My kids and I became interested in soap back in November when we read about how the Pilgrims rarely washed clothes and other things because it was too difficult to make their own soap. This gave me the idea to make our own soap, although the process we used was much less involved than how the Pilgrims used to do it.
Below I share our experience of how to make glycerin soap with kids. It was remarkably easy to do. And best of all, making their own soap has really encouraged my kids to keep their hands nicely washed!
Note: For more kid-friendly science activities, see my Science Activities for Kids page.
To make glycerin soap with kids, gather the following ingredients:
- A bar of solid glycerin
- A glass or Pyrex bowl or measuring cup
- Silicone molds
- Optional: essential oils
- Optional: glitter and beads to decorate, craft stick for mixing
If you have all the materials except for the glycerin, you might want to check out a product like this glycerine bar from Clearly Natural or this glycerin bar by Dr. Adorable. But if you also need the silicone molds, you might prefer something like the DIY soap making kit from Kiss Naturals.
We started with a large chunk of glycerin, which I cut in half.
I placed half of the glycerin into our Pyrex measuring cup and put it into the microwave. I heated it in 30 second spurts until the glycerin has turned completely to liquid.
This next part should only be done by grownups or by mature kids under close adult supervision. Pour your liquid glycerin into your silicone molds. We used a variety of different molds, including apple shaped molds, LEGO silicone molds, and silicone cupcake liners.
The glycerin begins to cool quite quickly, so if you want to add glitter and beads, as we did, you will need to act quickly.
We used a craft stick to mix the glitter and beads into the glycerin.
Then we had to wait about an hour or so for the glycerin to completely harden.
Once our soap was ready, we removed it from our silicone molds.
The soap popped out of the molds very easily.
And we had some really awesome glycerin soap in the shape of apples.
And in the shape of LEGO people.
And in the shape of a cupcake liner.
But best of all, hand washing is much more fun when it can be done using soap you’ve created yourself!
Are you ready to go make some glycerin soap with kids now? 🙂
If you want to follow up this basic activity with some more advanced soap crafts, I recommend the book Cool Melt & Pour Soap by Lisa Wagner. This book has tons of ideas for all sorts of fun soap crafts, including colored soaps, fragrant soaps, soaps with multiple colored layers, loofah soaps, and more. This book is geared toward kids ages 9 and up, although grownups might get plenty of good ideas from the book that can be used with younger kids.
More on the science of soap