From: This quick little activity is from Our Best Bites.
- A brand spanking new bar of Ivory soap.
- A plate.
- A microwave.
- Put the bar of Ivory soap on the plate and put the plate in the microwave.
- Set the timer for 2 minutes and watch.
- When the bar of soap quits growing, stop the microwave and take the bar of soap out.
- Let the soap cool until it is safe to touch.
- Allow your tot to poke and prod the puffed up bar.
- Invite your tot go break up the flaky pieces of soap.
- Water + Soap = Suds. So use a dry cloth to wipe away the majority of soap dust first and then finish with a wet cloth or you will have a huge (albeit, squeaky clean) mess.
- Make sure your tot washes her hands. (They will be covered in soap dust that will sting if it gets in her eyes.)
Observations: Sweet Pea was extremely interested, although the whole thing probably took us less than 10 minutes from start to finish.
While our soap did grow in an interesting way, I don’t think that it got nearly as big as some of the other pictures I had seen. I think this is because the bar of Ivory we used was at least a year old. Since then, I have read in several places that the bar of soap should be fresh for the best results. I would guess that moisture trapped in the bar of soap turns to steam and expands when it is heated in the microwave. In an older bar of soap, the moisture has probably mostly dried up and thus, the bar doesn’t grow as big.
Notes from the Trenches:
So after we had finished this activity, I didn’t want to just throw away a bar of soap. After a little brainstorming, I remembered a pin that showed how to turn a bar of soap into a gallon of liquid soap. I had never done it partly because it required grating an entire bar of soap, and who has time for that? But now, I had a bunch of soap dust just ready to be made useful. Oh, I was sooo excited. My quick little tot school activity could include money-saving DIY home economics post too! I took a bunch of photos of the process:
Crush the soap into bits.
Add 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
Heat on medium heat until totally dissolved.
Remove the mixture from the heat.
Let stand 10-12 hours.
It will be very firm, like thick jello.
Use a blender to re-liquefy it.
Pour the soap into a container.
Store the rest.
I set my new bottle of DIY liquid soap in the bathroom and tried to wash my hands, which ended up being quite a disgusting experience.
When I pushed the pump, a nice little dime size amount did NOT get deposited in my hand. No, a slimy stream of snot-like material slid from the pump, but didn’t even break off. The trail of soap just hung there, exactly as though from a small child’s sickly nose. I had to use my fingers to get it off of the pump. When I scrubbed my hands together, the soap did create suds, but frankly the slimy feeling was unbearable. I rinsed my hands and vowed never to use the snot soap again.
Sweet Pea didn’t have the same revulsion to the soap that I did, so I thought, “Well, maybe Sweet Pea can use this stuff…” and left the (refilled Method brand) bottle next to the sink in the hall bathroom. This lasted about 4 days until my unsuspecting aunt came for a visit. After a trip to the bathroom, she emerged and in a strange tone asked, “That soap bottle in the bathroom didn’t come with the soap that is in there now, did it?” No. No, it didn’t.
I resigned myself to buying a new bottle of soap for the bathroom and plan to give the remaining gallon(!) of slime to Sweet Pea to play with in the bathtub. Maybe I’ll even use some food coloring to dye it yellow or green.
Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Frugal)
Carnivals: This post is linked up to It’s Playtime! @ Kid’s Activities Blog.