Bath Pals Soap for Kids

 

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This is an easy and natural way to make bath time fun! Make your own soap with a prize inside!

Bath Pals Soap for Kids

  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Soap molds (plastic cups also work)
  • Cooking spray to coat molds
  • Pure solid glycerin soap (this can be found in cubes at craft stores)
  • Essential oils of choice
  • Colored soap dyes
  • Small plastic toys

Instructions:

  1. Coat the insides of your soap molds or cups with cooking spray.
  2. Melt soap.The size of your molds will determine how much soap you’ll need. Place cubes of soap in a measuring cup, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. If some solid soap still remains, microwave in 10-second intervals until soap is thoroughly melted. Make sure to supervise if your kids are doing this—the soap gets hot!
  3. Add in a few drops of soap dye to reach your desired color, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add several drops of your desired essential oil. (Some great kid-friendly oils include lavender, orange, Roman chamomile, lemon, and peppermint.)
  5. Carefully fill mold about 1/3 of the way full with the hot soap. Let it cool for about 20 minutes, and then place the small plastic toy on top of the hardened soap.
  6. Repeat steps 2–4 to melt and color the remaining soap. Pour a second layer of soap into the mold over the plastic toy.
  7. Let cool and harden for at least 2 hours. Once cool, turn the mold upside down and pop the soap out.

kidsoapKids will be eager to wash just to get to the the toy inside!

Scented Sidewalk Chalk

Do your kids love to play with chalk, but get their hands really messy while they are at it? You can cut down on the mess a bit by making your own chalk in deodorant containers. Homemade retractable chalk is easy to use and fun to play with! And since we love essential oils, we decided to make our chalk scented to enhance the sensory activity for the kids.

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To be honest, this project has had a couple of flops, but we kept great notes on our tests so you can learn from our mistakes.

The idea behind making the chalk is simple:

  1. Coat the deodorant containers with petroleum jelly so the chalk doesn’t stick to the container.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water with food coloring and essential oils.
  3. Add 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris to the cold water. Mix, then pour into the containers.
  4. Let sit until completely hardened (about 4 hours).
  5. Twist up and have fun!

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Now for the things we learned:

  • It is a good idea to coat the inside very thoroughly. You want every area of the inside to have a layer of petroleum jelly. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of jelly per deodorant container.
  • Use disposable cups/utensils to create the mixture. Once this stuff hardens, it is a huge pain to get off dishes and utensils. And, honestly, it’s probably not a good idea to pour it down your drain.
  • To get a vibrant color, you will need a lot of food coloring/dye. The water will need to look pretty dark, because the white plaster of paris lightens the mixture quite a bit.
  • Plaster of paris can be harmful if inhaled, so be very careful about not creating dust. It is also a good idea to wear a dust mask and do the mixing and pouring outside where it is well ventilated. The mixture also gets pretty hot, so don’t touch it with your bare hands.
  • Once the plaster of paris and water mix, you don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden. So work fast, and do only one deodorant container/color at a time. If you are doing multiple colors, you can do some prep work (coat the insides with petroleum jelly, color and scent the water), but don’t mix the plaster of paris with the water until you are ready to quickly mix and pour.
  • When pouring in the mixture, you may be tempted to stack it up on the top until it looks like it might overflow. Don’t do it. In fact, it is a good idea to only fill to just below the lip of the container so the chalk mixture has a little space to expand before reaching the top (and the end of the petroleum jelly coverage).
  • When trying to twist up the chalk initially, it will stick a little bit. First, squeeze the sides of the container to loosen the edges. Then, put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom, and use the little groves inside as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.

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Hopefully we haven’t scared you away from doing this project now that you have read all of our notes and cautions. This really is an easy project, and the kids had a blast playing with the chalk once it was done.

You can also do this with lip balm containers for smaller sticks to use on chalkboards. In fact, you should have a little mixture left over in your disposable cup so that you can fill 1 large deodorant container and a few lip balm containers with the recipe below.

