For some kids, bath time is lots of fun, and there’s never a problem getting these kids into the tub. For other children, their busy lives are too much fun to stop and take a bath. With these kids, you can easily entice them into the bath if you have something fun awaiting them once they get there. One thing any kid will love in his or her bath: soap crayons! If you’ve never made soap crayons you’ll be surprised at how simple it is and how much fun. It doesn’t take a lot of supplies to make the crayons that will give your kids hours of creativity while getting them clean at the same time. There are lots of things you can use, from around the house, to make molds for the soap crayons to add even more fun to the bathtub coloring experience.
The biggest trouble when it comes to making soap crayons is the grating of the soap. Use a cheese grater to grate the chosen bar of soap for the project. The soap doesn’t have to be grated nearly into a powder; just grate it so that it resembles ordinary shredded cheese. Depending upon the size of the bars you’re using it may require more than one bar. When finished you should have approximately a cup of soap. Instead of grating your own soap you can also use soap flakes. You’ll often find the flakes at stores that sell soap-making supplies. Soap flakes makes it so much easier to create the soap crayons without all the grating but will cost slightly more to make than if you use bar soap.
Place the grated soap or soap flakes in a bowl and add two tablespoons of very hot water. Begin stirring the soap and water. Stir until the combination becomes a thick paste. If you need additional hot water add just a teaspoon at a time until you have achieved the proper consistency. As you stir, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often to make sure you’re getting it all mixed well. If you want to make different colors you will then divide the paste into separate bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring into each bowl to create the colors you want. Go with the basic shades of the food colorings or mix them to make other colors.
Before ever mixing up the soapy paste you need to decide on the types of things you’ll use to make the soap crayons. One easy way to make actual crayon shapes is to use tin foil. Wrap the foil around a crayon to create a mold. Remove the crayon and fill the mold with the paste. Although this technique does produce soap crayons that resemble the real thing you’ll find that the crayon shape doesn’t last long in the tub. You can make soap crayons that will hold up much longer by using something like a cookie cutter as the mold. Place the selected cookie cutters on waxed paper, and on a stiff baking sheet or board, and fill the molds with the paste.
Other things you can use as molds for the soap crayons include jar lids, large bottle lids, metal tins, tuna cans, Styrofoam cups, empty medicine bottles, small cardboard boxes, bottoms cut from plastic bottles, disposable bowls and cups and similar objects. Look around the house for other ideas; the toy box is a great place to shop for soap crayon molds. You’ll often find toys which have a concave side that allows you to easily make soap crayons with themes and unusual shapes. Spoon the soap mixture into the molds making them as thick or as thin as you want by the amount you pour in. Really thin crayons, though, will not hold up long in the bath. Smooth the top of the soap with the backside of the spoon.
If you’re in a hurry for the new soap crayons, forget it! It takes a couple of days for the soap to set. Find a cool place in the house and set the soaps there for two or three days. Afterward, remove the soaps from their molds and use right then or cover them and store them for later. Soaps can be covered in plastic wrap, foil, cellophane and sandwich bags. Or, you can just set the collection of colored crayons in a soap dish on the side of the tub.
Kids will have hours of fun writing, drawing and coloring with the new crayons. They can write on themselves, the walls, or on toys without harm. Simply wash the colors away with ordinary water when finished. Cold water will make it easiest to wash away soap from walls in a hurry. Yeah, it’s a big mess but after all, it’s only soap! And, with all the fun that the kids are having they’re likely to take much longer baths in the future!