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3 Fun Soap Recipes for Kids

Help squash finger-licking with these soap recipes for kids

“He’s still at the age where he thinks licking his hands is a good way to clean them,” a father recently told me about his 7-year-old son. Now I’m not one to judge, especially because of how many full-grown adults I have seen do this in restaurants, but I think we can agree this is a habit most parents are desperate to nip in the bud. Especially right now, in the peak of flu season. From words of praise to bitter-tasting hand lotion, we’ve seen tons of advice about squashing this habit. But one of our favorite ways to encourage hand washing, even temporarily, is getting kids involved in making their own soaps. But not just any old soaps! These soap recipes for kids are filled with toys, glitter, and foolproof ways to make hand washing fun.  

Toy-Filled Soaps

Photo by Luula

What You’ll need:

  • Plastic cups, or individual soap molds if you have them
  • Vegetable cooking spray or petroleum jelly
  • Pure glycerin soap (can be found at craft stores)
  • Microwave-safe measuring cup, such as Pyrex
  • Red, yellow and blue soap dye (also found at craft stores)
  • Small plastic toys, erasers, or trinkets
  • A stirring stick

Instructions:

  1. Prep the molds. Lightly spray the insides of your molds or cups with cooking spray or apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly so the soap won’t stick to the sides.
  2. Melt the glycerin: Use the size of your mold as a guide for how much soap to melt. Place small cubes in your microwave-safe measuring cup and heat on high for 30 seconds or until fully melted but not boiling. An adult should remove from the microwave, as it may be hot.
  3. Add a few drops of color:  We want to see the toy through the soap, so remember a little goes a long way. Add any combination of colors to achieve your desired result, and mix with your stick. (Either reserve some soap or remember the ratios of color so you can replicate it later).
  4. Fill the mold 1/3 of the way: Carefully pour the hot soap into the molds so that they are filled about a third of the way to the top, and let cool for 20 minutes.
  5. When the soap has slightly hardened, place the desired trinket on top.
  6. Repeat steps 2 and 3, melting more soap and matching the original color.
  7. Finish the soap. Pour soap into the mold until the plastic animal is covered. Let cool and harden for at least 2 hours.

Sparkly Gem Soaps

Photo by Not So SAHM

What You’ll Need:

  • Plastic cups, or gem-shaped soap molds if you can find them
  • Vegetable cooking spray or petroleum jelly
  • Pure glycerin soap (can be found at craft stores)
  • Microwave-safe measuring cup
  • Red, yellow and blue soap dye (also found at craft stores)
  • Non-toxic glitter
  • A stirring stick

Instructions:

  1. Prep the molds. Lightly spray the insides of your molds or cups with cooking spray or apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly so the soap won’t stick to the sides.
  2. Melt the glycerin: Use the size of your mold as a guide for how much soap to melt. Place small cubes in your microwave-safe measuring cup and heat on high for 30 seconds or until fully melted but not boiling. An adult should remove from the microwave, as it may be hot.
  3. Add color and a sprinkle of glitter a little at a time, mixing with your stirring stick, until you achieve your desired result. Remember that a little of each goes a long way!
  4. Finish the soap. Pour soap into the mold until the plastic animal is covered. Let cool and harden for at least 2 hours.

Rainbow Soaps

There are many ways to make rainbow soaps, many of which require a little extra patience.

What You’ll Need:

  • In addition to the ingredients above, rainbow soaps work best when prepared in a loaf pan.

Variations:

  1. For layered / striped rainbow soap, start by following Steps 1 through 4 as if you were making “Toy-Filled Soaps.” Fill the mold a little bit, or measure exact fill-lines if you’d prefer perfectly even layers. Every 20 minutes or so, repeat steps 2-4 with a new soap color. Keep in mind that the more layers you’d like to add, the longer the process will take, so this project is best for a rainy day or sick day! When completely hardened, slice into layers.

(Photo by Art Bar Blog)

  1. For swirled rainbow soap, prepare measuring cups of different colored bases – at least 3-4 colors. Alternate pouring each color into your load mold, not in a full layer, but a large dollop. The soap will spread to the edges to create a swirling effect.

Photo by Modern Soap Making

Bonus Additions:

  • Essential oils add lovely fragrances to soaps. Lavender has natural antibacterial properties while chamomile can be a great choice for kids prone to rashes or dry patches.
  • Glow in the dark pigments are readily available from shops like Nurture Soap and of course Amazon. Just double check that the listing is non-irritating and non-toxic!

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