Bath Art Play, Color Play, Recipes

Magic Sensory Foam and Bubbly Bath Sand

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This is the MAGIC sensory foam you didn’t know you needed, but won’t be able to live without once you try it. In its first stage of life it is a fluffy foam that grows and grows. In its final stage of life, when all the magic foam is used up, it turns into a delightfully crumbly bath sand that can be used to create bath time fun night after night.

I stumbled upon this amazing substance whilst trying to make bubbly bath bombs. It was the happiest accident!

Bubbly bath sand in a jar

The magic sensory foam feels like shaving foam, kinetic sand, slime, clay, bubble foam, dry sand and more depending on its stage. Use it as a sensory filler in your IKEA FLISAT table, tuff tray or sensory bin in any of its many forms. The bath sand can be used as an ingredient in mud kitchens and potion making in addition to fun during bath time.

Sensory fun outside with magic sensory foam and water
Magic sensory foam, growing and growing

This stuff is SO much fun to play with, and it keeps changing and growing! All the ingredients are from our favorite bath bomb recipe, and incredibly fun to play with in the bathtub, which makes clean up easy. You can even mix it and play with it directly in the tub before bath time!

Don’t you just want to stick your hand in this foam?


  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric acid
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons bubble bath
  • Water soluble food or soap color
This is the mixture before bubble bath is added


  1. Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/2 cup citric acid together in a large bowl or container.
  2. Carefully stir in 2T oil.
  3. Add a few drops of liquid soap or food color to 2T of bubble bath and stir it into your mixture slowly. It will begin to foam!
  5. For bubbly bath sand, squish it and compress it down each time it grows over the course of a few hours, until it becomes dry and crumbly (approximately 2-3 hours and 5-6 compressions). This will happen naturally if your child is playing with it, without water. Do not enclose before it is completely dry and crumbly in case it continues to grow.
Playtime with bubbly bath sand, before adding water.

If left alone, the foam will continue to grow, and grow, and grow for 24 hrs or more!

Don’t let this happen to you! I left the mixture in a muffin tin overnight and look what happened!

You can let it sit and grow, or play with it right away. If you play with it right away, it will eventually lose its ability to regrow the foam. At this point, ADD some water! The magic sensory foam will immediately foam up again for more play. You can continue adding more and more water until the foaming magic is all used up.

The incredible STEM communicator, @muddly_puddly on Instagram explained the WHY behind this magical stuff to me: “Detergent makes ‘stretchy water’. The detergent has basically been making the normally tiny gas bubbles streeetttch slowly and largely”. This is why the foam continues to grow and grow.

I hope you have time to try this amazing sensory material out. And if you love this magic foam, you’ll love our bath bomb recipe using the same process and ingredients. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Magic Sensory Foam and Bubbly Bath Sand”

  1. Hi this is great! Could I substitute dishwashing detergent for bubble bath or something else that might be lying around the house?

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