“Ms. Angela, what are we making today?”
With a bit of my usual trepidation (I never know how the kids will respond to my plans) and lots of excitement I tell them that we are going to make holiday gifts today. We are going to make candy cane bath salts! Much to my delight, gleeful cheers and twirls reward me as the children celebrate the project we are about to do.
Measuring, Mixing and Magic
We settle into a circle on the carpet and begin creating our gifts. We begin filling the two bowls laid out in front of us. Each bowl gets sparkly epsom salt and sea salt along with some baking soda. To one bowl we add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, this will become the white part of our candy cane.
We look at the other bowl together and I ask the kids, “How are we going to make this red for our candy cane?”
Looks of concentration settle on their faces and then seconds later, almost as one, they tell me, “Stir it, that will make it red.”
I hadn’t expected that. It was so innocently cute and reminded me that completely magical things are still a very real possibility for these kids. Not wanting to burst their bubble I move along and suggest that we add something to make it red, or well, at least pink. We add crushed red rose petals and beet powder for color and spearmint essential oil for scent. The kids think this is great and want to stir it up right away. Passing the bowls around the circle we stir and smell the happy minty fragrance excitedly watching our creation take shape.
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- 2 cups sea salt
- 1 cup baking soda
- red rose petals
- beet powder
- spearmint and peppermint (optional) essential oil
Mix the salts and baking soda together and divide evenly between 2 bowls. In one bowl add up to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil. The peppermint is optional because it can burn especially for those with really sensitive skin. In the other bowl add enough crushed red rose petals and beet powder to make the salt pinkish red. You will probably need about 1/4 cup each of rose petals and beet powder. Add more for a deeper color and more contrast in your final product. Then add 15 to 20 drops of spearmint essential oil. Spearmint essential oil is much milder than peppermint. The roses mixed in with mint has an amazing smell. Rosey mint, there is just something about it that I love…
Creating the Candy Cane
Now for the fun part, layering the bath salts! Take a bag or a jar and place one color of salt in the bottom. Make sure the salt is level and hold the jar or bag steady. Then add the other color of salt to create a layer, or candy cane stripe. Repeat until your container is full. I enjoy making this bath with kids because of the pattern that appears when the kids layer the salts. They really enjoy watching the candy cane form.
That is it! Tie with a ribbon (if you are working with kids, letting them choose a ribbon adds a bit of extra pride in their accomplishment) and you have a fun, lovely all natural gift to share with someone special.
My kids and I made these at home too and improved the recipe a bit by adding pink Himalayan salt crystals to the red layer . Visit “Lovely Teacher Gifts” for a pretty photo of this amazing salt.