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Friday, January 4, 2013

Fun Jar #31: Snowless Snowman

Today on Fun Jar Friday~
Snowless Snowmen

This is a way cool activity which is part messy, part science experiment, and all fun.  First off, did you you that if you microwave Ivory soap, it becomes this giant moldable cloud?  I decided to take this idea one step further and use it as indoor "snow".  All you need is a bar of Ivory soap and some items around the house for the face (beads, polymer clay, stones, m&ms, whatever).

This was my first time doing this so I had no idea what was in store.  I originally saw the idea of the soap cloud at Our Best Bites and followed her directions.  She said in there that it doesn't make a mess. Mine made a big mess.  So I'm going to give you some pointers on what I think will solve the mess problem.  

To start, I suggest removing the turn table and place down a piece of wax paper or parchment* microwave safe plate.  My turn table made my soap kind of slip and slide everywhere and it grew past my protective paper layer.  Unwrap a bar of Ivory soap and place it in the center of the microwave.  It must be Ivory soap. I don't know what's in Ivory that makes it experiment friendly, but I do know that if you use any other soap, you will end up with a burnt mess.

*note: When I did this, I used parchment paper with no problems.  However, one of our readers used wax paper and it caught on fire.  So on the safe side, I would just use a microwavable plate.  WE don't want our fun jar experience to be traumatizing!

Set your microwave on high for a couple minutes (I did exactly 2) and watch the magic begin.  The soap instantly starts to grow.  

After the 2 minutes is done, you may carefully remove the soap. It's hot at first but cools quickly.  Now you have a giant, puffy, dry soap cloud.  If you handle it too much, it flakes apart into soap flakes. You can mold it a bit but if falls apart easily.  If you have a mess, sweep first, then wipe.  

To make your snowman, place your cloud in a bowl and add about 1/4 cup water.  Stir and crumble the soap up.  Test it to make sure it molds easily.  It should feel dry but stick together when compressed.  Like dough.

I transfered the "snow" into a large pan to give the kids more "rolling" room and hopefully less mess outside the pan.  Then you just roll three "snowballs" and place them together like a snowman.  

To make the eyes and nose, I made them out of polymer clay and baked them.  I painted the noses.  You can easily use whatever you have on hand.   Pony beads work great, or small stones.  Or even mini M&Ms (place an orange one on it's side for a nose).  What ever you use, they easily press into the soap.  Add sticks for arms if you want or some material for a scarf.  A dolls hat would be cute too!  Whatever you want your snowman to look like!

Done with it?  crumble it apart and make it again!  The soap is also reusable as soap.  You can even press it into cookie cutters and make shape bars of soap or put a surprise toy inside and squish it into a snowball so that you have a prize after you've washed!  Have fun with this one it's easy and has many possibilities!

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