Bath bombs

A fun super sensory activity! Smells wonderful and combines lots of lovely crumbly and cool textures.

Use different food colouring or essential oils to make different smelling bath bombs, and if you are worried about staining your skin (though it will wash off) you can wear gloves or omit the colour entirely. Note: wearing gloves will mean you won’t get to feel the texture as well!

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either in your own space or in an educational setting.

Who is this for?

This is a crafting activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities.

Why does this make a difference?

This is a creative and sensory activity that helps people learn by engaging with nature and using their senses to connect with their surroundings, exploring touch and different textures while supporting independent choice. 

How to do this activity

What you’ll need

Bath bomb materials, including a silicone ice-cube tray, salts, a measuring cup and essential oils
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Spray bottle of water (helps control the amount of water- you could use a teaspoon but its hard to limit the amount this way)
  • Silicone ice cube tray or similar
  • ½ cup of citric acid
  • 1 cup bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (options are: melted coconut oil, sweet almond, jojoba, olive oil or other)
  • Essential oil of choice
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Dried flowers or similar (optional)
A hand sprinkling dried flowers into the silicone moulds

Step 1

Put your silicone mould(s) on a surface where you will be able to leave it untouched at least overnight. If you have to move it, pop it on a tray. In each cavity sprinkle a couple bits of dried flowers or whatever else you are decorating with. You don’t need much.
A hand mixes the citric acid and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.

Step 2

Combine the citric acid and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Mix well with your spoon or hands.

Step 3

In the little bowl, mix the tablespoon of oil with the essential oil and food colouring. Use as much essential oil as you want- it will be diluted in the bath so they do need to be quite strong.
Spraying water onto mixture

Step 4

This step is easier with assistance as you have to move quickly. Ideally, one person will continue mixing, whilst a second person spritzes some water on the bath bomb mix. This is because the mixture starts reacting and fizzing so you need to mix the water in quickly. Keep spritzing and mixing until the mixture has the constancy of damp sand and clumps together when pressed. If you add too much, they will take longer to dry out and may not fizz as well when added to the bath (but will still smell and look wonderful).
Hands are in the bowl with the orange mixture rubbing it together

Step 5

Tip the little bowl contents of oil into the mixture and start mixing with your hands or spoon. It will smell wonderful. Rubbing it between your fingers helps.
Spooning mixture into moulds on top of the flowers

Step 6

Once the mixture is ready, use your spoon and fill the cavities of the mould. Push down firmly to compact it. Repeat until full. Keep going until the mixture is used up. Put aside to dry out overnight at least but two days is preferable.

Step 7

Note: you might want to keep an eye on them for the first few hours. Depending on how much water you added, they will expand. You can keep pushing the mixture down to compact again.
Hand is shown carefully removing the bath bombs from the mould. Some are already out and you can see the dried flowers on top

Step 8

Once fully dry, you can carefully pop them out of the mould. Try one first and see if it comes out easily. If not, leave them another few hours and try again.

Top tips

Bath bombs are shown wrapped to gift- in a recycled card container with pink tissue paper in the bottom with the bath bombs on top
  • You can store them in an airtight container indefinitely, but over time the essential oils will degrade and eventually stop smelling.
  • You can wrap them to gift them, just make sure they don’t get wet otherwise they will start to fizz!
  • To use, pop one or two (or more!) into your bath when you are running it and watch them fizz! Make sure the water is not too hot before getting in.
  • Alternatively, find a flat bottomed bowl, fill with warm water and pop a bath bomb in for a scented foot soak.