10 – 12

Tie dye


Tie dye

What to do with this activity?

Tie dyeing is a method of dyeing cloth that makes unique patterns, and it is easy to do. You get an elastic band or piece of string and tie up some of the cloth, perhaps a T shirt, very tightly. Then dip the cloth in liquid dye. The colour will not get onto the parts of the cloth that are tied tightly, so they will remain the original colour. Depending on how you fold and tie the cloth, different patterns emerge. It's a really nice way to make something that is original.

Have a go at tie dyeing a T shirt - either a white one, or one that has a light colour already. Cotton cloth takes dye much better than synthetic fabrics. You can buy small packets of dye in arts and crafts shops. Follow the instructions, which might involve some measuring of water. You must wear rubber gloves, and it's a good idea to mix the dye outdoors and wear old clothes or a waterproof apron because splashes happen!

Get some inspiration for tie dye patterns and some basic methods on the Parents.com website or this youtube video from Martha Stewart



  • Why am I doing this?

    Maths makes sense to children when they use it in everyday life - like measuring things, working out distances, estimating food for dinner or money for groceries. The more opportunities you give your child to use the maths they learn at school through everyday activities the more they will understand and enjoy working with numbers.

  • How can I do more?

    Discuss maths that you see around you. For example, talk about sales in shops – half price, 25% off, what is good value? Or how much will the item cost after the discount?

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