This is a great activity for sitting folks around a table reminiscing, uses all the senses!
This is one of many free activities.
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  • 4 cups grated cheap soap
  • 2 tbsp of hand cream or body lotion (use the giveaways from motels)
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • fragrant oil
  • food colouring
  • lavender buds (if wanted)


  • Combine soap, water (with food colouring added) and hand lotion in bowl
  • Combine with you hands - first cover hands with more handcream to prevent sticking and to prevent colouring of hands.
  • Soap can either be shaped freehand or using silicone choc or cupcake moulds greased with handcream to form shapes.
  • Can put a dried or artificial flower on top or wrap in reused florests net, or even a bow.

This is a great activity for sitting folks around a table reminiscing, uses all the senses! Have fun!

Judy NZ

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Comments   Post a Comment

Kathy 31st Oct 2023
what is the best soap flakes to use that anyone has tried
Susan 31st Oct 2023 Activity Director
I have not tried this Kathy, but hopefully someone will help us out with the type of soap flakes touse
Karen 6th Mar 2020 Lead Activity Co-ordinator
Thanks Judy and all. I'm going to try this!
Kelly 25th Jan 2020 Recreation
What type of lotion did you use??
Kelly 24th Jan 2020 Recreation
My soap didn't come out smooth, it was lumpy and fell apart after 20 mins in the freezer. How did you make your soap smooth, or does anyone have photos so I can see how it is supposed to turn out? I want to try it again in the next month or so.
Susan 16th Oct 2019 Activity Director
Thank you Melissa for this information
Susan 15th Oct 2019 Activity Director
Those who have tried this activity can you tell those who want to know how long it takes Soap to set
It would be greatly appreciated
Thank you
Megan 14th Oct 2019 Therapy Assistant
How long did it take to set?
Melissa 15th Oct 2019 Volunteer
HI Megan

We made the soap last week at our seniors' lunch club and it was a surprising success!
We used essential oils, food colouring and herbs collected from their gardens.
We then presented the finished soaps in muslin bags to take home.

It took around 20 minutes in the freezer to set.
I highly recommend it as an activity.
Lorraine 30th Nov 2023 Social Services Coordinator
Hello, did you use 4 cups of grated soap per person?
Susan 3rd Oct 2019 Activity Director
Hi Judy thanks so much for this idea can you answer the question about how long this soap needs to sit before it sets
Thanks so much
Melissa 2nd Oct 2019 Volunteer
How long does it take for the soap to set?
Shelley 10th Apr 2019 Music therapist
The quality of ingredients is important. Loafs of goat milk soap is available online and can be melted in a glass meaduring cup. Be aware of essential oils, using the purest forms. Different oils have different dilution properties. Soap dye is better than food coloring. Have minimum safety daya sheets on hand. Dry garden flowers to add to the soap base. Be aware of allergies
Jacqueline 26th Jul 2017 Activities Coordinator
fab I'm going to try this ! We have peppermint and sage growing in our pots , and I have some lavender to spare!
Madalena 12th Jan 2017 Activity Coordinator
I Try the activity and the final result was disappointing , the soaps weren't as smooth as I thought they will be.But lovely activity for reminiscence
Pamela 2nd Oct 2016 Respite Carer
Thank you for this simple cost effective recipe, I work at a respite centre and this will be an excellent activity for our guests to do. Not only are they creating something useful at the centre, they can also take this home with them to use.
Julianne 10th Aug 2016 Activities Officer
How does this apply to work safe issue, aromatherapy & oils in nursing homes.
Desma 24th Jan 2016
Thank you for this simply recipe. Excellent for adding various fragrances in different batches such other herbs from the herb garden and scented flowers. Residents can help with choosing the fragrance they want and then can pick from the facility's gardens eg lemon grass, rose pettles, citrus leaves, etc. The herbs or scented flowers/leaves can then be air dried and scrunched up and added to the soap mix plus a few drops of essential oil to match. Great activity for empowering our residents to make their personal choices for the fragrances, and then to enjoy giving the finished product as a gift to another resident or friend/relative ie one for the resident and one for her/him to give away. cheers Desma
Jacqui 2nd Dec 2015 Diversional Therapist
good idea some of my people really enjoy watching things like soap being made and others enjoy the scented soaps
Dawn 11th Nov 2015 Diversional Therapist
Thank you I have been looking for a simple soap making recipe for sometime. This activity will be use in conjunction with aromatherapy.
Kind regards Dawn
Heather 17th Oct 2015
Love this idea , will certainly be adding to my program . Thanks for sharing
Josephine 5th May 2015 Lifestyle Manager
Hi Judy, what a lovely activity ! Thanks for sending this in for others to try. Cheers Jessie
Judy 4th May 2015 Diversional therapist
A new activity has been submitted by Judy: Soap Making Recipe
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