Let Them Grow: Get Fizzy!
Get Fizzy with Bath Balls!
Well it’s not a new rage, but they have made a comeback. Bath Balls are a fun way to engage kids in an open ended sensory experience that will sprawl into the nighttime bath routine.
Bath Balls fizz when they hit the water, and if they are made with good ingredients, they can actually nourish your child’s skin and offer a calming scent (eg. lavender, sage) to set the tone for bedtime. But, the bath tub is not the only place to use these fizzy creations. You can also use these balls for water table sensory play, volcanoes, or outdoor play with the hose.
There are several recipes for bath balls, varying based on how you want to use them. I found this recipe to be the best for play purposes. They fizz great in the water!
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup Citric Acid (can be bought online or at your local natural foods store)
- 1/2 cup Epsom Salt (I like unscented)
- 3/4 cups Cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons oil (eg. olive, coconut, or veggie)
- A few drops of scented oil
- Flowers or toys to hide inside
- Dye for fun colors
Once you have pre-measured all the ingredients, let your little ones dump and mix the creations together. Crumbling in the flower petals and rolling them into balls is the best part. Allow your child to enjoy the experience of the mixture, let them smell the explosions of scents coming from your choice of essential oils. If you are not using them for bath time, add colors to the mixture. You can also use bath ball molds or silicone cup cake molds instead of hand rolling them. Pack the molds tight and let them dry directly in the molds.
The mix will be dry and a bit crumbly. If it’s too crumbly to hold its shape, add a little but more oil. If the balls are too soft, add a bit more salt and baking soda. Do NOT add water or the fizzing will begin!
Let them air dry a day or so, until they are hard. You can use them at bath time, wrap them as gifts, or you can always move right to the fizz! Offer a small tray or sensory table with 2-3 inches of water and let them go to work!
This experiment is a fun exploration that hits all the senses. Even adults love these things! Have fun, let them explore, let them play, and let them learn!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candice Chouinard has worked with youth of all ages and backgrounds, creating and implementing programming for children. She revels in hand-on, long-term, messy projects that are both fun and educational. Candice comes from a background in creative writing, as well as, child development and psychology. She owns and operates a day care in Northampton, MA.