Here’s How to Make the Best Soap Making with Kids

by Sharlene Habermeyer

Inside: Soap making with kids is a fun and educational activity. Here are 3-holiday recipes with easy directions using melt-and-pour soap. These soaps are also healing and soothing to the skin. Find out how…

Fall is in the air! The hot summer months are over. The air is cooler and the décor in the house is changing to complement the season: rich reds, yellows, oranges, and browns. I love everything about Fall—the smells, the colors, the pumpkins, the gourds, the bales of hay and the upcoming holidays. It’s an exciting time of the year! (in my estimation—it’s the best time of the year!)

It’s also a time where I like to get out of my comfort zone and make something new. This year it’s soaps.

Soap Making With Kids: The Value of a New Experience

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Teaching your kids how to make soap is both an educational and fun experience. Cooking in the kitchen is fun–but making soap in the kitchen is equally impressive. Your teens and tweens will love giving these as gifts for friends around the holidays

Have you ever made homemade soap? When I was growing up, a quiet, gray-haired woman in our neighborhood was an amateur soap maker. Her house smelled of cinnamon, clove, lemon, and lavender. Bottles, jars, and pots of unfamiliar substances lined her kitchen counter along with rows of soaps in trays and molds cooling and hardening.

As a child, the idea of making soap seemed overwhelming. Too many unfamiliar ingredients and processes I didn’t understand. I wish I knew then what I know now—all new experiences are exciting and provide a fun learning curve. I should have related making soap to baking or cooking. What I did learn was:

If you want to attempt something new—trying, experimenting, and bravery is all that’s required.

Trying something new is important for kids. It builds their confidence, creativity, and feelings of success. When faced with a difficult task, they will approach it with the attitude of “I can do this,” because they have mastered other hard tasks. Plus accomplishing something that not everyone is doing will give your kids additional feelings of success.

DIY Soap Making for Beginners

Today, soapmaking is straightforward and easy. Ingredients are minimal, and the results are amazing! Even a three-year-old (with a little help from mom or grandma) can turn out a lovely, sweet-smelling bar of soap.

Soapmaking no longer requires using unfamiliar ingredients or cooking over a hot stove with lye sitting on the counter. Thanks to melt-and-pour soap base, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids about soapmaking basics, solving easy math equations, and learning the do’s and don’ts about cleansers and the skin.

Daughters, sons, granddaughters, and grandsons can all join in the fun. Tell them you are going to make black soap that will do amazing things for teen acne. That should spark their interest!

Recipes for Beginning Soap Making

Here are 3 homemade soap recipes I created for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. All three recipes use melt-and-pour soap base, which produces a glycerin or see-through soap. If you want a white opaque soap, you can add titanium dioxide to make it solid white (or purchase a white base soap).

Add some dried peels, flowers, and buds to the top of the soap so that it has a dual purpose: cleaning and scrubbing the skin.

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Making soap with kids is easy. Especially if you use melt and pour soap base. Here are the ingredients I used to make the Halloween soap–the soap base plus activated charcoal, orange essential oil, and lavender buds and dried orange for the top. The other soaps have the same soap base, but I’ve added titanium dioxide and goats milk to turn the soap white opaque

You can watch the 3 videos here before making the soap:

Halloween (Black Soap w/Orange Peel)

Thanksgiving (Lemon Chamomile Soap)

Christmas (Peppermint Rose Soap)

Black Halloween Soap w/Orange Peel & Lavender

This is a fun soap to make with your kids for Halloween. The contrast with the black soap and the purple lavender buds (purple is now the new black for Halloween) and orange peel make this a spooky gift for the season. To change things up a bit, I also use dried rose buds mixed with lavender buds.

The secret ingredient in this Halloween soap: activated charcoal!

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This is a fun soap to make and uses activated charcoal which is amazing for the skin and is amazing if you have a teen with acne. The black color is intense–and it’s fun to add lavender buds, or dried orange peel or rose buds.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Melt the soap in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it is completely melted. Pour into a bowl
  • Add the activated charcoal. It will turn an intense shade of black.
  • Add the orange essential oil (I let the soap base cool slightly before adding the oil)
  • Pour soap into the prepared tin. You need to put a very thin coat of Vaseline on the tins OR spray with rubbing alcohol or vodka. This will prevent the soap from sticking to the pan
  • Sprinkle the lavender buds and dried orange peel on top of the soap while it is still liquid. Press gently. As it cools, the buds and peel will stick to the soap.
  • Let dry 12-24 hours

Options and Substitutions

You can substitute the oils and the peels. Many essential oils have healing properties for the skin and will help the skin in different ways.

  • Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca): heals the skin
  • Lavender oil: helps with acne-prone skin, sagging skin and stretch marks
  • Rose oil: helps with wrinkles along with jasmine and sandalwood
  • Rosewood oil: rejuvenates and heals the skin
  • Geranium and helichrysum: regenerates the skin
  • Rose, geranium, sandalwood or Roman chamomile: helps with chapped or dry skin
  • Substitute lemon or grapefruit peels for orange peel.
  • Dried chamomile, rose or calendula petals also add a wonderful color to the soap

Thanksgiving Lemon Zinger Chamomile Soap w/Goat’s Milk

This is a beautiful soap to have on Thanksgiving Day for your guests.

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This is a really beautiful soap that can be used as a gift for Thanksgiving. I use the melt-and-pour base and then add titanium dioxide and goat’s milk to make the soap opaque. What makes this soap special is using lemon essential oil and putting dried chamomile flowers and dried lemon peel on the top.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Combine the goat’s milk (or water) with the titanium dioxide and let sit for 1 hour. If you’re using a white soap base, you can skip this step. You use titanium dioxide to turn the glycerin melt-and-pour soap base into an opaque white soap–not clear.
  • Melt the soap in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it is completely melted. Pour into a bowl
  • Pour in the titanium dioxide mixture. It will turn a beautiful opaque white
  • If you want the soap to have a pale-yellow color put a cosmetic-grade yellow dye in the mixture.
  • Add the lemon zinger fragrance oil or lemon essential oil, and stir
  • Pour into prepared square tins. To prepare the tins, put a very thin coat of Vaseline on the tins OR spray with rubbing alcohol or vodka. This will prevent the soap from sticking to the pan
  • Sprinkle the chamomile flowers and lemon peel on the top of the soap. Press the buds and peels gently into the soap (if not, they will fall off after the soap is dry)
  • Let dry 12-24 hours

Options and Substitutions

  • Instead of chamomile flowers and lemon peel, use calendula or use a mixture of lavender buds and lavender flowers
  • Instead of lemon zinger fragrance oil, try a pumpkin fragrance oil or Apple Jack fragrance oil

Christmas Peppermint Rose Soap w/Goats Milk

This is a beautiful soap to give as a gift at Christmas. Putting dried rosebuds and peppermint leaves on the top create a beautiful soap and it smells divine!  Try using tart pans as a mold for the soap.

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Everything about this Christmas soap spells “elegant!” I use both peppermint and rose essential oils with rose petals and peppermint leaves on top. It smells wonderful and works both as a soap and scrub in the bath or shower.

Ingredients:

Directions

  • Combine the goat’s milk (or water) with the titanium dioxide. Let sit for 1 hour. Again, the soap base is clear and you want it a white opaque soap. If you are using a white soap base, you can skip this step.
  • Melt the soap in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it is completely melted. Pour into a bowl
  • Pour in the titanium dioxide mixture. It will turn a beautiful opaque white
  • *Add the oils (rose and peppermint)
  • Pour into prepared tart pans. To prepare the pans, put a very thin coat of Vaseline on the tins OR spray with rubbing alcohol or vodka. This will prevent the soap from sticking to the pan
  • Sprinkle dried rosebud and peppermint leaf on the soap while it is still a liquid. You cannot add them after the soap has set—they will not stick to the soap.
  • Let dry out on the counter for 12-24 hours

*Note: Rose oil is amazing. It helps with insomnia, depression, headaches, and allergies.

Options and Substitutions

  • If you want a Christmas red soap, add 1 teaspoon cranberry fiber
  • You can use other essential oils or fragrance oils to the mixture like spearmint, orange, lemon, Polynesian Red fragrance (pomegranate & cranberry), etc. Experiment!

