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Pysanka Easter Eggs in the Classroom

 

This has been an activity that’s consumed my thoughts for awhile. Typically, the more something consumes my mind the more excited I am about it. I was on the search for a fun Easter Activity appropriate for Upper-Grades. It wasn’t until I stumbled across Pysanky: Ukrainian Easter Eggs, that I knew I had found it. The anticipation for the final reveal ignites engagement, the process requires higher order thinking, and the end product is completely beautiful. This process allows students to keep and treasure their pysanka for years to come.

In my mind this project is for 10 year olds and up, however 3rd graders continue to surprise me! If you teach 3rd grade and have success with this project in your classroom please let me know! If you teach high-school, please consider introducing your students to the actual tools, and crafts of pysanka. I had to try it for myself and was immediately enveloped by my fascination for the craft. I told my husband that this was my new therapy, a better word would have been obsession.

Pysanka has been around for thousands of years. Pysanka comes from the Ukranian word, “pysaty” which means, to write. Painting an egg and writing on an egg are two completely separate things. In Pysanky, a tool known as a kistka is used. Think of it as a stick with a small metal funnel at the end of it. The funnel is used to scoop up beeswax, then melt it over a flame. Once the temperature is right the wax drizzles through the funnel, allowing the user to draw with wax on the easter egg. Intricate designs can be created by alternating layers of wax and dye. Traditionally, only the colors white, yellow, red and black were used. Later, green dye was also introduced. Once the design is achieved the wax is melted off using the candle’s flame. As you remove the wax the different layers of colors once protected by the wax show through.

I set out to come up with a classroom friendly, no flame necessary, pysanka copycat for kids. Like many I had experimented with crayons and egg dye in the past, but I had never considered melting the wax off the egg. This ended up taking a few trials and error to perfect, but I am so excited to say that I present this process to you with full confidence.

Let’s get started! Before we can begin you need to order supplies for your students. Like craftivites in the past, I take into consideration the cost it takes to outfit your entire class with what they need. I know this is likely coming from your own pocket, which means I strive to bring the most cost-effective and engaging ideas to you!

Supplies:

Egg Dye: Traditional Pysanka Egg Dye is beautiful and toxic. A simple food safe dye will give you a similar effect. If you are nervous about artificial dyes or have a student sensitive to specific food dyes,  I’ve also included a more natural option below. I would highly recommend purchasing the black food dye as well, not only is it a traditional pysanky color, but the contrast is really stunning. To make the dye simply mix 1/2 cup of water with 1 TBSP of vinegar, and 20-25 drops of the desired color. 

Picture Book: Not necessary, but who doesn’t love Patricia Polacco. This is a really sweet book about a Babuska that paints and decorates award winning eggs. One day an unruly guest may stand in the way of her prize. A friendship blooms, and miracles are witnessed. This really is the perfect read aloud to tie in this activity. Students can also seek out inspiration from Polacco’s illustrations for their own designs!

Egg Stands:If you plan to blow out the eggs, which is my recommendation. I also suggest glueing the eggs to a stand. This will prevent them from tipping over and allow them to be enjoyed for years to come. Don’t panic, I used my macgyvering skills to come up with an extremely affordable alternative. Technically, they are for peg dolls. Technically, they work swimmingly.

  • Jumbo Push Pins  If you don’t already have a pack of jumbo push pins in your classroom, I highly suggest purchasing a pack. They are the perfect size to allow you to get a better grip and handle on what you’re doing. I use these for the String Art Christmas Ornaments as well. However, I was able to have success poking a hole in the egg with both regular thumbtacks, and a regular push pin as well!
  • Masking tape or Painter’s Tape: You will secure a piece on both the top and bottom of the egg when piercing it. The tape gives the pin a better grip as well as secures the egg to prevent it from cracking.
  • White Vinegar: Allows the dye to better adhere to the egg’s shell. We’re talking CHEMICAL REACTION.
  • Coarse Screws: You will use these to make the larger hole in the bottom of the egg if blowing them out. It took a little trial and error before my husband suggested a screw. He’s a gem, and these worked like a gem. Honest to goodness fool proof way for emptying an egg.
  • Eggs: Make sure you give them a nice little rinse and scrub before dying them. If they are from the grocery store a-lot of times they are sprayed with a wax like substance that can affect the dying process. If you have a students with an egg allergy. Try these Dyeable artificial eggs. They work, they don’t work well, but they work. Make sure to allow adequate time for the color to set in. (they are $$$ on Amazon, Target is your best bet :D)
  • Syringe Pack: When blowing out an egg you’re supposed to use your mouth…No thanks. THESE WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. Honestly, better than I imagined they would.

