I had two sets of friends around on Tuesday (8 children, the oldest 3 of whom had *just* turned 6) and one of them brought a craft activity with her that she had found online. It was Sharpie Tie-dye.
We started with clean white T-shirts that had been pre-washed to remove the finishing. We put cardboard in them so that the pattern didn't go through to the other side.
Then we gave the children sharpie pens and told them to make patterns as they wished.
There was much concentration and hard work!
Once the children had drawn patterns, we got to work with surgical spirit. Putting the t-shirts over plastic disposable cups, we rubber banded them in place and then dropped surgical spirit into the middle.
The surgical spirit carried the dye to the edge of the cups and made round circles.
We experimented by using a bowl instead of cups to see what would happen
The older children were able to drop the surgical spirit themselves, but we did it for the younger ones (please note the "artistic" expression on this adult's face).
Of course, once the kids had finished and rampaged into the garden, the adults got into the act too. I came over all patriotic and made a Union Jack one to go on my Olympics t-shirt.
Once the T-shirts were finished, we hung them on the line to dry out and then set them in the tumble dryer for 15 minutes.
The resulting T-Shirts were a joy to behold!
It was only after we had finished doing them, that my friend googled the instructions and we discovered that we had been doing it wrong :-p We should have put the t-shirts over the cups, THEN drawn the pattern and used the surgical spirit! However, our t-shirts came out nicely enough anyway and the kids (and adults) had good fun making them and that's the most important bit.