If dyeing Easter eggs with vinegar and color tablets is feeling old, reach for a new duo: shaving cream and liquid food coloring.
It's a tactile project many kids will enjoy -- especially swirling the colors into the cream.
"They thought it was really cool to drop the food coloring into the shaving cream and take the toothpick and swirl it," Sarah Barrand of Caldwell, Idaho, says of her four children.
"And the shaving cream will actually even help clean up the mess afterward," she wrote in her blog, A Thrifty Mom.
As simple as the traditional egg-dyeing method but potentially messier, this method involves filling a deep-sided baking pan or sheet with an inch of shaving cream -- no more, to be thrifty -- and then smoothing it so colors won't run together. Randomly add drops of two to four colors -- more than that "creates brown or ugly green," says Barrand.
With a toothpick or lollipop stick, swirl the colors through the shaving cream, being careful not to overmix. "Large swirls and loops will give the layering effect," writes Barrand in her blog.
Working from one end of the pan to the other in a straight line, roll a hard-boiled egg through the swirled colors and deposit it in an egg carton to dry. Wear rubber gloves or the food coloring will dye your hands.
Barrand could roll three eggs in a 9-by-9-inch pan before the colors muddied. When that occurs, rinse and dry the pan, add more shaving cream -- don't use shaving gel -- and start the process anew.
After 3 minutes, clean off an egg to check its color -- likely a light pastel. For darker shades, wait 10 minutes so the food dye has more time to seep into the eggshell. The eggs will look as if they've been tie-dyed.
If you're concerned about using shaving cream on an edible egg, use whipping cream instead, Barrand says. Or blow out the eggs before coloring them.
"An eggshell is porous, so technically if you left it for like a day, I wouldn't recommend eating it, but it's only in the shaving cream for a few minutes," Barrand says. "My kids totally ate all the eggs."
Use a glass pan, if you have it; the liquid color may stain metal pans where they're scratched or pitted. Create new colors in glass cups before dropping them into the shaving cream.
"Our kids enjoyed every part. With the old tablets and vinegar, they always got bored and thought it smelled," Barrand says in her blog.
Find other easy egg-dyeing ideas -- coloring with Kool-Aid, Sharpie pens, crayons, glitter, tissue paper and more -- at Pinterest.com.