Remember when you were a kid and your mom let you use some of her lotion and baby powder to make potions in her bathroom? Or maybe you did this without her permission (like a certain person I know). I remember these secret mixology experiments like it was yesterday. It might be one of my top five happiest childhood memories.
Recently, I went to meet Rachelle of Tinkerlab at a book signing. I love her new book! It’s filled with all sorts of nuggets about parenting, education, art, tinkering, and creativity. When I got to the section on potions, I felt as excited as my 8-yr old self! I knew that the kids had to do this with their London cousins, who were over for a visit. It was going to be the most awesome, messy, beautifully-scented potion party that ever was.
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Here’s what you’ll need for your potion party:
~ Lots of old, half used bottles of lotion, creams, baby powder, shaving cream, salt, sand…and any other materials good for mixing.
~ Clear glasses from your cabinet (be prepared to use every last one because the kids won’t stop mixing until the cabinet is cleared out!)
~ Liquid watercolors (you don’t need this whole set, just a few colors ~ they are great to have around for painting) or food coloring, mixed down with some water (1/2 and 1/2 mixture) // I tried to keep the colors in the same family so that it didn’t end up making brown.
~ Droppers (these are kind of important for mixing so get yourself some! Remember to squeeze first, then put the dropper in the liquid, then let go…this technique will be learned quickly as they go.)
~ Funnels (optional, but kids love putting things in funnels).
~ Stirring spoons, we used craft sticks .
~ A pitcher of water, make it a small pitcher ~ you will have to keep filling it up, though, but this way they can pour themselves.
~ Collection of leaves, flowers, twigs, or anything found outside around your house
There are no directions to a potion party. Just let them mix!
I love how I neatly put out one glass for all of them (thinking back to my minimalistic childhood). As if! In the end, they were climbing up to the top shelf to get the wine and beer glasses. They refused to be finished, it was just too much fun!!
They stirred, poured, sniffed, whisked, touched, and even tasted their potions. They made their own colors, perfecting the shades with each new mixture. The littlest one first started out making very dark colors, then she realized if she added shaving cream (white), the colors would become pastel. What a discovery!
When they finished making their potions, I had them each tell me about what they made, and what they might name their concoctions. This was such a fun last step, they really thought hard about their names and then had some good giggles. Here are some of their names:
Aridex Foot Ointment // Aquamarine Skin Care // The Broken Joint // Blueland // Mr. Penguin // Purple Masterpiece // Relaxation Sensation // Pinky Winky Bath Soap
If I’d thought ahead a bit more I would have made them little labels for their potions. What a fun birthday party idea!
I insist that you let your kids have a potion party. It really is a mess, but contained to one table. It’s basically just a lot of dishes. It’s so worth it, though. I think they will remember this day forever.
This is one of the most cool things I’ve ever seen! My son is a concoction master, and my daughter loves to play with the body lotions, so… I think they will love this potion party!!!
oh wow, thank you angaleta!!!! i’m so glad you stopped over to see the post and that it inspired you. although it sounds like your kids are already potion making masters in training. add so color and they will be in awe!! xo bar
its like you read my diary, or my daughter’s! This is her most favorite thing to do! yours looks prettier than my tho.
only pretty because we photographed! my son makes potions almost daily, but with whole wheat flour and flax seeds and dish detergent…whatever he can sneak when i’m not looking. those potions aren’t so pretty…but no matter! it’s the process and discovery that makes it so exciting. thank you orietta! xo bar
I love this idea! Maybe I’ll let my kids pick out some glass “potion” bottles at the craft store or dollar store to put their creations into.
oooh…i love that idea elizabeth! i was actually just at michaels and they have really good milk bottles with tops. but i must warn you, the potion making will not stop until every glass in the kitchen and house has been used. they could make them for hours. days! maybe they can choose their most special one for a bottle. and then name it and add a sticker to the jar. let me know how it goes! xo bar
I love this idea. How does one “stay in the same color family” so as to not make brown”? I’m planning to do this and will be using food coloring. Which colors should I use as the base colors. I see you have 4, but I can’t make out what four colors they are. Thanks for the help.
Hi Linda, ok so staying in the same color family means that if you choose, let’s say, blue as your first color, the colors next to it on the color wheel are purple and green. Just choose one of those. If you choose green, then you can also choose yellow because blue and yellow make green. So it will all just be shades of the same colors. If you choose purple then you can also choose red (or pink) because, again, red and blue make purple. You can do the same for any color. Orange/red/yellow (and you could throw pink in there). Green/blue/turqoise. I would never choose purple/yellow/orange. They are not next to each other on the color wheel, in fact purple and yellow are complimentary colors which when mixed together make brown. It’s color theory, but not so difficult. Just look up a color wheel on Google and choose three colors next to each other. The colors I used in this potion party was turquoise/blue/purple/pink. Any of them mixed together would still make a pretty color. Turquoise is a bit of an outlier because it has some green in it, so when mixed with pink it might be a little weird. But it would definitely be a shade of purple. No brown! Hope this helps! xo bar
Barbara! You are the best!!!! Thank you so much. Linda