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Scented Sidewalk Chalk

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Deodorant Container (and a few Lip Balm Dispensers, if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) petroleum jelly (per deodorant container)
  • 1 disposable cup and plastic fork (per color)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water (per deodorant container)
  • 5–10 drops essential oil (per deodorant container)
  • Food coloring (you can also use liquid watercolors or tempura paint)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris (per deodorant container)

Instructions:

  1. Coat the inside of the deodorant container with petroleum jelly. Be very generous, and make sure to apply the jelly everywhere inside, especially the bottom. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) or more of petroleum jelly per deodorant container. It might help to twist up the bottom piece so you can thoroughly coat it, then lower it back down to coat the sides and middle piece.
  2. Next, pour the cold water into a disposable cup, and add the food coloring and essential oils. It is fun to coordinate the scent of the essential oil with the color of the chalk (e.g., lemon essential oil for yellow chalk, orange essential oil for orange chalk, peppermint essential oil for green or blue chalk, etc.). If you are attempting to do multiple colors and deodorant containers, do steps 1–2 in bulk, but do the rest of the steps for only one container at a time.
  3. Note: If you have a dust mask, put it on for this step. Also, move the project outdoors to finish so you are in a well-ventilated area. Very gently, spoon out 1/2 cup (100 g) of plaster of paris, and add it to the cold water solution. Be very careful not to create dust or inhale any dust. Once the plaster of paris and cold water mix, it will get hot—so don’t touch it with your bare hands until it hardens.
  4. Using a plastic fork, stir the mixture until it is well combined and the color is thoroughly mixed in. You can still add food coloring at this stage, but be quick; you really don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden.
  5. Pour the chalk mixture into the deodorant container until just below the lip.
  6. Let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours to harden completely.
  7. Once hardened, squeeze the sides of the container to help loosen the chalk. Then put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom of the container, and use the inside grooves as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.
  8. To use, twist up and get creative!


Update 4/19/17: We now sell these round twist up containers that would work well for this project.

Backpack Essentials for Students

Parents typically want to do all they can to help their children succeed in school. Whether your child is going down the street to the local elementary school or across the country to college, there are some great ways that essential oils can help your student achieve his or her greatest potential in school.

Passing the Test

Nothing is worse during a test than seeing a question and knowing that you studied the answer, but it just won’t come to you. Essential oils may be able to help with that problem. According to one source, “A university in Japan experimented with diffusing different essential oils in the office. When they diffused lemon there were 54% fewer errors, with jasmine there were 33% fewer errors, and with lavender there were 20% fewer errors. When essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test via a hanky or cotton ball, test scores may increase by as much as 50%. Different essential oils should be used for different tests, but the same essential oil should be used during the test as was used while studying for that particular test. The smell of the essential oil may help bring back the memory of what was studied.” Another study indicated that subjects who learned a list of 24 words while exposed to a certain aroma had an easier time re-learning the list when exposed to the same aroma than those who were exposed to a different aroma while trying to re-learn the list.1 Further studies have indicated that rosemary2 and peppermint3 aromas were found to enhance memory during clinical tests.

Whispi_GirlA couple ways you can have the aroma of an essential oil with you while you study and while you take your test is to put the essential oil(s) in personal diffuser such as a nasal inhaler, Whispi™ diffuser, or aromatherapy jewelry. The Slap-on Scents Bracelet is perfect for young students that have small wrists. AromaTools® carries a large variety of aromatherapy jewelry with styles accommodating all—boys and girls alike.

Calming the Stress

For many students, school means stress. Whether the stress is brought about by tests, homework, trying to fit in extracurricular activities or jobs, or from trying to create and maintain good friendships with others, essential oils can be a great aid to de-stressing after a stressful day. According to author Marlene Erickson in Healing with Aromatherapy, “EEG tests of the brain’s rhythm patterns found that neroli, jasmine, and rose induced delta rhythms, with some inducing a combination of delta and theta rhythms. Delta and theta rhythms are associated with reducing mental chatter and allowing for more intuitive thought processes” (p. 65). Marcel Lavabre also recommends chamomile, neroli, marjoram, lavender, and ylang ylang oils to help deal with stress in his Aromatherapy Workbook (p. 49). Research studies have found evidence that lavender,4,5 lemon,6 and ylang ylang7 oils may help reduce stress.

As mentioned above, you can take a personal diffuser with you to school with the aroma of these essential oils. You can also rub these oils on your feet at night or in the morning as needed to help reduce stress.

