I think the best thing we teach our children as homeschoolers is to value others. We create communities wherever we go. Kindness and caring are out mottos and we demonstrate that to our children which helps them to grow into beautiful adults. Below are some of our favorite recipes for gifts, perfect for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
Over the years, various bubble baths have come under public scrutiny for having dangerous ingredients. My kids used Mr. Bubble when they were younger and so did I. When I came across a recipe for homemade bubble bath, I tweaked it until it was perfect for my children. We love it. I hope you will too.
- 1 c unscented natural dishwashing liquid (we like Seventh Generation)
- 1/4 c pure vegetable glycerin (you can get this cheaply on Amazon)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 15 drops essential oil (lavender, ylang ylang, and geranium work well)
- 12 oz plastic squeeze bottle (available on Amazon or at health food stores)
- food coloring (optional)
- Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix gently.
- Using a funnel, pour the mixture into the squeeze bottle.
- Seal with a stopper, tie with ribbon, and gift to a friend.
If you want to scent your bubble bath, please use essential oils. They are all natural and very rarely produce an allergic reaction. Most natural food stores have a display of essential oils where you can smell each one. Don’t buy there; you can usually find a better price online. I highly recommend Aura Cacia brand. It’s one of the highest quality brands and easy to find.
I could spend an hour in the bath every single day. But things would pile up. Baths helps us to relax and unwind. Over the counter bath salts usually include a great deal of Epsom salt which can dry out the skin. This mixture helps restore the skin’s natural pH and is safe enough for children. It looks beautiful poured into a canning jar, wrapped with a ribbon, and placed in a basket with other gifts.
- 1 c Epsom salts (magnesium salts)
- 1/2 c sea salt
- 1/2 c baking soda
- 15-30 drops of essential oil (lavender relaxes, geranium moisturizes, bergamot cleanses, eucalyptus is great for colds)
- 16 oz glass jar (preferably canning jar)
- In a large bowl (preferably plastic), mix together the salts and the soda first.
- Add the essential oils and mix again.
- When using a single essential oil, use 15 drops. When mixing several scents, divide the 30 drops between the scents evenly.
- Using a funnel, pour into the glass jar.
- Keep the jar in a dark place to preserve the scent and texture. If placed in a hot, sunny, or humid location, the salts will stick together, forming a large brick.
- When gifting, include a card with directions: Add 1/4 c bath salts per bath.
This recipe makes 2 cups of bath salts, perfect for the 16 oz canning jars. If you’re going to make several batches in different scents, use a different plastic bowl for each scent. (Plastic retains scent until it’s run through the dishwasher.)
Relaxing Bath Salts
Magnesium is nature’s muscle relaxant. It makes an incredible bath salt. Epsom salts are actually magnesium salts, great for those aches and pains. Men especially love this bath salt recipe because it eases the aches and pains leftover from a hard day’s labor as well as from sports injuries. Mix up several batches and keep a few for your honey.
- 1 c Epsom salts
- 1/2 c sea salt (in the spice aisle)
- 1/2 c baking soda
- 15 drops Sandalwood essential oil
- 15 drops Lavender essential oil
- 15 drops Clary Sage essential oil
- In a plastic bowl, mix together the salts and baking soda.
- Add the essential oils one at a time and mix again.
- Pour into a tightly covered jar, preferably a glass canning jar.
- Include a card with directions when you gift this to others: Add 2 Tbsps salts to bath water.
Bubbles with Wand
Every kid loves bubbles. So do pets. So if you have someone to gift to that is either a child or has a pet, this makes the perfect gift.
Bent wire hangers make incredible bubble wands. You can make them in shapes or just ovals, it doesn’t matter. Some parents prefer chenille stems (those craft items preschoolers love) to make bubble wands. I prefer wire. If you don’t have any wire hangers around, then shop at Michaels craft store in the jewelry findings aisle. They have a huge selection of wire in different colors including pink! Pick a larger gauge like 20 gauge wire, so you can shape it and it will remain sturdy and in its shape through many uses.
- 4 parts water
- 1 part blue Dawn dishwashing liquid (the original)
- 1/4 part clear corn syrup or glycerin (I prefer glycerin)
- food coloring (optional)
- There’s a knack to mixing bubble solution. If you splash the water into the dishwashing liquid or vice versa you’ll fill the container with bubbles rather than bubble solution, so try to pour all of the ingredients down the side of the container so there’s no splashing.
- Add water to container first.
- Slowly pour dishwashing liquid into container letting it roll down the sides rather than splash.
- Add glycerin or corn syrup without splashing.
- Add food coloring (optional) and mix well.
- wire hanger or
- 20 gauge jewelry wire from Michaels craft store
- florists tape (green) in the floral section of Michaels craft store
- Twist the middle of the wire into a pleasing shape for the bubble end (star, heart, circle, oval).
- Wrap the two ends together to form the handle of the wand.
- Wrap the handle of the wand with florists tape (green) until it’s safely covered and stable. DON’T wrap the top part or it won’t form bubbles.
I like the people who give me homemade gifts for Christmas. I love the ones who make me fudge. It gives me a legitimate excuse for eating it. 😉
- 18 oz Hersheys semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 c chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- wax paper
- In a saucepan, heat the chocolate chips and milk over low heat until melted. Stir constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla.
- Spread evenly into a wax paper lined square pan.
- Chill two hours.
- Turn onto cutting board, peel off wax paper, and cut into squares.
- Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
This looks beautiful placed in alternating layers of waxed paper and fudge in a pretty tin.
Originally published on November 27, 2013.