I wanted to make a couple of orange sensory bags for Veronika this morning, with Halloween and autumn in full swing, only to realize I didn’t have any orange food coloring! I didn’t have yellow, either, which meant I couldn’t even mix red and yellow to make orange.
On a whim I decided to see if I could dye things the old-fashioned way (spices!) and there was orange turmeric in the spice rack. The result wasn’t perfect, but adding the spice turned out to be half the fun.
I squirted a generous amount of clear hair gel into each of two small zip-top bags to start. In the first, I added about a teaspoon of turmeric and mushed around until it was orange. Veronika loved the smell of the turmeric, and wanted to help measure out the spoonful!
Then I added orange leaves we’d brought home from the playground yesterday. The turmeric did make the bag slightly cloudy and hard to see the leaves, but it worked fine if in direct sunlight.
For the second version, I drew jack o’ lantern features directly on the plastic bag with a black sharpie. Again I added 1 teaspoon turmeric, along with 1 drop of red food coloring. This made a great orange!
Because the black features were on the outside, the graininess of the spice didn’t matter this time. Veronika loved playing with this squishy bag where I taped it against the window.
These turned out to be so fun, and spot-on for the season, too.