Fighting the Bugs

When lots of students congregate in classrooms, lunchrooms, locker rooms, or dormitories, there are abundant opportunities for germs to spread. Essential oils are a great natural way to help keep those germs at bay. According to the book
Modern Essentials, essential oils such as melaleuca, thyme, cinnamon, peppermint, oregano, and blends containing these oils, such as Protective Blend, have been shown in multiple studies to exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties (pp. 257–63).  A great way to stop the spread of germs is to keep your hands clean. This hand sanitizer can be useful when soap and water are not readily available. Another hand sanitizer recipe and cute gift idea can be found here.
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Getting the Energy

Between late-night study sessions, after-school activities, sports, jobs, and the many other activities students are involved in, sometimes it can be hard to find the energy needed to be awake and alert during the school day. According to several authors, some essential oils can be naturally stimulating. Marlene Erickson writes, “Stimulant essential oils are used for conditions of mental fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty concentrating. Stimulants are useful when you’re feeling tired or sluggish and need to boost your mental activity. EEG tests used to evaluate stimulant essential oils such as black pepper, cardamom, and rosemary indicated that they induced beta brain rhythms. Beta rhythms correlate with aroused attention and alertness” (Healing with Aromatherapy, p. 66). In addition to these oils, Modern Essentials also lists peppermint, Joyful Blend, eucalyptus, orange, ginger, grapefruit, rose, rosemary, and basil as other stimulating essential oils (p. 370).

These oils can be used in a personal diffuser or applied to feet or wrists. Roll-on bottles are useful for applying essential oils while at school.

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Essential Tip: Keep essential oils close at hand for your student by placing the oils in small 1/4 dram or 5/8 dram vials and labeling each vial with a circle or rectangle label so it can be easily identified. Place up to 8 different oils or blends in a handy Aroma Ready™ Key Chain Oil Case. Place this small case in a the pocket of a backpack or book bag along with a copy of “An Introduction to Modern Essentials,” and your student will have quick access to the oils and information on how to use them anytime there is a need!

Want some essential oil blends to diffuse or inhale while you study or take a test? Check out these 7 Back-to-School Diffuser Blends!

For more information on this topic, see any of the books listed above or the sources below. You can also read the other post in this series: “Backpack Essentials for Teachers”.

1. David G. Smith, Lionel Standing, and Anton de Man, “Verbal Memory Elicited by Ambient Odor,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 74, no. 2 (April 1992): 339–43.

2. Mark Moss, Jenny Cook, Keith Wesnes, and Paul Duckett, “Aromas of Rosemary and Lavender Essential Oils Differentially Affect Cognition and Mood in Healthy Adults,” International Journal of Neuroscience 113, no. 1 (January 2003): 15–38.

3. Mark Moss, Steven Hewitt, Lucy Moss, and Keith Wesnes, “Modulation of Cognitive Performance and Mood by Aromas of Peppermint and Ylang Ylang,” International Journal of Neuroscience 118, no. 1 (January 2008): 59–77.

4. Erin Pemberton and Patricia G. Turpin, “The Effect of Essential Oils on Work-Related Stress in Intensive Care Unit Nurses,” Holistic Nursing Practice 22, no. 2 (2008): 97–102.

5. Naoyasu Motomura, Akihiro Sakurai, and Yukiko Yotsuya, “Reduction of Mental Stress with Lavender Odorant,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 93, no. 3 (December 2001): 713–18.

6. Migiwa Komiya, Takashi Takeuchi, and Etsumori Harada, “Lemon Oil Vapor Causes an Anti-Stress Effect via Modulating the 5-HT and DA Activities in Mice,” Behavioural Brain Research 172, no. 2 (September 2006): 240–49.

7. Tapanee Hongratanaworakit and Gerhard Buchbauer, “Relaxing Effect of Ylang Ylang Oil on Humans after Transdermal Absorption,” Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 9 (September 2006): 758–63.

The Perfect Solution for Detangling Unruly Hair!

Would you like a more natural hair detangler than you can find commercially? Look no further—we have the perfect solution for detangling unruly hair that is easy to make and contains all-natural ingredients! Spraying this on your hair will help the comb separate the hair strands easily and without pain. Not only do these oils smell nice together, but lavender and rosemary essential oils are often used to help stimulate hair growth; repair dry, fragile hair; and, with melaleuca, may help dandruff.