  • (Recommended for Upper Grades) Regular Crayons 2 Pack 64 Count: Regular crayons are going to be your best bet to get the best coverage, better wax resistant and most contrast with your colors. Interestingly enough not all the crayons are created equally when it comes to this project. I found that your reds, purples, and blues perform the best. See my visual in the process below. Keep in mind these crayons require more heat in order to be wiped away. This can easily and safely be done with a blow dryer. From my little science experiment if you plan to let the eggs soak or want better coverage regular crayons are your best bet. Red, blues, purples seemed to perform the best.
  • (Recommended for younger grades)Washable Crayola Crayons: I know it seems so wrong to purchase crayons when you are surrounded by broken remnants everywhere in your classroom. These worked really well because of their “lavability”, melting point. These released and wiped clean easier than the regular crayons did.  However, some colors worked better that others. I’d avoid purple, it went on very smooth but didn’t adhere to the egg like I wanted it to. You also want your egg dry before adding more designs with your crayon. These crayons will work better for younger grades because the wax doesn’t need to reach as high as temperature to be removed. The only caveat is that these crayons are designed to be washable with warm water. Which means if you plan to soak your eggs for a long period of time, you risk the crayon simply washing off. The bonus is  that if you are nervous about using heat or a blow dryer to remove the wax you could technically just wash it off with warm water to get a similar effect.
  • Class Set Crayon SharpenersNot necessary but a good idea for students wanting to achieve a more fine and delicate design.

If you’re like me, then you are itching to get your hands on an actual Kistka and try your hand at some genuine Pysanky. Below is the kit I purchased and it was perfect! I am legitimately planning a Pyskany Party for friends and family to try their hand at this ancient craft!

 

 

Now stay tuned!  Step by step instructions and a few fun products to accompany this fun activity will be posted by the end of the week:

  • Pysanky Terminology and History: Reading Comprehension Questions, and Crossword Puzzles.
  • Pysanka Symbols, Colors, and their meaning.
  • Design your own Pysanka: Methodical planning, design, process, color mixing.
  • Scientific Observation: Chemical or Physical Change Check list

For some Pysanky Inspiration make sure to check out a few of my favorite Pysanky Artists/Writers on Instagram!

@Sweetbing

@jenniferekwong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I was asked to share my thoughts on the Come Follow Me program during the past few months for the LDS Website in the UK. @churchofjesuschrist -
Frankly speaking the invitation made me a little sick. My biggest fear is that it would seem like we were the perfect little family with the perfect little program in place, complete with cutouts and crafts, deep discussions and daily reflection....
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This couldn't be more from the truth. Yes, I do a weekly round up of ideas and resources for Come Follow Me that I publish on my website, but that doesn't mean that it always happens within my own home. When it does happen it typically looks like a bedtime story, or a video played while the kids eat lunch... When it does happen I often fall asleep while trying to catch up on last week’s reading... Most of all, when it does happen, I notice a difference within my home. This program is divinely inspired, the simple timing of everything amplifies it's divine origin to me. -
Art by @_thecoloramber one of the most beautiful illustrations of a family I've ever laid eyes on. Words fall short on this piece. It's my absolute favorite.
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You can read the article here:
https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/come-follow-me-during-lockdown?lang=eng-gb
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This quote stopped me in my tracks... Make sure to head to the website for this week’s Round up of FREE Come Follow Me Resources! This week’s lesson is based on @comefollowmefamily AWESOME idea to use bubbles and balloons to teach about pride. AND @davidbowmanart released another FREE Sample video from his Drawn In, Come Follow Me monthly subscription that I know you are going to LOVE! His videos are wonderful and go beyond just a retelling of the story by diving deep into application in a language the whole family can enjoy! This is the ONLY paid subscription I use for #comefollowme Head to the website now for all of this, a coupon code, and MORE! -
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What are your takeaways from Come Follow Me this week? Do me a favor and spread the love by sharing this post or tagging a friend in the comments!
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By now we all know I love all things Lemon... Lemonade is not exception. ESPECIALLY a good tart Lemonade like @chickfila Did you know you could buy it by the Gallon??? Stay tuned... FREE Father’s Day Printable Gift Tags and a list of well received/ inexpensive gift ideas to accompany them! Whether your looking to outfit the entire ward, or just a thoughtful gift for a few of your favorite men, this post will highlight some fun ideas! -
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COMMENT BELOW: What are some of your favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday
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“And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 27:25–26).
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”Conversion is a process, not an event. Conversion comes as a result of righteous efforts to follow the Savior. These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith. Although conversion is miraculous and life changing, it is a quiet miracle. Angelic visitations and other spectacular occurrences do not bring conversion. Even Alma, who saw an angel, became converted only after he “fasted and prayed many days” for a witness of the truth (Alma 5:46). And Paul, who saw the resurrected Savior, taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).”
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Excerpt from LDS.org
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”Our behavior is nothing more than a reflection of the depth of our conversion to Jesus Christ." Ed J. Pinegar
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What has your behavior shown today of your conversion to Jesus Christ?
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Let’s talk FATHER’S Day... I’m getting ready to add a post on my favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday along with FREE & Thoughtful printables to complete the gift. So help me out... what are your FAVORITE ideas for budget friendly, visiting teaching friendly, give every man in the ward friendly GIFT IDEAS???
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Comment Below 💛🍋💛🍋
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This week in #comefollowme has me thinking a lot about the ripple effects of our choices. Consider the #rippleeffects of your Covenants. What about the ripple effect of Abinadi’s brave stand, or the ripples caused by Alma’s conversion. What choices are you making today, what ripple effect will they have tomorrow? ...

