I have the best gift of all this holiday season: a 6-year-old. I love SIX. Six is wonder, and awe, and absolute BELIEF IN MAGIC. And wanting to talk about it all.
Six is the unequivocal knowledge that the Elf on the Shelf really does move every night, that Santa is 100% real, and that magic is everywhere. If I could grant someone a special Christmastime experience, I would give them a six-year-old to spend it with.
This is my first-grader's advent calendar this year:
I filled each little burlap pocket with a different activity to do each day. So far we've read a Christmas story, roasted marshmallows in our pajamas, and made hot chocolate ('tis the season for extra sugar.)
Today's activity was "make a craft" and we decided to follow through with making bath bombs. I've seen a few "kid-friendly" recipes online and I ended up combining a few of the ideas I saw with the ingredients that I could easily obtain. (Citric acid? Not at the corner store.)
To our delight, the bath bombs actually turned out! Fragrant, only slightly crumbly, and satisfyingly "fizzedy" when we gave one a test-run for an afternoon bath.
Here's how we did it.
First, we mixed together 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of cream of tartar, and our herbs in a big bowl. I didn't have quick access to dried lavender, so our "herbs" were actually 4 cut-open bags of Bedtime Yogi tea. (Whatever works.) Then, we cut in about 4 tablespoons of coconut oil. (I'm guesstimating; we cut in enough - with a pastry cutter - to give the mixture a crumbly consistency.)
Then we dashed in a few drops of essential oil. We made two batches - one eucalyptus and one lavender. My daughter's eyes got a bit watery from the eucalyptus explosion (from about 30 "shakes").
Next, we used a spray bottle to gradually add water. Since we wanted the bath bombs to have a little color (green for eucalyptus, purple for lavender), we added several squirts of food coloring to the water bottle. It was my daughter's job to spray it into the mixture about 4 squirts at a time, and I'd mix after each turn.
Eventually, we got it to the consistency that I'd call crumbly-dough; if I squeezed a handful of the stuff, it would keep the shape of my fingers.
Then, we pressed in really hard into silicon molds. Eucalyptus bombs got the snowmen. We let it sit all day long.
Voila! Six hours later, super cute and easy gifts for just about everybody. We are going to package them in little treat bags. My daughter is going to make the labels.
I did get a chance to try one this evening with a nice warm bath of my own. It certainly is satisfying to watch the fizzedy bubbles come up to the surface and to smell the relaxing herbal scents. The one downfall is that there is A LOT of herb residue left in the tub afterward! These could easily be made without the tea bag contents. Overall: a really fun, smelly, texturally stimulating activity that I'm thinking will become a yearly tradition. She won't be six forever but hopefully we can still maintain the sense of magic that comes from working together in a warm kitchen on a cold day.
Emily Nielsen, CPT, is the owner of Fit for Motherhood, LLC, mother of 2 little girls, and an optimist by nature.
All posts © Emily Nielsen