Bath Bombs

What do bath bombs, tablets (medicines, not ipads!) and many types of sweets have in common? Well, many of them are made in basically the same way. Dry powdered ingredients are mixed together and a small amount of the active ingredient (scent, medicine or flavour) is added. The mixture is combined with a liquid: just enough to make it stick together but not to make it wet. Then it’s pressed into a mould to make it the right shape. The whole manufacturing process for sweets & medicines is highly automated and utilises many skills, so it’s good for exploring job options, as well as discussing mixtures and reversible/irreversible changes.

Lots of cross-curricular potential here too with DT to plan the products, make, package & sell.

Safety Note  The promotion of prescription-only medicines to the public is strictly prohibited in the UK and Europe. Ensure that any examples discussed are ‘Over The Counter’ products only and ones that the pupils are already familiar with, eg children’s vitamin supplements, cold remedies & first aid products. A prescription medicine must never be used as an example for others. Include a discussion about medicine safety – the importance of following dosage instructions even on something as common as paracetamol. The safety aspects of medicine packaging should be emphasised – active ingredients, dosage, storage, warnings, expiry dates.

Video

Trayful of bath bombs

Making Bath Bombs
Full process for an individual portion, including relating it to commercial manufacture and safety tips. Essential info for parents/teachers is below.

PS it’s got the BEST blooper!

My son making d20 dice-shaped bath bombs

Supporting documents & activities

Adults’ Guide to the Practical
ESSENTIAL reading before embarking on the practical. Contains more details on equipment, the method, and relevant safety advice.

Wordsearch
Revise all the technical vocabulary for after you’ve watched the video & made your bath bombs.

Crossword
Bumper crossword for lots of technical vocabulary after you’ve watched the videos. The clues are in different forms: standard ‘clues’, code to break (A=1 B=2 C=3), mixed up letters to unscramble, fill in the words missing from the paragraph, and some words to just fit in & write your own clue. Page 1 is the blank grid. Page 2 has initial letters for a bit of extra help. Solution on p3.

Cross-curricular activities

Design Technology 1
Can you make machines to help in the manufacturing process?

Design Technology 2 (& maths!)
Packaging the products.

History
British Social History – looking at developments in medicines

English – text types
Packaging and Patient Information Leaflets.

Maths – geometry
Packaging-themed questions about nets of 3d shapes and angles.

Maths – charts & tables
Questions based on a table of bath bomb making and a sweet factory’s production on e line chart.

English – reading comprehension
Questions on a short text about the quality & safety testing of products.

Do let me have any feedback, comments or corrections, and let me know how you get on. If you’re happy to send me photos, I’ll update this page to share them with others.

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