“What is the source of such moral and spiritual power, and how do we obtain it? The source is God. Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him. A covenant is an agreement between God and man, an accord whose terms are set by God (see Bible Dictionary, “Covenant,” 651). In these divine agreements, God binds Himself to sustain, sanctify, and exalt us in return for our commitment to serve Him and keep His commandments.”
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Head to the website to see this week’s round up of FREE, featured #comefollowme resources.
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If you are carrying a burden of any type, and your shoulders are tired. Take the time to study Bednar’s, “Bear up their Burdens with Ease.”
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“Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us.

There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”
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Happy Mother’s Day💛 I know this can be a day filled with complicated emotions for so many. I hope you see a brightness, feel a peace, and know that you are loved.
I love this quote from President Kimball’s talk, “The Role of Righteous Women.”
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. “No greater recognition can come to you in this world than to be known as a woman of God. No greater status can be conferred upon you than being a daughter of God who experiences true sisterhood, wifehood, and motherhood, or other tasks which influence lives for good....You need to drink in deeply the gospel truths about the eternal nature of your individual identity and the uniqueness of your personality. You need, more and more, to feel the perfect love which our Father in Heaven has for you and to sense the value he places upon you as an individual. Ponder upon these great truths, especially in those moments when (in the stillness of such anxiety... know that our Father in Heaven is aware of your anguish, and that one day he will bless you beyond your capacity to express.”
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To all of my sweet sisters, Happy Mother’s Day💛💛💛 Don’t forget about the free Mother’s Day Printables you can download from the website. I used the Drink Deeply printable to complete these fun, inexpensive gifts 💛
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With this week’s focus on Abinadi like faith, I’ve been reflecting on times when I had the choice to stand for what I believe. A story I’m often reminded of is one my mother told me about a time where she had to stand firm. Her example anchored me when I faced similar situations. .
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Share a time when you had to stand, or a favorite story about someone having Abinadi like faith💛 Then head to the website to see this week’s #comefollowme FREE resources and activities.
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For this week’s #comefollowme activity I wanted to focus on Abinadi, and his courage. What gave him the courage to face those that would not just have him imprisoned or killed, but burned, and to meet them with such strength. I think so much of the answer is conversion. Do you feel that Come Follow Me has lead you to a greater conversion?
Comment below, then head to the website to see this week’s roundup of FREE resources, activities and printables.
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Looking for an easy, inexpensive gift idea for Mother’s Day? Whether you’re looking for a ministering gift, something for a family member or loved one, or even the ENTIRE ward?! Check out my list of FAVORITES. All inexpensive, practical, and something the women in your life actually want! ***Did I mention I’ve included 5 FREE gift tag printables to complete the gift! Head to the website now! 🍋🌷🍋🌷🍋🌷🍋🌷🍋🌷🍋
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What’s the best INEXPENSIVE Mother’s Day gift you’ve ever been given or that you’ve gifted someone else?!
Comment below:
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I personally was extremely touched and impressed by the following quotes I stumbled across pertaining to the blessings one receives when they do work for their ancestors or loved ones that have passed. My goal was to find one powerful quote to use in the images for this blog post, but I couldn’t pick just one. I had to share them all with you. ***Head to the website to see my favorites! Prophets and apostles have literally promised that when we are involved in family history work we will receive help and support from the other side, spiritual protection, an increase in our testimony and conversion, as well as an enhanced temple experience… Wow. Yet another nudge it’s time to get to work. ...

