Baths

There’s A Volcano In My Bathtub!

Experiments In Acid-Base Chemistry

What do you get when you mix an acid with a base?

A party!

“It is like the acid and the base like each other so much

that they make the best of bubbly friends.”

This is one way that I explain the fun, interesting chemical reaction of acid/base mixing to little kids. I also make sure we talk a bit about the ph scale; where an acid and a base are on that scale; and how when mixed together, they meet in the middle becoming neutralized.

Mini Bathtub Volcanoes

Mini Bathtub Volcanoes

Acid & Base Fun For Little Ones

~ A Very Simple Experiment ~

Demonstrating this reaction for kids is easy.  Put a spoonful of baking soda in a clear glass then add a bit of vinegar and watch the bubbles!  This is a great time to talk about what exactly is happening inside the glass.

~ Blow Up A Play Dough Volcano ~

Every year we make a volcano at preschool filling it with a mix of baking soda, vinegar and food coloring to create an explosion!  It is always a major hit with the kiddos.  They love watching the volcano erupt over and over and over again.

This year we made our volcano with left over rose bud play dough and blue lava, kid's choice!

This year we made our volcano with left over rose bud play dough and blue lava, kid’s choice!

The coloring started to run out but bubbly white is fun too!

The coloring started to run out but bubbly white is fun too!

Materials ~ 

  • Play Dough, this is the perfect time to use up any old play dough you have lying around.
  • Vinegar, lots of it!  (this is the acid)
  • Baking Soda, lots of this too!  (this is the base)
  • Food Coloring, optional.  For our next volcano I think I will try using  beet powder instead to color our lava.  I love to find natural alternatives to food coloring.
  • A Pan with high sides

Instructions ~ Shape a volcano from play dough in your pan.  Use your hands to form a play dough cone, get the kids involved they love it! After you gather your audience, put some baking soda and coloring inside the volcano then add some vinegar and watch the fun!  If your kids are anything like mine, they will probably want you to blow it up again and again! It is fun to add a few “vents” by poking holes along the side of the volcano so the lava comes out there too.

~ Create Bathtub Volcanos ~

Follow up your volcano with mini bathtub volcanos for the kids to take home with them.  It is the perfect way to extend the learning and the fun!  These really are bath bombs; did you know that fun fizzing of bath bombs is all about acids and bases reacting?  Here is how to make your own! Mini Bathtub Volcanoes Materials ~ 

  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Citric Acid  (this is the acid)
  • 1/2 cup Epsom Salts
  • about a tablespoon of Witch Hazel
  • 10 to 20 drops of Essential Oils, favorite kid safe options are lavender, sweet orange, rose geranium, cardamom, spearmint and ylang ylang.  We used lavender to keep things simple.
  • 1 teaspoon Oil, like almond, apricot kernel or olive oil .  We used a calendula and lavender infused almond oil.
  • Molds, we used plastic eggs to make tiny volcano shapes; I also brought some soap molds that I have on hand so kiddos could have a choice.

There are lots and lots of bath bomb recipes online.  After researching I decided to based our super simple bath bombs off Mountain Rose Herbs beautiful Rose & Geranium Bath Bombs.

 Instructions ~ First it is really fun to run another simple little experiment with the kids so they know exactly what is happening with these mini volcanos.  Once again we created an acid/base mix in a glass by putting one spoonful of baking soda and a 1/2 spoonful of citric acid in the glass.  And what happened?  Nothing.  Nothing happens until you get water involved.  So we added some water and bubbles! Next we made our volcano bath bombs.  If you are making this with a group of kids, I really recommend practicing because the process is a tiny bit fussy. First, mix all the dry ingredients together making sure to break up any lumps. mixing Carefully add the oil and essential oils while stirring to limit any bubbling action in your bowl. Finally add the witch hazel a bit at a time, again stirring while you go.  I actually put the witch hazel in a spritzer bottle and spray it in to the mixture a couple squirts at a time.  This worked really well for me.  Keep spraying and mixing until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it in your hand. Mold the bombs with the kids by having them tightly pack the mixture into a mold. ~ as I said I brought in a few different shapes to choose from with plastic eggs as one choice.  Using half off a plastic egg creates a little volcano shape.  You can use what ever you have on hand and even just shape them with your hands by squeezing the mixture into whatever shape you want.

