A favorite Easter tradition growing up was making pysanka. Although we aren't Ukrainian, we were exposed to pysanka living in Winnipeg and because it is so much fun, and so beautiful to make, we adopted the tradition as our own.
I hadn't made pysanka in years, but after taking a local workshop with some friends I decided to try it with my kids. I was nervous at first because I wasn't sure about letting my four year old and two year old handle the tool used to draw on the eggs with hot wax. In the end it turned out fine. I offered them the tool to draw with, after heating it over the candle flame myself, but they passed. They much preferred to just tell me what to draw while they watched. (Kids that are six and older could probably use the tool themselves, with supervision of course.)
We spent a really enjoyable few hours talking about what to draw on the eggs, me drawing it and them watching the eggs in the various jars of dye. We used six colours of dye: yellow, orange, pink, red, blue and black. In other words every colour of dye I had!
After each colour of dye the kids made sure to pat off their egg with a paper-towel. After the black dye I used the candle flame to melt off all the wax and reveal the art underneath!
I won't even pretend that what they made is pysanka because the designs are in no way reflective of traditional Ukrainian folk designs. (Although it is possible to make faux-pysanka with kids!) But it was a good chance to introduce them to the idea and show them pictures of pysanky. I am pretty sure that this will be a now yearly Easter tradition!
Before making pysanka I did some other crafts with the kids to get them familiar with the idea of decorating eggs. I started by drawing egg shapes on paper and asking the kids to decorate them with their own designs. Then the kids painted the designs.
Next I let the kids paint on eggs. They had a great time doing this. I even showed the kids how to blow out the egg by poking two holes in either end of the eggs and then blowing out the egg yolk and whites. I think this was a highlight for both of them! (Tip: make sure both holes are a good size or you'll be blowing in vain). The only problem with a blown out egg is that the shell is easier to break, as my two year old found out.