Looking for ways to make bath time more fun? This DIY bubble bath play dough is both super soft and really easy to make. And because you’ll only be using a small amount per bath, one batch will last you for weeks—so you can spend more time doing what you need to do and less time planning activities!
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Bath time with four young kids can get a little complicated at times—especially when all four of the kids are girls with long, thick hair.
We use every trick we can to keep their hair from tangling and make bath time go as smoothly as possible. But even when their hair is relatively tangle-free, brushing it takes time, and so does washing their faces and bodies with soap and rinsing them all off.
We sometimes have to split bath time into two shifts just to make things easier.
Another way to make bath time a little easier is to keep the kids occupied with bath toys and activities.
Thankfully, it turns out that bubble bath play dough is really easy to make—and because one batch can last for several weeks or months, it won’t take up much of your time, either!
How to Make DIY Bubble Bath Play Dough
Here’s what you’ll need to make homemade bath time play dough for your kids:
- Bubble bath
- Coconut oil (if you live in a cold climate and the oil has solidified, heat it up in the microwave until it’s liquid again)
- Food colouring or liquid watercolour paint (optional)
1. Combine Bubble Bath & Coconut Oil
Start by pouring 5 tablespoons of bubble bath liquid and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil into a small bowl and mixing them with a spoon until combined.
2. Add Colour (Optional)
If you want your bubble bath play dough to be colourful, add in some food colouring or liquid watercolour paint. I recommend adding no more than a single drop.
While you can technically add more colouring to make really brightly-coloured bath dough, I wouldn’t advise that you do it.
I like things colourful, so the first time I made this, I added lots of colour. It looked great, but once the kids started playing with it, the colour started to bleed and it ended up making the bath water really murky and gross.
We actually had to empty out and replace all the bath water before we could finish washing up the kids.
So these days, when I make bath play dough, I only add a single drop of food colouring—just enough to give it a pastel hue, but not enough to muddy the bath water.
And if you’re worried about staining or you want to keep the bath water as clean as possible, you can even skip the colouring altogether and keep your bubble dough white!
3. Add Cornstarch
Add ⅓ cup of cornstarch to the bubble bath mixture and stir until well combined.
Repeat with another ⅓ cup of cornstarch, stirring until smooth. Then, add in a third ⅓ cup (for a total of 1 cup).
4. Knead Dough
After you add the last of the cornstarch, the play dough mixture will become too thick to mix with a spoon. When that happens, ditch the spoon and knead it with your hands.
Continue kneading until the bath dough feels nice and smooth and the ingredients are 100% combined.
If you’re making several colours, repeat the previous steps as needed until all of the balls of play dough are ready.
Once that’s done, it’s time to play! Break off a little piece of bath time play dough and give it to your child. (Don’t give them all of it because you won’t be able to save the play dough for another day if it’s been immersed in bath water.)
When placed in water, the play dough will become super soft and squishy, and the bubble bath liquid will cause some soap bubbles to form. So fun!
Our kids loved this activity so much that they now ask for it almost every time they have a bath. Thankfully, this recipe yields quite a lot of bath play dough, and as long as it’s properly stored, you should be able to make one batch last for quite a while!
How to Store Bubble Bath Play Dough
As mentioned above, you’ll want to break off a piece of bath dough for your kids to play with instead of giving them the whole thing. That way, you’ll be able to discard whatever is left of the piece they played with and save the rest for another day.
Because it’s made using cornstarch, this play dough does dry out pretty quickly. But because it will get wet during play, that doesn’t really matter so much.
To store our bath play dough for future use, we usually just place whatever is left inside a sealed sandwich bag in our bathroom cupboard. Then, when it’s time to play, we simply break off a piece and submerge it for a few seconds to help it regain its elasticity.
I do recommend storing each colour of play dough separately because once the colours mix, there isn’t really much you can do to separate them. Each of our kids requested a particular colour, so we intend to keep them separate for as long as possible.
But that’s really as complicated as it gets! So as long as you keep the sandwich bags sealed, one batch should last for several weeks or even for several months (depending on how often you use it).
Bubble Bath Play Dough
- 5 tbsp bubble bath liquid
- 3 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1 drop food colouring or liquid watercolour paint optional
- 1 cup cornstarch
- Pour bubble bath liquid and coconut oil in a bowl and stir until combined.
- Add a single drop of food colouring or liquid watercolour paint and stir once again. (Skip this step if you'd rather keep the bath play dough white.)
- Add ⅓ cup of cornstarch and stir until combined. Repeat with a second ⅓ cup of cornstarch.
- Once the ingredients are well combined, add a final ⅓ cup of cornstarch and knead the mixture with your hands until you obtain a smooth ball of dough. Break off a small piece and let your child play with it during bath time, storing the remainder of the play dough in a sealed sandwich bag.
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