Thursday, December 2, 2010

23 days until Christmas - kids' products

I don't have any children in my house, but I have dozens of them at the library and on my caseload at work, and I like to make them little packages this time of year! Here are my three favourite things to make for kids! (As a note, consider making these items as presents for your kids to give away! It's so much fun seeing them colouring and fragrancing the bubble bath!)

Find me a kid who doesn't like bubble bath and I'll show you a kid who doesn't like to have fun!

I like to use my general recipe for bubble bath, but I've started adding up to 5% cocamide DEA to maintain the foam and bubbles for a longer period of time. If you choose to use this ingredient, make sure you remove 5% from the water phase. And if you want this recipe to be thicker or think you might use a very thinning out type of fragrance oil (like one containing vanilla), consider adding 10% aloe vera. It won't do much for your skin, but the electrolytes will thicken the mixture nicely.

36.5% water
30% Amphosol CG
22% Bioterge AS-40
6% BSB
1% glycerin
0.5% to 1% preservative
2% fragrance oil
Colouring, if desired

Mix your surfactants together until well blended, then add the water and blend well. Add the glycerin, preservative, fragrance oil, and colouring and blend well (but don't be overly zealous in your mixing, as we don't want to generate a ton of bubbles). Let it rest for a bit - say an hour or so - and check the viscosity. If you are happy with it, bottle and label it. If you aren't happy with it, then add 1% liquid Crothix and stir well. If you still aren't happy with it, add another 0.5% Crothix. You can go up to 2% Crothix, but ensure you stir very well in between additions.

As a note, this is a great project to make with kids. You can make the product from scratch with them, or create a base they can colour, fragrance, bottle, and label. Here are my suggestions from last year on making bubble bath with kids or youth! 

Wanda's niece looks forward to receiving her package of Fairy Dust every year, and this Christmas will be no exception. You can make these for adults in your life - we use peppermint essential oils for the foot bath version and regular fragrance oils for the bath version - and use any liquid colouring you like. We're using cosmetic grade glitter until it's sparkly and pink (although we chose purple to go with the bubble bath).

57% Epsom salts
28% baking soda
14% citric acid
1% fragrance or essential oil

Weigh all the ingredients, except the fragrance oil and colour, and stir well. Add the fragrance oil and colour and mix well. I like to package these in 100 gram batches in cellophane bags. Throw a few spoonfuls in the bath and watch it fizz and release lovely scent!

As a note, bath bombs and fizzy salts can be a great way to toilet train your kids! If they use the toilet properly, they get to throw in a tiny bath bomb or fizzy salt and watch the fun!

I don't make CP soap, but I love making melt & pour soaps! These are popsicle soaps Wanda made for her nieces. I don't know if you can see it well in this picture, but there's a layer of white in the middle to give it a Creamsicle kind of feel. I do suggest using the same scent for all three layers or choosing a complementary scent as it can get a bit overwhelming if you have a cacophony of fragrances emanating from the one soap! We didn't fragrance these as Wanda's brother is scent sensitive, but I think using tangerine or orange for the orange layers with non-discolouring vanilla would be awesome!

This is a chocolate mold I found at my local chocolate making shop (Scoop & Save in Langley). Chocolate molds work great for melt & pour soaps: They tend to be a lot cheaper than soap molds (these ones were $3.25) and you can generally find shapes you wouldn't find in soap molds.

Click here to find the hand-outs I've used with my craft groups!

Join me tomorrow for some ideas for presents suitable for boys tomorrow!


Denise Carter said...

Hi Susan!

I love your blog and have making some of your recipes and blogging about them (and crediting you, of course)! In my quest for the perfect bubble bath (I take bubble baths 4-5 times per week year round), I put together a batch using this recipe last night. I'm using the exact ingredients and measurements, except for the Crothix. The only reason why I am not using it is that once I add the fragrance oil (last night I used Brambleberry's Hello Sweet Thang), the mixture is so thick that I can hardly stir it. As a result, I had to use a lot more water and I'm still not sure I got it right (I did adjust the preservative to make up for the additional water). Got any ideas? Is there a particular fragrance chemical that I should look out for that causes what we would call "thick trace" in the soap world?



Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Denise! The answer you seek can be found in the surfactants section of the blog under fragrance and surfactants.