Packaging for Gift-Giving

It’s fun to make soap but it’s even more fun to create beautiful ways to give it as a gift. Here are some suggestions:

  

  • Use mason jars and stack the soap into a mason jar. Tie a bow or ribbon and attach a fun label
  • Use cellophane bags. Put in the soap, tie with a ribbon; add a label
  • Put the soap in fun cloth bags (see Paper Mart for an excellent selection of fun cloth bags) Attach a scrubber and label
  • If you want to give all three of these soaps together, depending on the holiday, wrap with appropriate ribbon and labels. For instance—it’s easy to layer each of the soaps in a mason jar. The different colors make it a beautiful and fun gift! Wrap with a ribbon the color of the holiday

5 Skincare Tips

Having taught physiology (mainly of the skin) in college for 10 years, I want to share a couple of things you need to understand about soaps and cleansers.

1. Cleansers Wear Down the Skin

Many people do not understand that using the wrong cleanser will wear out your skin quicker than anything else. You need to use gentle cleansers—particularly on the face and neck.

2. Use an Amphoteric Cleanser

Amphoteric cleansers are mild skin cleansers. They will not strip the skin leaving it dry and lifeless. Try Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. I recommend this for both oily and dry skin. It’s an oil based soap (hemp, olive & coconut oils) but remember: “opposites attract,” but “likes break down likes.” Meaning—if you have oily skin, and you use an oil based product—it will break down the oil and leave your skin feeling soft, not stripped. Also, the oil in Dr. Bronner’s soaps is not pore-clogging mineral oil. It’s a combination of healthy, good oils that feed the skin.

3. Stay Away from Cleansers with Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) is an additive (emulsifier) that companies add to soaps to make them foam. They are drying to the skin, but that’s the least of your worries with SLS. It’s been linked to cancer, irritates the skin, causes endocrine disruption, and neuro and organ toxicity. Most studies on SLS are in the pure form—and you would never use the pure form. However, even at 1% concentration, you must consider the long-term cumulative effects.

The good news? All these soap recipes are SLS-free and super safe for your skin.

4. Use Cleansers to “Surprise” the Skin

Do you use your same favorite skincare products year after year? It’s not a good idea. It’s like eating McDonald’s every day year after year. I know—you have that favorite moisturizer that you can’t do without. I get it! However, in order for your skin to stay beautiful and healthy looking, you need to change your skincare routine. You do this by “surprising” your skin. Meaning, rotate your skincare routine and use different cleansers. Choose 3 or 4 and alternate them. Your skin will not be the only one surprised at the results…you will too!

5. Dry Brushing

Have you ever used a body brush to brush your skin before showering or bathing? It’s also called dry brushing because you are brushing your dry skin. There are many reasons it’s important to do this. Consider this: in one day, your skin eliminates more than a pound of water which rids the body of impurities. Dry brushing improves skin function which in turn improves elimination of these impurities from the body.

It also acts as

  • an exfoliate
  • improves circulation
  • increases blood flow to the surface of the body
  • stimulates the entire lymphatic system

Each day before getting into the shower or bath, brush your skin for 5 minutes. Here are some pointers:

  • Use a medium soft natural fiber brush
  • Always brush towards the heart
  • Brush your hands first; arms, underarms, neck, chest, and back. Then brush the feet then legs, groin, buttocks and finally your stomach.
  • Do not brush hard—be gentle
  • When you shower or bathe, the dead skin cells will be easy to remove and wash away.

This section is designed specifically to help parents turn soap making into a fun learning experience for their kids. Activated charcoal is used in the Halloween soap. It turns the soap into a delicious intense black (perfect for the holiday). And–there are many amazing things that activated charcoal does for your skin. It’s particularly great for teens with acne.

Enjoy making these soaps with your kids and please share your results and experiences. Do you have a favorite soap recipe that you would be willing to share? Please share in the comment section below.

Want to remember this? Post these Holiday DIY Soap Making recipes to your favorite Pinterest board. 

The post Here’s How to Make the Best Soap Making with Kids appeared first on Good Parenting Brighter Children.

Syndicated with permission of Sharlene Haymeyer of https://goodparentingbrighterchildren.com

Sharlene Habermeyer is the author of “Good Music Brighter Children.” A blogger (Good Parenting Brighter Children) and educator; she has lectured all over the U.S.; holds a Master’s degree in Education and started a community orchestra in 1999. Visit: https://goodparentingbrighterchildren.com

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