© Horia Varlan (Flickr) Use leftover soap scraps to make recycled soap balls for kids.
© Horia Varlan (Flickr)
Preparation and safety
Making soap with kids is a great way to involve kids in a fun project while spending quality time together. Children of all ages can participate in the following activities. Allow them to do as much as they are capable of based on their age and ability level. Adult supervision is required at all times and children should never be left unsupervised in the kitchen.
Gather all supplies in advance. You will need:
· A bowl or other containers
· A sharp knife or vegetable grater
· Cookie cutters, plastic molds or baking sheet
· Saucepan or microwave-safe bowl
· Wooden spoon or dowel for stirring
· Wax paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap
· Soap scraps, melt-and-pour glycerin soap, dried herbs and spices (optional), essential oils (optional)
Recycled soap crafts for kids
The quickest and easiest method of making soap is to use all those small bits of soap scraps lying around – those small, broken ends that always make it to the trash or threaten to fall down the drain. Recycled soap balls use up those wasted scraps and provide a fun activity for kids.
· Save and gather up all the broken and used soap bars. Finely chop the pieces or use a cheese or vegetable grater to shred the soap. Add a small amount of water to the shredded soap pieces, just enough to dampen the soap and help it bind. Adding too much water will cause the soap to become mushy.
· Allow the soap to soak for 5 to 15 minutes to soften the soap, careful not to let the soap dissolve. Pick up a handful of the soap and squeezing and shaping it into a ball. Place the shaped soap ball on a piece of wax paper and allow it to air dry overnight.
· If the soap is too runny, add more shredded soap to the mixture. If the soap crumbles and will not hold its shape, add a couple drops of water.
Fun and easy homemade soaps
Melt-and-pour blocks are available in most craft stores. Melt the block over low heat or in the microwave. Add essential oil, herbs or spices if desired. Pour the melted soap onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and allow to harden at room temperature. Use metal cookie cutters to cut the soap into fun shapes.