In this lesson you’ll learn about pysanky eggs, the history of the pysanka egg, and traditional designs. Then you can use the egg decorating ideas to design your own colourful easter eggs.
What are pysanky eggs?
You can see my complete Eggs and Birds Unit here.
There is a rich tradition of dyeing and decorating eggs as a celebration in the spring time. Today, let’s learn about some of the traditional decorating methods, and try some new designs of our own.
Pysanky Eggs from Poland
Some of the most beautiful and detailed decorated eggs in the world originate from Poland, and from the Sorbian people who are of Slav heritage, many now living in Germany.
The eggs were originally Pagan symbols, which were absorbed by Christianity to become Easter eggs. They symbolise the revival of nature and hope. The eggs used to be rolled over farmers’ fields to make the land fertile and to bring a good harvest. Now they are used as spring decorations, and given as gifts as a sign of friendship.
You can see lots of the designs on the Seasons School Spring Workshop Pinterest board here.
There are four special designs of egg:
Kraszanki eggs are dyed using plants:
brown eggs are made using onion peel
black eggs are made using the bark from oak or alder trees, or walnut shells
violet eggs are made using the petals of mallow flowers
green eggs are made using rye shoots or periwinkle leaves
pink eggs are made using beetroot juice
Drapanki eggs are made by scratching a design on the surface of a dyed egg, using a sharp tool, like this. The scratched-out patterns let the white of the original egg show through.
Pacenka eggs are painted or drawn on. Sometimes wax is used to create the pattern; the eggs is then dyed and the wax then peeled off to reveal the finished design.
Naklejanki eggs are decorated with the petals of elderberry, paper, or cloth.
Decorating Our Own Eggs
Here are some easy and interesting ways you could decorate eggs. They look wonderful displayed by hanging them from the branches of a Spring / Easter Tree: place some branches of willow, forsythia or cherry in a vase and add your egg decorations.
Download all the Spring units and printables
Download our complete Spring lesson plans, activities and printables and your spring teaching will be so easy!
:: five complete units of ebooks and printables for Nature Study, Welcome Spring, Daffodils, Seeds and Shoots, and Eggs and Birds
:: over 50 engaging activities and lesson plans that your children will love
:: over 30 pages of printables that make teaching so easy
:: a balanced programme of math, science, literacy, arts and crafts, nature study, sensory and imaginative play
:: a practical resource that you can start using today, in class or at home
:: weeks worth of learning all planned for you, to take you right through the season
:: created with children aged 4 to 8 in mind
You're going to love this super useful resource!