Overhead View of Two Bath Bombs Surrounded By Lavender and Pink Flowers.

Easy Homemade Bath Bombs With a Surprise Inside

Bath bombs are a great way to make bath time both fun and relaxing for kiddos. They are also easy to make, and you likely already have most of the ingredients on hand. With the addition of a surprise in the center, your kids will be begging for bath time.

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A Surprise in the Middle of These Bath Bombs Makes Them Extra Fun

My girls love bath bombs, but their excitement increases exponentially when there is a surprise revealed once the bath bomb has fizzled its last fizz. This can be any small, water-safe item. Dollar Tree is a great place to pick up little toys or figurines that are small enough to live inside a bath bomb. 

We already own a plethora of small toys so I scour the girls’ longstanding collection of figurines. Honestly, they are so tickled to have a surprise in their bath bomb that it doesn’t faze them that it is a preexisting toy. These puppy toys acted as cake toppers for a recent birthday, and we continue to get a lot of mileage out of them as bath bomb toys.

Girl Holding a Bath Bomb Mold With Bath Bomb Mixture and Black Dog Toy Inside.

Bath Bombs Are Made With Standard Household Items

With two daughters, we are no stranger to the awesomeness of bath bombs in our house. They smell sweet, often change colors and they fizzle like a cauldron filled with newt eyes and dragon spit. With that said, they can be a little spendy so keeping a steady supply on hand hasn’t always been in the cards. 

When my oldest received a make-your-own bath bomb kit for Christmas, it opened us up to a new world filled with bath bombs. We were like mad scientists creating groundbreaking concoctions with a fervor not seen since the great Kool-Aid flavor mixing experiments of 2015. 

However, the biggest takeaway from this epic Christmas gift was that nearly everything needed to make homemade bath bombs are located in our cupboards. So once we buzzed through the kit, we gathered our household ingredients and continued our bath bomb creations. 

All you need to whip up a batch of homemade bath bombs are:

The only item that I did not already have on hand was citric acid, but Amazon promptly solved that problem.

Extreme Close Up of Bath Bomb With Pink Flowers. Other Bath Bombs In Background.

Let the Kids Jump In On the Action

While bath bombs are naturally entertaining in the tub, they are also fun for the kiddos to make. There seems to be an extra level of enjoyment for my girls when they can interact with something that they helped to create. I notice this sense of pride and achievement when they participate in the garden and the kitchen, and these bath bombs are no exception. 

Now, full disclosure, bath bomb making can get quite messy when kids are the acting assistants. I find that if I go into this activity expecting and knowing that the kitchen floor will require a thorough sweeping, I can more readily relax and focus on memory-making. I employ this same logic to sugar cookie decorating as well, and it does help my Type A brain chill out and just live in the moment.

Another tip I utilize when working with my mini sous chefs is to prepare the workstation beforehand. I measure out all of the ingredients and layout any needed tools or utensils. This prep work greatly reduces the potential for frustration and meltdowns – for me and the girls. Few things are worse than when a fun, family activity turns ugly. I have been there and done that, so now I work hard to plan for success.

Two Girls Mixing Bath Bomb Mixture in Glass Bowls.

Bath Bombs - An Experiment in Fun

We are split down the middle in our house regarding our favorite school subjects. My oldest daughter and I are English buffs while my husband and youngest daughter are math whizzes. However, the one subject we all agree is the bomb (pun totally intended) is science. So, in true Bill Nye style, I capitalize on making this fun activity a teaching moment. 

The very basic science behind bath bombs goes a little something like this – bath bombs fizz due to a chemical reaction. Baking soda is a weak base and citric acid is a weak acid. When bath bombs containing these ingredients come in contact with water, a chemical reaction occurs creating carbon dioxide bubbles, aka a really impressive fizz. 

Bath bombs are essentially science experiments, so for the sake of education, we should all be making more bath bombs 😉 Also, bonus points if you can turn your science lesson into a song parody. 

Close Up of Girl Pressing Round Bath Bomb Mold Together.

