In our Potions class we made all kinds of spells to make a loved one recover from sickness, to bring love to us, to bring a lost pet home. We gathered shells, rose petals, sand and herbs that we grew in our back outdoor space in order to create these spells. A lot of these potions came from a archaic book of spells from Gypsies from the region that once was Bohemia.
But I also wanted the kids to create a potion that could be used today in everyday life, something more tangible but no less magical because of the power of aroma therapy. So we made soap using herbs from our garden and essential oils. It was a simple but yet completely satisfying project for the kids.
I ordered the soap base from Bramble Berry soap supplies. I got the goat's milk soap base which has this nice soft texture and white color. We then melted the soap and added it to our mold. I just used these vintage bread tins (it's just soap so easy to clean). You an use any kind of molds or ice cube trays for the shape. The kids then chopped up herbs with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to add to the soap along with a few drops of essential oils. It's important the herbs are dry. Otherwise the fresh herbs will sweat off moisture into the soap and give it a wet texture.
The kids choose from lavender, lemon verbena, mint and cinnamon. It smelled amazing in the studio with all these aromas floating around in the air. The soap hardens in a few hours which is then ready to be sliced up into bars. It so beautiful how the herbs look distributed among the soap.
We then packaged them up in paper sandwich bags from Smart and Final, added some twine and an herb sprig from the garden and a wooden snowflake for the final touch. The kids could not wait to give them to their parents and teachers for Hanukah or Christmas.