Making Mystery Soap and Bathtub Crayon is a really fun project. Also, a bit messy if you consider soap to be messy. But let me tell you, kids love it. I've used this process to teach bible story lessons as well as badge work for girls clubs. It is great for a rainy day project and I bet you have everything you need right at home.
- Bar of soap
- cheese grater or food processor
- food coloring
- zip top plastic bag
- small plastic toy
grating the soap
To begin, you want to grate the entire bar of soap. This step really isn't something the kids can help with. I do it before hand and bring the soap already grated to the project.
soap after grating
If you plan to make both, I recommend making the crayon first.
Open the zip top baggie and add a handful of the grated soap, this is about a tablespoon or two. The amount isn't really important. Drop in three drops of food coloring and seal the bag.
Begin to push and roll to combine the soap and incorporate the color. If the soap doesn't want to combine, you can add a very small amount of water. Pressure is what works the best. Kids are used to playing with play dough but this isn't exactly the same and it might be frustrating. Explain the difference if needed.
Once you have the shape you desire, remove it from the bag and allow it to dry for a day or two.
Use the same bag to make the mystery soap. Once again, add a handful of the grated soap. Add the plastic toy as well. If your toy is and odd shape, like an animal, you may need a bit more soap to cover it. The remainder of the food coloring in the bag from making the bathtub crayon was all we used to color the soap. Again press the soap around the toy. It will not completely combine or stick to the toy. Remove the entire mixture into your hand. Dip one hand into the water and using both your hands, begin to press into your desired shape. Continue this process of dipping a hand into the water and pressing the soap into the toy to get it all to join and remain as a solid shape. Some kids love this part of the process and get really lathered up, this isn't necessary but can be fun. Once again, set the soap aside for a day or two to dry.
Clean up - the kids are already covered in soap so they only need to use water to clean themselves up! Bonus!
Using the Mystery soap over time will reveal the toy surprise inside. Some kids can't wait to get to the middle and will break the soap open. Consider it all in fun!
- Don't mix food colors to get a different color, it tends to mix into a murky dull color.
- Don't use too much food coloring or it will stain your bathtub.