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Age: 0 to 8 Time: <30 min
Materials: Dishwashing soap, glycerine, pipe cleaners, (optional) empty container/bucket
Skills: Creativity, Problem Solving, Gross Motor, Persistence & Grit, Literacy

Bubbles are so magical and so easy to use to inspire exploration. For many kids and parents, though, we work really hard to limit the “mess” of bubble play. We make sure that kids do not spill the bubble juice and that they don’t (gasp) put the wand too close to their lips. As a result, lots of kids do not get to play with bubbles free of adult oversight. This is their chance.

Blow bubbles with your kids, and compare and contrast bubbles by size, shape and other factors.

The Guide

  1. Make bubble juice: You can either buy bubble juice, or make it yourself. Combine 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap (ideally Dawn), 4 cups of water, and 1-2 teaspoons of glycerine.
  2. Introduce bubbles: Read some bubble rhymes and songs to your kids, and get them excited. Ask them, “Do you like to play with bubbles? Me too! Do you want to play with some now? Okay! Did you bring your bubbles? No? Oh, that’s okay, I brought some with me.” Go get your empty container. “Oh dear, all of the bubbles I made escaped! I still have a lot of bubble juice, though. Should we try to make bubbles? Yes?”
  3. Make nature wands: You don’t need to use plastic to blow bubbles! Give your kids a few pipe cleaners, and work together with them to find 2 pencil-sized/shaped sticks. Then, help them turn those sticks into bubble wands. You can also use wire, but pipe cleaners are easier for wee ones.
  4. Have fun: Now that you have all the tools to make bubbles, let your kids experiment. Try to step back and let them take the lead, but here are some guiding prompts you can ask:
    • How can we make the littlest bubbles? The biggest?
    • How can we pop bubbles? What is the best way?
    • What part(s) of our bodies can we use to pop bubbles? Bubbles that are high? Bubbles that are low?
    • Can you pop a few bubbles at once?
    • Can you hear a sound when bubbles pop? The sound is so quiet, but I bet the forest fairies can hear it. What do you think it sounds like to them? (Start making the sound as you or they pop bubbles.)
    • Can you catch a bubble? On your wand? In your hand? Try to rub some bubble juice on the palm of your hand. Does that make it easier to catch bubbles?

Why is this activity great for kids?

Magical bubbles are an easy entry point to use to inspire joy and experimentation. The freedom to make a mess, try different tools and explore bubbles allows kids to learn about cause and effect and to think freely, helping them form a foundation for creative thinking later on.

Play with bubbles is wonderfully physical, giving a chance to build gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination as kids chase after and pop bubbles. Kids also develop persistence and grit as they adjust their approach to using various materials to make bubbles.

As they listen to literature about bubbles and share ideas about the size, shape, feel and sounds of their bubbles, kids develop communication and literacy skills.

Do This Activity In A Class

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Do It Yourself

We think all families should be learning outside. Try this activity with your child and begin to see the power in outdoor, play-based learning. Have fun!

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