Using A Heart Shaped Mold

Making Heart Shapes

Pressing mixture into a plastic egg.

Pressing mixture into a plastic egg.

Let the bath bombs dry for a few days before using.  So the kids don’t miss out on the fun make sure to let them know to get into the tub before they put the bath bomb in because it only fizzes for a minute or so.

Do you have a favorite way to experiment with acids and bases?

Our Volcanoes/Bathbombs  

Shared On: Eco-Kid’s Tuesday, It’s Playtime!, Kid’s Get Crafty, Tender Moments, Kid’s CoopFriday’s Nature Table

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Categories: Aromatherapy For Kids, Baths, Essential Oils, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Medicine Making, Playing With Herbs | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

The Herbal Sock Bath For Kids

An interactive experience from start to finish, the sock bath is lots of fun to make with children.  What is the sock bath you ask?  I first learned about this great way to use herbs in the tub from my teacher, Brigitte Mars.  To make a sock bath simply put your chosen herbs in a sock, tie a knot in the top and toss it in the tub… super easy!

Having made sock baths a few times with the kids at preschool, I have come to notice that the kids just love them.  They enjoy picking out their very own herbal blend to put in the sock and then they love playing with the knotted sock, snuggling with it and enjoying the scents of the herbs.  Once you get the sock bath into the tub it is great fun to watch the water change color as the herbs mix with the bath water.  And then squeezing all the herb-rich water out of the sock into the bath makes for a very tactile experience indeed.

sock bath herbs

~ Making Sock Baths With Kids ~

The process is a lot like some of the other baths I have shared like, Minty Mint Bath and Rosy Oatmeal Bath, but is tailored for creating with kids.

Materials ~

  • A sock for each child.  When I do this at school, I ask each child to bring in a long clean sock from home, not a kid size one!  You need big socks to stuff!
  • Bath Herbs examples are ~ roses, chamomile, lavender, catnip, calendula, and mints.
  • Oatmeal, this is optional but it makes the bath so very much fun because when the sock bath is all wet in the tub and the child squeezes it, a skin nourishing slippery, milkiness exudes from the sock, so cool!
  • Epsom Salts, totally optional
  • Kid Friendly Essential Oils such as ~ lavender, sweet orange, spearmint, rosemary, rose geranium and ylang ylang.  These are optional too!
  • A Jar or Glass, have one for each child you plan to work with if you are going to do this in a group.  Or you can have one jar/glass if you are going to work with each child separately.  I used a plastic one to prevent problems with breakage.

Method ~

  • Give each child a jar/glass in which to create their sock bath.
  • Working with either one child at a time or a few at a time, have the child(ren) choose the herbs they would like in their sock bath.  Help them place about a 1/8 to 1/4 cup of each herb into their jar or glass.
  • Add oatmeal and epsom salts if desired using about 1/8 to 1/4 cup each.
  • Add the essential oils, about 4 to 8 drops total of whatever combination of oils you are using.  If they want they can stir up their bath with a spoon.

stir it up

  • Then help the child(ren) to place to opening of their sock over the opening of their jar/glass and then once the sock is secure, dump the jar/glass over so the contents fall down inside the sock.  (You might want to have the child hold the sock onto the jar if it is not a tight seal.)  The child(ren) may need to give it all a little shake to get all the bath into the sock.

Filling the sock

  • Once all the bath is in the sock, remove the sock from the jar/glass and tie off the top!
  • You can let the child(ren) play with their sock if you wish.  
  • Let the children’s parents know how to use the bath ~ Just toss it in the tub with the child and let the play begin!  Encourage the child to squeeze their sock bath so they can really smell the herbs and enjoy the wonderful herbed water that comes out of the bath.   

Happy Creative Bathing!

Shared On:  It’s Playtime!, Tender Moments, Eco-Kids Tuesday, The Kid’s Co-op, Make Your Own Monday, The Gathering Spot, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Kid’s Get Crafty, Friday’s Nature Table


Categories: Bathing, Baths, Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Medicine Making, Playing With Herbs, Practices For Intentional Living | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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