Tips and Tricks

  • It may seem a little cuckoo, but you should avoid making bath bombs on a really humid day. When there is a high level of moisture in the air, your bath bombs will not properly dry out or harden. Believe me, this is maddening. If your heart is set on making bath bombs on a day with more than 40% humidity, you may want to omit the water completely and reduce the amount of Epsom salt. There are also alternate recipes out there specifically for high humidity areas that may be worth checking out. 
  • Bath bombs are sometimes tricky to remove from the molds. It’s disheartening to break your precious creation during the removal process. If you have some particularly stubborn bath bombs, try sticking them in the fridge or freezer. My husband gave me this suggestion one session when I was on the brink of bath bomb genocide, and it worked like a charm. After a couple of light taps, they pulled right out of the molds. 
  • After making bath bombs several times, I invested in these food-safe aluminum molds. I like that they make three different sizes. I also use this silicone mold for bath bombs. But don’t feel pressured to purchase molds specifically for this purpose. There are plenty of items around the house that yield great and unique bath bombs such as ice cube trays, muffin tins, cookie cutters, container lids, plastic Easter eggs, etc. When all else fails, look around, be creative and use what you have.
Six Bath Bombs Surrounded By Lavender and Pink Flowers.

Method

Measure out and thoroughly mix your dry ingredients. 

Melt your coconut oil and mix with your essential oil, vanilla extract and water. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until combined. Add dried lavender or any other dried flowers if using.

Test your mixture by squeezing a small handful. If it lightly sticks together, it is ready to be placed in the molds. If it does not hold together, try spritzing lightly with a small amount of water and mixing again. Repeat until the correct texture has been achieved. 

It is important to note that adding too much water too fast at this stage can result in the chemical reaction occurring prematurely. If the mixture begins to fizz, the ingredients have likely activated and this batch will be spent 🙁 

When the correct consistency has been achieved, press firmly into the molds. After firmly packing some of the mixture into the mold, add your surprise or toy of choice and continue adding and pressing down the mixture. If using a split mold, pack both sides tightly. Slightly overfill each side, firmly place together and carefully twist back and forth until the excess from each side has been released. 

Allow the bath bombs to dry for a minimum of 8 hours, but ideally overnight. 

Carefully remove the bath bombs from their molds and allow them to air dry until fully hardened. 

Then pop them into a warm bath and watch the magic happen! 

Overhead View of Two Bath Bombs Surrounded By Lavender and Pink Flowers.
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5 from 1 vote

Bath Bombs With Surprise Inside

Amp up bath time with these easy homemade bath bombs with a surprise inside. These fizzy bath bombs will have kids begging for bath time.
Active Time30 mins
Dry Time1 d
Total Time1 d 30 mins

Materials

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 3 tbsps Epsom salt
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp water
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 tbsps dried lavender optional

Instructions

  • Measure out and thoroughly mix your dry ingredients.
  • Melt your coconut oil and mix with your essential oil, vanilla extract and water.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until combined. Add dried lavender or any other dried flowers if using.
  • Test your mixture by squeezing a small handful. If it lightly sticks together, it is ready to be placed in the molds. If it does not hold together, try spritzing lightly with a small amount of water and mixing again. Repeat until the correct texture has been achieved.
  • It is important to note that adding too much water too fast at this stage can result in the chemical reaction occurring prematurely. If the mixture begins to fizz, the ingredients have likely activated and this batch will be spent 🙁
  • When the correct consistency has been achieved, press firmly into the molds. After firmly packing some of the mixture into the mold, add your surprise or toy of choice and continue adding and pressing down the mixture. If using a split mold, pack both sides tightly. Slightly overfill each side, firmly place together and carefully twist back and forth until the excess from each side has been released.
  • Allow the bath bombs to dry for a minimum of 8 hours, but ideally overnight.
  • Carefully remove the bath bombs from their molds and allow them to air dry until fully hardened.
  • Then pop them into a warm bath and watch the magic happen!

What do you think? Do your kiddos like bath bombs enough to make them at home? 

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Susan
2 months ago

5 stars
Wow! What a beautiful article! You write with such ease and humor, while also providing tips and tricks! Love it! I wish I had found this when my granddaughters were younger… it would have been a great alternative to slime:) Thanks for sharing! Great website!