If you find yourself working from home while also trying to entertain kids, without the benefit of school, outings, sports practice, and other activities to keep them occupied, my thoughts are with you, Mama.
Take it from an experienced homeschooling-the-kids-while-simultaneously-working-from-home mom (yes, I actually chose to do this, long before a global pandemic made it the reality for most families) keeping those kiddos busy is going to save your bacon.
So, I’ve created some simple and fun bath and body crafts that kids can make to help pass the time stuck at home. These are the same recipes my young students, moms, and I make in my Mommy-and-Me crafting classes, and are formulated to be gentle on kids’ delicate skin.
|My three-year-old LOVES making DIY bath products, and she was a great little helper for me while crafting this post.|
After they’re done crafting they can hop in the tub and use their new creations, while also buying you some extra time to get some work done. I’ve spent many hours hammering away on a laptop, perched on a stool in the bathroom, while my young ones played in the bathtub. Desperate times, Mama!
And, because I want to encourage you take some time for yourself too, I’ve included links to “grown up” variations of the kids recipes below.
Take it from an experienced home schooling mom, your kids don’t need to be sitting behind a desk with a chalkboard in front of them to be learning. Kids are learning all the time!
So, even though these DIY bath and body crafts are fun, they also introduce your kids to new concepts, or give them the ability to practice and solidify these concepts in real world situations.
Scooping, pouring, and stirring = Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
Measuring ingredients = Fractions (for older children), counting and number recognition (for younger children), and domestic sciences (or what we use to call home ec.)
Mixing colors = Color recognition for younger children, art education and critical thinking for older children
Older kids can measure themselves. You can talk about fractions, and parts of a whole.
Have your child practice mixing different colors into one bowl. For example, ask them, “What two colors blend to make green? What would happen if you mix blue and red?”
Tips Before Getting Started…
I’ve made DIY skin care crafts with kids for years, in classes and workshops, with Girl Scout troups, church and home school groups, and even at my kids’ sleepover parties at my own home. So, I’ve amassed some tips that will help make crafting these projects fun for the kids and the parents.
1. Cover your table or countertops with butcher paper, newspaper, or brown paper bags.
Kids will make a mess while making these projects (consider yourself warned!) But that’s part of the fun, and part of the reason why these projects will keep your kids occupied.
Before you begin, cover the entire workspace with paper and tape down the edges with scotch tape to hold it in place. This makes clean up super easy.
2. Dress your kids in clothes you don’t mind getting messy.
Oils and food coloring can stain, and your kids will most likely end up getting some of these ingredients on their clothing. Dress your kids in “play clothes,” have them throw on a smock, or my personal favorite for the littles: strip them to underpants and let them go wild.
3. Let them be creative, even if they aren’t following the “recipe.”
Adults, I’ve found, love to follow step-by-step instructions. Kids, not so much. The fastest way to turn this project into a frustrating battle is to insist the kids follow the recipe exactly.
Once you’ve set out the ingredients and given them a synopsis on how to make the product, step back and let the kids do their thing.
So what if they mix eight colors and create a funky shade of brown? Who cares if they don’t make perfect layers or create odd combinations?
The goal is not to have a Pinterest-worthy end result, but to let your kids get creative and buy you some needed downtime as the youngsters are busy.
|Let ’em get in there and get their hands dirty, Mama!|
4. Food coloring won’t stain your tub (or your kids).
All of the recipes below use food coloring to color the products, because they’re inexpensive, easy to find, and easier for kids to work with than professional-quality skin care dyes.
But don’t worry, Mom, when used within the guidelines below the food coloring in your kids’ finished products won’t stain your tub or their skin. It will color bathwater, though, which most kids find amazingly fun!
Ready to get your kids crafting?
Unicorn Bath Salts Recipe
Recommended ages: Preschoolers to age 7 with help; older kids and preteens can tackle this project on their own.
This recipe is hands-down the most popular among my young students, from preschoolers to teens. They’re so easy to make, need only a few inexpensive ingredients that you probably have on hand already, and kids can really go wild with colors and blending.
The finished salts color the bathwater so kids are always super excited to jump in the tub.
STEP 3: Using a spoon, scoop the colored salt from the bowls and place them into the jar. Let the kids get creative; there’s no right or wrong way to do this.
These Lavender and Sweet Orange Bath Salts use the same basic ingredients as your kids’ bath salts, but we kick it up a notch with stress-relieving lavender essential oil and mood-boosting sweet orange essential oil. Perfect for these uneasy days, right?
Fizzy Bath Powder for Kids
Lavender and Honey bath milk recipe won’t fizz, but it will leave your skin incredibly silky smooth. Milk gently exfoliates, while honey powder soothes and moisturizes. And, of course, lavender is supremely relaxing.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can craft a decidedly grown-up version of a bath bomb. This Raspberry Truffle bath bomb recipe looks as good as it smells, and is an incredible way to treat yourself.
Melt and Pour Soap for Kids
Another big hit with the kids, soap is a fun project that is useful too. Melt and pour soap base can be bought at your local craft store, or ordered from soap making suppliers or Amazon.
If you’ve never made melt and pour soap before, you can get my Farm Girl’s Quickstart Guide to Making Soap Without Lye. This will give you a simple crash course in making melt and pour soap. Pop your name and email into the form below and I’ll send it to your inbox right away.
STEP 2: Place the pot of soap base on the stove and heat on low until the base is completely melted.
STEP 3: Measure out about 1/4 to 1/2 cup soap base into a small bowl, depending on the size of your individual molds. Add 5 to 10 drops of food coloring and stir until blended. (If the soap base thickens too much, you can pop it into the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to remelt.)
to crafting, you can measure how much your soap mold cavity will hold by filling it with water. You can use
this lesson to teach volume! 😉
STEP 4: Pour the soap into a mold. Sprinkle the top with dried herbs or oats, if desired.
STEP 5: Let set undisturbed for several hours or overnight.
STEP 6: Remove from mold. Your soap is ready to use right away!
SHELF LIFE: Soap will easily last 12 months or longer. Keep it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or cellophane to store.
Variation on this recipe for Mama:
You can definitely make some soap with the ingredients above, but if you’d like to kick it up a notch, the Oatmeal and Honey Goat Milk Soap and and Chamomile Shea Butter Soap are lovely.
You will also get lots of tips and instructions on how to customize your very own soap bars in the Quickstart Guide to Making Soap Without Lye, so do be sure to sign up for that one.
DIY Lip Balm for Kids
Although it’s tempting to try adding baking extracts (like vanilla or orange), food coloring, or honey to your DIY lip balm, these ingredients are water-soluble so they won’t mix into your lip balm base or will quickly separate out and are best avoided.
Lip-safe essential oil (peppermint, spearmint, lavender, and vanilla are all good choices)
Variation on this recipe for Mama:
You know you want some of this yummy lip balm for you too! Have fun making a batch for along with your kids, no need for a different recipe.