If your mini-me thinks baking muffins is a treat, she’ll love creating homemade soap, which requires much of the same mixing-and-pouring action. We chose watermelon-inspired soap because it makes every bath feel like a summer day, but—more important—it makes hand-washing fun. And we could all use a little germ-fighting help, especially during flu season.
1 Bring water to a boil using your double boiler. Drop a chunk of clear soap in the pan to melt it down and stir until it’s dissolved. Add a few drops of green food coloring and some glitter, just for kicks. Now pour this substance into the mold, filling each cup about a third of the way and working fast so it doesn’t cool and become ‘globular’ before you’ve had a chance to pour it all out. Let this first layer cool before moving onto the second.
2 Repeat step one using white soap instead, which requires no addition of food coloring. Add a few drops of watermelon fragrance to the melted substance and pour into the mold (on top of your first layer). Surprise! A spritz of hand sanitizer will eliminate any bubbles while enhancing our watermelon-wellness theme.
3 Melt down another chunk of clear soap and add red food coloring and poppy seeds for that final, fruity touch. It will look like raspberry jam and almost good enough to eat (but please don’t). Pour into the mold. Let sit until firm—the layers will adhere to each other and they should pop out as one piece fairly easily when the mold is turned upside down. Be careful not to add any weird or wildly strong fragrances to your soap if your kids have sensitive skin—we don’t want you to end up with fire-melon soap!
The Sci Behind the DIY
Soap-making is officially known as saponification (kudos if you already knew that!). Now, here’s where we go all wizard on you: soap is a chemical reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt. Soap molecules are made of long hydrocarbon chains that stay clustered in water. Well, okay, maybe soap molecules are not that simple, but even if your kids’ science teachers never expand upon this somewhat complex topic, all you really need to know is what it means to get clean. Soap disperses dirt, oil, grease, and grime by simultaneously surrounding and dissolving ick, allowing it to rinse away. (Enter a separate conversation about what causes soap scum and why it’s so ridiculously annoying to clean).
Soak It Up! Bath Fun Facts
The longest-ever Monopoly game to take place in a bathtub was 99 hours. That’s some serious prunage!
You’ll need to collect 17,000 straws from In-N-Out if you want to use them to fill an average bathtub with water…or soda?
Not that you would, but you could. In Kentucky, people are required by law to take a bath at least once per year. Wonder how many kids are on the Wanted list?