with paper towels (just in case…)  It is good to also bring out a trash can or bag.

Step Three:  PUT ON GLOVES – Everyone!!!  Allow the kids time to apply their dyes.  Stay with them and compliment them as you see them making good choices.

Examples of Compliments That Work:

  • I like the way you are sharing with each other.
  • That was the perfect amount of dye to put on that part of your project.
  • I like the way you are holding the bottle right over your project.
  • It is so nice to see all of you saying kind things to each other about your different color choices and styles.

Step Four:  When they are each done with their dyeing have them put their project in their bag and then get up slowly and back away to go do something else until everyone is done.

Step Five:  The kids do nothing here.  This is all for the grown up.  Follow the directions in the packaging to complete the project then give them to the kids – or in this case put them on their pillows and surprise them with their awesomeness!

If you have a kid who creates a bandana, show it off on the family pet when you pick them up from school!

Happy Creating FUN with Kids,


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  1. 1

    Helene Lopes says

    I am in the process of lining up projects for a 6 yo and a 3 yo. This is a great idea. I also saw that you have warded off helicopter parents, because, yes, your child is a capable person and can follow directions, has ideas, and is proud of the outcome. Good job, Mom!

  2. 2

    nievet isles says

    I am going to do this with the Vacation Bible School class. I LIKE THE IDEA OF THE BOTTLE.

  3. 5

    Grenae says

    What kind of dyes did you use or is it like foodcolor dyes like you’d use to color eggs. Id like to keep it as natural &non toxxic as possible . The 2girls are toddlers so I’m wanting to be really careful about what they use. But this project would let them express themselves through color. Thanks for posting these craft ideas.

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