How to Make 16th Century Soap | Digital Activity Kit


Complete Digital History Activity Kit. Learn to make 16th century Tudor Soap balls, just like William Shakespeare would have had available. You will learn the history, be taught how to make a modified (and safe) version of the soap, and given all the instructions you need to try this at home (or in your classroom!) Each kit comes with printable files so you can use this kit for yourself, your family, or your students. This kit includes 5 downloads. Contact me if you need more, we have special educator rates on bulk orders over 5.

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Use this activity kit to make your own Tudor Soap Balls! The full history guide walks you through how to make authentic Tudor soap from scratch, and that process involves some pretty toxic chemicals so the activity we outline for you to make soap at home is for making Tudor soap balls. It's the next step from making the bar of soap initially. Tudor soap balls were popular in Elizabethan England, so you are creating an authentic piece of history to make Tudor soap balls, you are just starting with read made soap to protect your eyes and skin against acid burns (also a common occurrence in Elizabethan England, and one we do not want to re-create).

Here's what's included: 

  • A history guide to 16th century soap. This guide walks you through a brief history of soap from the 16th century. We explore the opinion of cleanliness, some of the weirder approaches to getting clean, and the Tudor bathing room | Document | 3 pages.
  • A video tutorial: Video demonstration for how to make soap | Inside this video tutorial the great people at the Egilsson Historical Society walk us through their method for making authentic Tudor soap, which they use to do historical demonstrations around the country.
  • A supply list. This printable supply list is provided so you can easily shop for what you need to complete the soap. I link to places online where you can purchase any items you do not already have in your pantry or school supplies. Every item needed is either readily available in the average home, or can be easily purchased at a local market or store.
  • Step by Step Instructions: I outline for you how to make (non-toxic) authentic Tudor soap | Truly authentic soap from the 16th century would have involved lye, which is incredibly toxic and dangerous. This modified recipe shows you how to make a version of Tudor soap which would have also been around in the 16th century, but does not involve toxic ingredients | PDF | 3 pages
  • Bonus Artwork: Settings Map of Shakespeare's Plays. This map shows all the various places Shakespeare used for each of his 37 extant plays. Colored Pencil and Ink.
  • Exclusive offers from partnering companies give you a starting point if you want to step into the history even further. (These offers include discount coupons for authentic gear or books, free accessories, trip ideas, and more!)
  • Related Podcast Episodes! Listen to Shakespeare experts explain the topic you are learning in the activity.


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