Before I had a child, I knew I would be one of those parents. You know the type - always creative, always fun, never running out of activities. I pictured my future child going on endless scavenger hunts, drawing stick-figure masterpieces, and spending hours upon hours crafting whole universes out of playdough.
Nowhere in my plans did I factor in a pandemic.
I think every parent knows the rest of this story. At some point, somewhere between online school and endless lockdowns, I ran out of ideas. So I turned to soap making.
Make some sudsy, soapy entertainment
As someone who professionally makes soap in her own home, I know how creative and fun the process can be, which is why I developed my latest product DIY - a soap-making kit perfect for kids (preferably five and up) and adults. It’s especially useful when kids are stuck at home complaining about how bored they are. I’ve used it for playdates, mommy-son time and birthday party activities.
The kits, which come with molds and 600 grams of soap, are easy-to-use and customizable. Kids can add different colors and dry flowers to make high-quality, long-lasting soap.
An extra bonus for parents who struggle with hand washing and bath time: kids love using things they made themselves.
My son was my first customer, which is why the kit had to be made from kid-safe, quality ingredients. The kit includes:
- 300 g white Melt & Pour Base
- 300 g clear Melt & Pour Base
- 1 bottle of dried flowers, such as red rose petals and Lavender
- 1 bag of colorful soap chips
- 4 silicone soap molds (variety of shapes and sizes)
- 2 bamboo mixing spoons
- 1 plastic beaker
- 3 pigments for water-based soaps (in primary colors)
- 1 fragrance oil
More about the fragrance oil and pigments
There’s nothing better than customizing soap with unique smells and colors, which is why the kit includes fragrance oil and pigments.
I used rich-smelling, long-lasting oils that are paraben and phthalate-free, making them safer both for you and the environment.
The pigments come in red, yellow, and blue, so kids can mix them and make new colors (which is a whole other activity on its own). Our pigments are nature tint colors, meaning they’re safe, high-quality, water-based additives made specifically for cosmetics. The nature tints are made with purified water and a natural preservative.
While the kit contains everything you need to make enough soap for two people, you can also order extras like more dried flowers, fragrance oils, molds, soap, or pigments.
I ran through dozens of activities during the last lockdown, but this soap kit was definitely my eight-year-old’s favorite. I designed this kit to be simple to use, though it still requires adult supervision.
To make your own soap, simply cut the solid base soap into small pieces, measure out how much you need, place the soap in the plastic beaker and melt it in a microwave. You’ll want to heat it for short intervals to prevent it from boiling over.
Once it’s melted, you and your kids can customize the soap using pigments, fragrance oil and dry flowers. Choose which mold to use and pour the soap in (quickly, before it re-solidifies.) Once the soap fully hardens, you can pop it out of its mold and voila! You have your very own, homemade soap.
More fun ideas
While the soap was a huge hit with my son, we also tried a number of other activities that he loved. As a chemist, I spend a lot of time trying to sneak some science into our day, which is how I found Fun Science, a Youtube channel with easy, interesting science experiments kids can do.
I also highly recommend TheDadLab, another Youtube channel for kids. It was started by a dad of two and includes lots of experiments, DIY STEM toy ideas and crafts.
Little Bins for Little Hands, a creative blog filled with activities, deserves a shout-out as well. It has a variety of recipes (think slime and STEM projects) and craft ideas for kids.