Ghost Mud


You’ve made the Expanding Soap with Ivory soap.

A white toilet paper roll

Toilet Paper Roll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, you want to know what to do with all that brittle, expanded soap.

It’s not in the shape of a bar anymore.

While you can still use it as perfectly good soap, there is something else fun you can do with it with your grandchildren.


  • Bar of soap, either grated or shaved into small pieces or, if Ivory soap, expanded in the microwave until it is brittle
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Warm water
  • Measuring cup
  • Large bowl


  • Remove all the toilet paper from the roll. If it’s summer, your grandchildren can run around outdoors, trailing the toilet paper after them until it is all off the roll. It was Winter when we did this activity. There is nothing more delightful than listening to the giggles of a 7-year-old as he stands there, unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper while he wraps the paper into a big ball in his hands.
  • Put all the shaved or expanded soap into a big bowl, with the toilet paper.
  • Pour in 1 cup of warm water.
  • Squish soap, water and toilet paper together until moist and squishy. We had to add two more cups of water. Add a half cup at a time, squish and add more water, until it is the consistency of play-dough or soft clay.
  • Form small balls of it into whatever shape you want.
  • Optional. Let dry (may take a day or two) and paint with whatever kind of paint you have, like water-based or tempera.

By the time our figures were dry enough to paint, we didn’t have enough time left in the visit to paint them.

I am holding them for the next visit.

There is something very satisfying about making shapes out of a squishy mud you have just concocted yourself.

Enjoy going back to your childhood with your grandchildren.

Thanks to for this idea.

Variations on toilet paper roll unrolling fro preschoolers also available at

Carol Covin, Granny-Guru, Grandma to two awesome grandchildren

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers


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