It was the May Day bank holiday in the UK a few days back and my daughter and I spent it making homemade soap. This was our second attempt and it went much better than the first. If you have a young child, here’s how to make homemade soap together! Happy reading!
Ingredients for making homemade soap with your 4 year old child
Unrefined Shea Butter
1 fresh lemon
Procedure for making homemade soap with your 4 year old child
As my child is still very young, ensuring her safety is very important to me. Whilst I could have bought all the ingredients to make soap from scratch, I opted for a melt and pour base. The one I chose had goats milk, which I hoped would be beneficial to our skin. It was also paraben free.
I don’t have a double steamer, so I melted my soap base in a plastic bowl using my microwave. I had bought a 1kg melt and pour soap base block and using a kitchen knife, I simply cut off a quarter of the block.
After making the first batch, I found that my hands were quite dry immediately after washing with the soap.
So the second batch, which is what this blog post features, has some additives that I hoped at the time would make the final product less likely to leave your skin dry after use.
I had some Shea butter at home that we bought the last time we went to Nigeria, so I shaved approximately 100g of the Shea butter into my bowl (that had approximately 250g of melt and pour soap base).
The first batch of soap I made did not give out a lot of lather but there was sufficient for it to be fit for purpose. Because I didn’t know how much Shea butter would dilute the soapiness of the soap, I opted for roughly 100g of Shea butter.
Within 1 minute and full power in my microwave, both the Shea butter and melt and pour soap base had melted. However, the melted Shea butter stayed at the top whilst the melted soap base stayed at the bottom.
This gave my 4 year old assistant her first job, mixing the solution so that the Shea butter mixed in with the soap base to form a homogeneous solution.
Whilst my daughter was mixing the solution, I got my grater and using the smallest part, got the zest of the lemon. I added the zest of one small lemon to the solution whilst my daughter continued mixing to ensure an even distribution.
Something magical then happened, the white goat’s milk melt and pour soap base absorbed the colour of the lemon zest and turned a lemon yellow colour.
We didn’t have a soap mould at home but both my daughter and I love reusing things at home. We had the plastic from a packet of biscuits my daughter had finished and we decided it was as good as any soap mould. Whilst pouring, I found that the plastic was ‘collapsing’ a little bit on the sides due to the weight of the solution. So I held it upright for a few seconds before transferring to our fridge to help it cool down quicker.
After it had solidified a couple of hours later, we had the most beautiful quirky shaped soap that smelled of lemon. It was the perfect gift for my daughter to take to nursery. It gave her her 15 minutes of fame, where she talked about how we made the soap. The soap also had pride of place by a sink for everyone to use at my daughter’s nursery.
CONCLUSION: I did try a few of the flakes of the soap (from taking it out of the mould) and whilst washing the bowl where we did the mixture and found that adding the Shea butter did indeed make the soap a bit more moisturising than without. However, I think for the next batch, I would add a bit more Shea butter to the mixture as I don’t think it would affect the amount of lather you get from the soap.
I love to shower with lots of lather, so I don’t recommend this for use whilst showering if you are like me. I would totally recommend it for handwashing though. I really did love the lemon smell in the soap hmmmmm 😀
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