“Treat” Soap: A way to make handwashing fun!

Car hidden in soap In this season of cold and flu I have renewed my emphasis on personal hygiene with my children.  My 3 year old, however, has a major aversion to soap.  He will willingly wash his hands and take baths etc, but fights any type of soap or shampoo.  I can sneak soap into the bath which takes care of hair and body, but I needed a solution for his unwillingness to use soap to clean his hands before meals and after using the washroom.   Treat soap” (or in our bathroom “car soap”) has been just the ticket at our place.

Materials Needed to Make your Toy Soap:

  • Small toy that will be of interest to your child IMG_7635
  • Small piece of plastic wrap
  • Glycerin (available at the craft store… I got mine for 50% off using a commonly occurring coupon)
  • Soap mold or small plastic reusable snack container, silicone muffin cup, plastic baby food container, plastic container from snack sized yogurt or applesauce etc…
  • Colour (Optional): can use liquid food colouring or the stuff specific to soap making
  • Essential oils or soap scent.

The most important, and trickiest part of this process is coming up with a toy that will fit into the container you have chosen to use as a mold, but neat enough to motivate the unwilling hand-washer.  I used some tiny cars, but a slightly bigger mold could hold a regular sized matchbox car.  A dollar store would offer a variety of novelty rings and toys that could be used.  I also noticed that some of the littlest pet shop accessories and animals would also have been small enough if I was working with a girl who liked those things.
Once you have chosen your toy the soap can be assembled in 15 min and ready to use within the hour!!

How to Create Play Soap:

  1. Wrap toy tightly in a small piece of plastic wrap.  It is best to choose a toy that wont be ruined if it gets damp, but the plastic wrap can be used to protect toys that can’t sustain being soggy for extended periods or are at risk of being clogged by soap. IMG_7632
  2. Following the instructions on the glycerin package melt a small amount in the microwave or using a double boiler. (took about 2 min for 1 bar’s worth to melt)
  3. Add essential oils/color if desired.
  4. Pour glycerin into the mold so it is 1/3 full (or 1/3 the depth of your bar of soap if using a container that is deeper than you want your soap to be)
  5. Wait 5-10 min until glycerin has begun to set
  6. Place toy upside down onto partially set glycerin.
  7. Pour (re-melted) glycerin on top of toy until it is covered and to the depth you want your bar of soap to be.
  8. Wait 30-40 min for soap to set and then pop out of mould.  You are ready to wash!!

Uses for  leftover glycerin/soap mix:

We had extras maybe you will too, here are some great ideas on ways to use it!

  • making treat soap as gifts for nieces and nephews (think Christmas presents, stocking stuffer etc)
  • Make an adult version with some exfoliating material to use as hostess gifts (think poppy seeds, flower petals etc)
  • Using a mesh “puff” make a shower scrubbie.  Compress puff into a cup with string handle sticking out.  Pour scented soap around the puff.  You now have a colourful soapy scrubby that can hang in your shower.  Look for the puffs with decorative tops when using as a gift.

This activity can be used as part of the Germs Unit featured several weeks ago on this site. Germs Theme

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