After talking to Rebecca about it we decided that I would get the stuff to make them and I'd help Emily make some shirts while she was in my care. She needed my help twisting the shirt and putting the rubber bands on, but she did the dying by herself. She said a few times, while pouring the dye on, how 'cool' it was and that she loved the colors.
I'm pretty sure the hardest part for her was waiting until she came back the next day to see the finished shirts. I wish I would have gotten a picture of her surprised expression when I revealed her shirts. She was amazed that SHE made such a cool design on her shirt. I love when kids are proud of something they make/do.
Step one (after the shirt is prepared and rubber banded): Prepare a workspace. Put down newspaper, trash bags, do it outside on the grass - something. What the dye touches, it WILL stain that color. (I just set up on the kitchen floor. Pushed my rugs out of the way, and put saran wrap on a cookie sheet for our 'workspace'.) Put saran wrap on your workspace, to put your shirt on top of. You'll need to wrap it in saran wrap while the dye colors the fabric.
Step two: Put plastic gloves on. (Rinse and save them after you dye the shirt. You'll need them to take the rubber bands off.)
Step three: Sit kid down, let them go nuts. (Em didn't really go nuts, she was pretty timid; "What color should I put here?" "Whichever color you want." "But I don't want it to look bad." "It won't, it'll look great." etc.)
Bean sat by and observed, she thought it was so 'coo' too.
Step four: After the top side has been dyed you'll need to carefully flip the balled up shirt over so that the bottom - now facing up - side can be dyed too. I did need to help her by pointing out which color she put on the bottom of that section so that she'd put the same color on the top.
Step five: Wrap up the dyed shirt in the saran wrap that you put under it and put it up high/out of reach for 6-8 hours (longer for more saturated colors).
Step six: After the waiting time is up put the gloves back on and take the rubber bands off. (Like a fool I threw the gloves away and my fingers ended up discolored for 3 days.) Drop them - ONLY the tie dye shirts, don't put any other clothes with them - into the washing machine. Put it on the biggest load size and fill it with warm water (no detergent/fabric softener), run it through a normal wash/rinse cycle. After they've been washed, toss them in the dryer and tumble until dry. Once they're dry they can be worn and then tossed in the normal laundry with other colored clothes.
Step seven: Step back and be amazed/proud of your super awesome tie dye shirt.