Bath bombs are a useful and educational activity to share with children. They are easy to make, incorporate ingredients easily found in local stores, make inexpensive gifts and provide a lesson in chemistry. Making colourful and fragrant bath bombs might even help encourage regular bath time for reluctant kids.
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Bath bomb recipes can be as complicated or as simple as you like. They can incorporate different fragrances, moisturising oils or colours. One simple recipe from the website Teach Soap calls for one part citric acid to two parts baking soda, witch hazel, food colouring, fragrance oil and a mould. Citric acid can be found in the baking section of grocery or health food stores. Witch hazel can be found in the health and beauty section of health food stores. Candy moulds make good bath bomb moulds, as do ice cube trays or muffin tins.
Ingredients to Avoid
Adding some ingredients, such as glitter or flower petals, can lend pizazz to bath bombs. Adding certain other ingredients should be avoided, however. Recipes that include the ingredient borax should be avoided or amended. Borax can be poisonous to the liver or kidneys if ingested. Although most people don't drink their bath water, the possibility still exists, especially with children. Another ingredient to avoid is cornflour, which can result in a yeast infection.
Making the Bath Bombs
Making bath bombs is simple enough for children to help with. The first step is to mix the citric acid and baking soda together in a bowl. Once mixed well, food colouring can be added a little at a time until the desired colour is achieved. Next, add the fragrance oil until the desired strength is achieved. Spritz the witch hazel on the mixture a little at a time, stirring the mixture at the same time, until the ingredients start to stick together. Once the mixture starts to stick, fill the moulds with the mixture. After the mixture has set in the moulds, tap the bath bombs out and let air dry for three to four hours.
Besides being a fun activity that creates a useful product, making bath bombs can be a lesson in science. Teach kids that the fizzing reaction that occurs when bath bombs are added to water is actually a bona fide chemical reaction between the baking soda and citric acid. This reaction causes the release of carbon dioxide, which creates the fizzing in the bathtub. This is the same type of reaction that occurs in carbonated beverages.
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