Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Global Easter: Pysanky Eggs

Last year, my children and classmates from our Montessori co-op had the wonderful opportunity to make pysanky eggs. My friend Sandra is a wonderful and kind Montessori homeschool veteran, having homeschooled her two daughters in the Montessori method. It just so happened that she is also a very talented pysanky egg artist! We had been learning about Easter traditions from around the world, and I thought it would be a great idea if Sandra could show us how to make pysanky eggs. Being a Montessorian at heart, Sandra not only let us watch her in action, but she set things up so that the children could decorate their own psanky egg! It was an absolutely wonderful hands on experience for the children, one they'll never forget.
Story time and explaining the meanings behind the various symbols used in pysanky egg decorating

Observing step by step sample eggs
Step by step sample eggs for the children
Various colored dyes for the children to choose from
Drawing a design on the egg

Tracing over drawn design using beeswax from the kistka (stylus)

Patiently awaiting their turn to decorate eggs by coloring pictures of Pysanky eggs
Being oh so careful to decorate the fragile egg
Very concentrated to get it just right!
Needing a little help to keep the kistka (stylus) steady
Plastic eggs covered in shrinkable pysanky wraps as gifts for the children
Finished eggs

 You can find many resources on pysanky egg decorating by doing a quick search, but I'll go ahead and share a few links to get you started if you're interested.
Rechenka's Eggs (Paperstar)
Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco
This wonderful book tells a sweet story your children will be sure to love. Luckily one of my son's won a copy of the Reading Rainbow episode featuring Rechenka's Eggs, and we watch it in conjunction with the book. Reading Rainbow offers a study guide based on this episode and best of all it is a free resource!
Rechenka's Eggs Reading Rainbow guides

Homeschool Share is another great free resource full of tons of ideas based on the book, from lap books, to recipe's, to science and art! This is a great one for doing a unit study! is a great place to get you started on the beautiful art of pysanky egg decorating, and the Ukrainian Museum Gift Shop has some wonderful looking reference books and DVD.

Easter Eggs for Anya: A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in ChristI've wanted to purchase Easter Eggs for Anya for the longest time, but the price never seems to be just right. I just discovered that they now have it in a more affordable Kindle version, so I may just go for it. I really would rather have the physical book, but paying upwards of about $35 for a used copy is a bit out of my range!

I hope you've enjoyed this post!
There are so many beautiful Christian Easter traditions from around the world. Do you have any you'd like to share? Be sure to leave a link in the comments section. I'd love to check it out!

Finally, I'll leave you with this You Tube video featuring women in Romania showing us the step by step process of making their beautifully decorated eggs:

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