As many of you know I am a homeschool mom! I love it. Sometimes though, you need to put the text books down and work with something a little hands on. For R this meant that she was going to learn to make laundry soap! That’s right. We had a mixture or math, science, reading, and life skills all in one activity!
This is a great project for your child to learn the value of money as well. One way you could teach them about the value of saving money is to have a savings jug. Every time you open a new bottle of home made laundry soap put $3 in a savings jug. At the end of the time you can show them the difference between what it cost you to make this version and what it would cost them to buy it at the store.
If you have older children you can calculate price per load and let them determine what else they could afford with that money instead.
This is also a great project if you want to give your child an inexpensive gift idea. They can make this and put it in a cute bottle with a bow for family members. That or they could make a few other home made options which you will be seeing every week for a while and make a gift basket for family. Considering the amount of laundry soap you can make for about $10 this could be a very inexpensive way for them to gift someone. =)
What You will Need
- Borax ($2.99 at Walmart or Target–in the laundry aisle.)
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda–$2.99 at local grocery store in laundry aisle, or Wal Mart.)
- Fels-Naptha Soap Bar (99 cents at Wal Mart in the laundry aisle.)
|I cut them into smaller chunks to make them easier to grate for her little hands. You will grate the entire bar of soap. R suggests your kids doing it like this so they can see the flakes of soap fall down.|
|Dump your shredded up soap into a pot.|
|Add 4 cups of water to your pot. (This is a great opportunity to discuss Measurements with your child.)|
|Stir until all chunks are completely melted. (Make sure your child is safe and supervised at the stove. )
(This is a great way to teach about irreversible change and states of matter.)
|Stir. Make sure to get to the bottom of the bucket.
Questions to ask:
That is irreversible change. Can you separate all of the ingredients and put them back exactly as they were?
|The next morning open it up and observe the changes to your solution. What does it look like? How did it change? Did it do what you expected?|
|Stir again. This is a great time to really notice the change that the soap has taken. Is it thicker? Did the liquid stay the same?|
|Scoop up some of your solution.|
|You will fill your container half way with the soap solution. You will then fill the bottle the other half with water and shake it really well.|
-5/8 cups for a regular top-loading machine
-1/4 cup for a front-loading (HE) machine