Do you love Harry Potter? We are huge fans of Harry Potter around here, known as Potterites. Having read all the books and watched the movies more times than we can count. From the moment I read that memorable first line in 1999 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I was hooked. And I have loved passing on my love of all things magical and Harry Potter to my kids! One of the things we love to do is add a Harry Potter spin to our lessons and activities. This week we have been on a Harry Potter bath bomb mission and today we made Chocolate Frog Bath Bombs. They smell soooo good!
Chocolate Frog Bath Bombs
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Harry Potter meets his best friend, Ronald Wealsey on his first train ride to Hogwarts. They connect over a pile of wild and crazy candy, and one of the most memorable was the Chocolate Frog. Which promptly leapt from Harry’s hand and jumped out the window. It was an iconic moment of magical fun that had my kids instantly fascinated with Chocolate Frogs!
It also lead to the kids naming our kittens Potter and Weasley!
We were lucky enough to have a traveling Harry Potter exhibit come through town. It was so much fun. And, of course, we bought lots of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs! One day we really hope to make it to the UK and visit the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio. That would be such an amazing moment!
For now, we continue to include Harry Potter as an inspiration in many of our educational activities.
TIPS FOR MAKING BATH BOMBS WITH KIDS
We’ve made a lot of bath bombs over the last year or so. The kids love using bath bombs and it is so much cheaper to make your own. Plus it teaches them a lot about math (working ratios when we change recipes), plus of course there is tons of great science in bath bomb eruptions that the kids never find boring.
There are a few things to be aware of if you make bath bombs with your kids.
First, use caution with the dry ingredients. Citric acid in particular is an irritant if it becomes airborne. This recipe doesn’t use Activated Charcoal, but that ingredient is another one that likes to take flight! Work in a well ventilated place and ensure your kids are mature enough to understand how to stir gently and pour carefully. Usually I recommend bath bomb making for tweens and teens.
The traditional round bath bomb molds can be quite tricky and require lots of practice. I find using a silicone mold, like we do with these Chocolate Frog Bath Bombs, to be much more kid friendly. Simply pack the molds and let the bath bombs harden in the molds before removing them. One tip, make sure your silicone molds are the softer, more pliable style if you want to make bath bombs in them. Stiffer silicone molds can be very difficult to use with bath bombs, but they do work well with soap making.
Moisture is the enemy when making bath bombs! If kids have just washed their hands before starting, make sure they are COMPLETELY dry. If it is raining out or very humid, you may want to leave bath bomb making for another day. The chemical reaction in bath bombs is so sensitive, moisture in the air will trigger a reaction.
If you find your mix starts to dry out while you are still packing your molds, spritz it with a bit of rubbing alcohol and work it through before continuing to pack the molds.
Finally, never, ever skip the emulsifier, Polysorbate 80. If you do, you will end up with a big mess on your bather and the tub. More on that in the science section below.
For now let’s make Chocolate Frog Bath Bombs!
Harry Potter Chocolate Frog Bath Bomb Recipe
2 cups baking soda
1 cup citric acid
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup Epsom salts
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp polysorbate 80
Brown mica powder
Brown cosmetic glitter *
Chocolate frogs mold
1 large mixing bowl
1 microwave safe bowl or cup
Some of my readers love the magical touch of a bit of glitter in their bath bombs, but I know all of us are well aware of the need to protect our environment and glitter is one of those contentious issues. When making bath bombs you can use cosmetic glitter, or you can chose a biodegradable glitter. I have linked both below. I will also tell you in complete honesty that when making bath bombs for our own use I usually just leave the glitter out entirely. It does not affect the recipe at all, and for my kids it’s the spectacular eruptions they love, not the glitter. So they don’t miss it. The choice is yours. I have linked to both a cosmetic glitter and biodegradable glitter below.
How to Make A Chocolate Frog Bath Bomb
In a large bowl, add the baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts and cornstarch. Mix the dry ingredients together with a spoon or your hands. Use caution so the dry ingredients don’t become airborne.
In a microwave safe container, melt the coconut oil in the microwave in short bursts, stirring in between. You want the oil to just become liquid. Don’t let it boil!
Add approximately 1 teaspoon of cocoa extract (adjust to suit your preference) and 1 tablespoon of polysorbate 80 to the oil and stir to blend.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and start to mix it all together. Use your hands to break down any lumps and make sure everything is really mixed in there. You may want to use gloves. The mixture is perfect when it holds together when you press it into your hands and feels like wet sand.
Add 1 teaspoon each of the brown mica and brown cosmetic glitter and continue working the mix with your hands until the colour is evenly distributed. Add a bit more mica if you prefer a darker brown.
Pack the mixture into the frog molds. Press down firmly to ensure it is nicely packed in but ensure there is no cracking. Spritz with rubbing alcohol if it starts to crack and dry out too much during the mold filling process.
Let them harden in the molds for 48 hours in a warm, dry location.
Once they are hard to the touch (leave longer if they are not hard after 48 hours). it is time to remove them from the molds. To release, place a large plate or cutting board over the bottom of the mold and flip over. GENTLY tap each cavity and gently lift up. If any frogs are still in the cavity, gently tap 1-2 times to release. Be careful, you don’t want to break your frogs! But if you do, the pieces will still erupt! We always have a bin of broken bits and the kids love adding them to their bath.
Why Bath Bombs Fizz and Erupt
If your kids are anything like mine, their favourite part of making bath bombs is the eruptions! We always add warm water to any mix left in the bowl, just to watch the fizzy reaction.
The chemical reaction in bath bombs is between citric acid and baking soda (a base). When the acid and base react with each other, they release CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas. Which is what forms the fizzy bubbles in the water.
While dry the ingredients will not react, but add even a bit of water (try it, just add one drop!), and watch the fizzing start!
Another critical piece of bath bomb science is one I mentioned above, and it’s the importance of an emulsifier when making bath bombs. Our emulsifier is Polysorbate 80 and it’s job is to make our oils mix with the bath water. If you don’t use Polysorbate 80 the oils (which include the fragrance and mica), will float on top of the water in a scummy layer that sticks to everything making a big mess. We want the colours and fragrances to mix with the water and for that we need an emulsifier.