This question from last week’s Come Follow Me Lesson really struck me: “What stories from our lives or our ancestors’ lives can we share to inspire greater trust in God?”
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What are you doing to preserve those stories in your own life, family members, or ancestors?
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30 years old... The first thing Benson asked this morning was to see how much I’ve grown. I chuckled when he let me know that I certainly had gotten bigger, my belly even seemed more noticeable to Lovie. The only thing that seems to be growing right now is the baby in my belly (Watch the video for the gender reveal, ***party thrown before social distancing) I can’t help but reflect and want to document a little bit about this strange time. -
When businesses started shutting down, and the orders of social distancing were put in place, I watched in horror as my schedule fell apart. I had read a quote about how tragedy or stress can only cause what was already in your cup to spill over.... So instead of gratitude and joy, out spilled the anxiety, anger, and sadness...etc that I had suppressed and masked for so long because of my schedule. I’ve always been this way. If there’s an openness, or emptiness and I’m the one left to fill the time, the emptiness overwhelms me. I thrive with structure, I struggle to set it. So here I was left to face the openness with all of my tools, activities, and things to set a schedule around taken. I was left empty handed with nothing to hide behind, staring directly at this part of me I had always known was there, but never fully confronted. -
In the past few weeks, I have grown. I’m nowhere near where I need to be, or where I want to be, but I’ve grown. I’ve felt myself adapt and get a little better, a little stronger, and a little more “ok” each week, and for that experience I will be forever grateful. -
When everything fell apart it was my literal nightmare when it comes to my mental health. (I know this sounds trivial, and I know so many have experienced true tragedy and loss through this, please know I do not take that lightly nor am I trying to take away from that, this has simply been what I’ve experienced and I know that degree is menial compared to the true loss others have felt. My hope and prayer is that you too have felt strengthened; comforted, or edified through this.) -
So here I am, 30 years old today. Though this day looks nothing like I thought it would have, (continued in comments)
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30 years old... The first thing Benson asked this morning was to see how much I’ve grown. I chuckled when he let me know that I certainly had gotten bigger, my belly even seemed more noticeable to Lovie. The only thing that seems to be growing right now is the baby in my belly (Watch my story for the gender reveal, ***party thrown before social distancing) I can’t help but reflect and want to document a little bit about this strange time. -
When businesses started shutting down, and the orders of social distancing were put in place, I watched in horror as my schedule fell apart. I had read a quote about how tragedy or stress can only cause what was already in your cup to spill over.... So instead of gratitude and joy, out spilled the anxiety, anger, and sadness...etc that I had suppressed and masked for so long because of my schedule. I’ve always been this way. If there’s an openness, or emptiness and I’m the one left to fill the time, the emptiness overwhelms me. I thrive with structure, I struggle to set it. So here I was left to face the openness with all of my tools, activities, and things to set a schedule around taken. I was left empty handed with nothing to hide behind, staring directly at this part of me I had always known was there, but never fully confronted. -
In the past few weeks, I have grown. I’m nowhere near where I need to be, or where I want to be, but I’ve grown. I’ve felt myself adapt and get a little better, a little stronger, and a little more “ok” each week, and for that experience I will be forever grateful. -
When everything fell apart it was my literal nightmare when it comes to my mental health. (I know this sounds trivial, and I know so many have experienced true tragedy and loss through this, please know I do not take that lightly nor am I trying to take away from that, this has simply been what I’ve experienced and I know that degree is menial compared to the true loss others have felt. My hope and prayer is that you too have felt strengthened; comforted, or edified through this.) -
So here I am, 30 years old today. Though this day looks nothing like I thought it would have, (continued in comments)
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What is the source of such moral and spiritual power, and how do we obtain it? The source is God. Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him. A covenant is an agreement between God and man, an accord whose terms are set by God (see Bible Dictionary, “Covenant,” 651). In these divine agreements, God binds Himself to sustain, sanctify, and exalt us in return for our commitment to serve Him and keep His commandments.
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
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This week’s round-up of FREE lesson helps and resources for #comefollowme are live on the blog! The majority will help you connect and teach the importance and the WHY of making and keeping sacred covenants. I’m thinking this week we will take a little field trip to a near by temple to enjoy the peace and beauty of the grounds💛 What’s YOUR plan for teaching Come Follow Me this week? ...

This week’s #comefollowme lesson is all about service. I’ve listed ideas for service projects that we can do despite our limitations during the COVID19 outbreak... However, I want to hear YOUR ideas. ..
What are the big or small ways we can serve others during this time? ..
What are some ideas for how children can help serve or uplift others? ..
What is something you’ve been doing intentionally during this time to help your family or those around you?
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COMMENT BELOW! I can’t wait to read your ideas 💛💛
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