Long hot summers can be hard to fill, with children on your hands and most activities costing way too much to make a regular occurrence it can be hard to think of exciting things to fill their days.

Bonding with children is unique and special, and something necessary to forge a happy familial relationship. It shouldn’t need to cost money, simple things like going for a walk, cooking together or just eating together can be great to build memories, what’s more they are both fun and healthy.

Sometimes though, the weather can affect certain free activities, as can children’s concentration. They can enjoy lots of things, but do need variation and change to grow and develop. So, creative crafts are a great way to develop children’s interest in different activities and help them find what they enjoy and are good at.

Tie dying is simple, easy, fun, and creative! What’s more the result is something you can use or wear, meaning your child has a great time and a great object at the end of it.

Equipment List



rubber bands

rubber gloves

a plastic bag

a bucket

salt (can increase intensity of the color)

For the garment always go for plain, it can be anything, but I usually opt for a plain white t-shirt as the effect looks great, it’s a good size and there is nearly always one lying around.

The clothing dye you buy depends on what colors you’d like to create.

You can buy dye at a supermarket, at a specialty craft shop or online, but it is available for just a few dollars and shouldn’t cost the earth. You can buy specially pre-mixed dye from shops if you would prefer. Always make sure you read your dye label to check for specific instructions as there may be some equipment it requires not listed here. 

Once you have your equipment you’re ready to go and get creative.

Wash your garment before you begin so there is a clean surface for the dye to sink into.

Fold and tie your garment as desired. Do this by tying sections of the t-shirt with rubber bands and twisting the garment. There is no right or wrong way to tie dye, it is about having fun and being unique so don’t get too tied up with getting a perfect circle in the center. If your child wants a certain pattern you might want to do some small test strips on unwanted fabrics to work out how that pattern is achieved.

Once your dyes are prepared from the packets instructions, you are ready to get going. If you are going for a mix of colors it is best to start with the lightest first, then either rinse or wait between different colors depending on the dye instructions. The actual dying doesn’t take long but some dyes need to be left for 24 hours until they are ready to be rinsed. 

The glorious thing is that every item you tie dye, no matter if you use the same technique and the same dye, will turn out different. It is a great way to teach your children about how they are unique and everyone is different. It is also great to learn about different colors, science behind chemical reactions and color combinations as well as being an arty and creative activity. Meaning, there is something of interest to practically every child.