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All-Natural Essential Oil Hair Detangler

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (120 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Pour the glycerin and essential oils in the 4 oz. spray bottle. Screw the spray top on, and shake to combine.
  2. Remove spray top, and fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Screw the spray top on again, and give it another few good shakes.
  3. Allow it to sit overnight, then shake again before using.
  4. To use, shake a little, then spray lightly over hair; brush hair until smooth.

Keep Your Kids Entertained with This Fun Craft!

Make your own beeswax yarn strips for a fun sensory activity for your children. These strips are fun to bend into shapes to create a picture or sculpture. They also make a great quiet activity to take with you on the go.

Yarn-Art

Flexible Beeswax Yarn Art

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (144 g) beeswax pellets
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) jojoba oil
  • Crock pot
  • Colored yarn

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a small crock pot or double boiler.
  2. Once the wax is melted, add the jojoba oil.
  3. Cut your yarn to the desired length (9 inches [23 cm] is a good starting point).
  4. Add the yarn to the melted beeswax-jojoba mixture.
  5. Once the yarn is completely covered in wax, remove the yarn from the crock pot using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, and lay out in individual strips to dry. (We laid our strips on a plastic grocery bag.)
  6. Once the wax dries, have fun creating pictures and sculptures with your waxed yarn strips!

Extra Idea:

If desired, you can add essential oil to the wax mixture for an additional sensory experience. Start with 2–4 drops, and then add more depending on your preference for scent.

EO Life Hack: Bubblegum in Hair?

Kids will be kids and sometimes that means bubblegum doesn’t stay in the mouth. What do you do if your child gets bubblegum in their hair? Use essential oils! Simply rub a few drops of lemon oil on bubblegum to dissolve the gum and make it easier to remove.

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Do Essential Oils Cross the Placenta?

Our post today is from guest blogger Stephanie Pearson. Stephanie Pearson has worked with herbal medicine for over 25 years and is a clinical herbalist, functional nutritionist, and clinical aromatherapist master, in process. She created an e-course, Essential Oils for the Birth Kit, that is a comprehensive, evidence-based, and unbiased five-hour course on using essential oil therapy during each phase of pregnancy and in infant care. See below for the e-course preview video.

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Do Essential Oils Cross the Placenta?

Despite the ever-growing body of research on essential oils, there is only a sippy cup full of study conducted on essential oil use during pregnancy––this owing to the unethical nature of conducting research on pregnant women.

The quick answer, though, is that yes, many essential oils do cross the placenta (and cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier), which is why it is especially important to be mindful of dose and quality during pregnancy (Tillett & Ames 2010).

The placenta provides a natural barrier against positive and neutral molecules and molecules with weight more than 1000 atomic mass units (AMUs). Since essential oils weigh less than 250 AMUs and many are negatively charged, it is fair to imply that essential oils cross the placenta. Despite this, there is virtually no evidence that, when used correctly, essential oils have a negative impact on the fetus in utero. The immaturity of the fetal liver may even offer a degree of protection, since fetuses are not capable of metabolizing compounds into more toxic forms, a process which requires phase two liver enzymes (Tillett & Ames 2010).

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Salt Painting with Essential Oils

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This fun art project is not only helpful for keeping kids entertained, but it also helps build fine motor skills as kids learn how to draw up the colored water using a pipette and release the liquid onto their salt image. Get creative, and have fun while enjoying the wonderful scents of essential oils!

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Boo-nanas with Lemon Essential Oil

For Halloween this year, try making this fun and healthy snack that your children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews will surely love!

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Aromatherapy Cloud Dough

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Kids greatly benefit from sensory experiences, especially when they include the aroma of essential oils! Give your kids a fun time with this Aromatherapy Cloud Dough. Adults, too, can enjoy this activity and maybe even relieve a little stress at the same time! Feel free to double or triple this recipe to suit the number of kids playing or the size of your bin.

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Aromatherapy Cloud Dough

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 5 drops essential oil
  • 6–8 drops food coloring (optional)
  • 4 cups flour

Instructions:

  1. In a glass bowl, mix vegetable oil, essential oil, and food coloring together until the color is distinct or until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place flour in playing bin, and add oil mixture. Mix together until combined. You may need to use your hands.
  3. You can store your Cloud Dough in an airtight container for up to a week.

Note: Some essential oils that would work well in this recipe and are safe to use with children are lavender, peppermint, ylang ylang, or Roman chamomile.