Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere! Kids of all ages love bubbles, and summertime is the perfect time for these fun bubble activities that can be done both indoors and out! Below are several exciting bubble activities to do with your preschoolers at home or in the classroom.
Books to Read
Before getting started, here are a few fun books all about bubbles.
- Clifford Counts Bubbles by Norman Bridwell
- Bubble Trouble by Mary Packard
- Pop! A Book About Bubbles by Kimberly Brusker Bradley
- Bubbles, Bubbles by Kathy Applet
- Benny’s Big Bubble by Jane O’Connor
- Bubble, Bubble by Mercer Mayer
- The Bubble Factory by Tomie dePaola
- The Unbelievable Bubble Book – John Cassidy
Discuss some bubble facts with your child including the fact that a bubble is a thin liquid enclosure of air which can be created by blowing air into a liquid. All bubbles are sphere shaped, can vary in size from small to large, and can be found in all sorts of things including soap, soda pop, bubble bath, cooking food, under water, in very hot or boiling water, in hot tubs and in aquariums. See if he/she can help you think of other places bubbles can be found.
Cooking (a great way to incorporate math and science!)
Make Your Own Bubble Solution
Your children will beg you to make this over and over again, and all you need is just a few basic ingredients. Be sure to let your children assist you while making it, and keep in mind that it is a great opportunity to discuss measurements. Note: I have found that these solutions work best if made a day or two in advance.
3/4 cups Joy of Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent
1/4 cup glycerin (this can be found at your local drugstore, usually in the skin care aisle)
1/2 gallon of water
Mix all of the ingredients and then pour into a shallow pan and start blowing bubbles! Any leftover solution can be stored in a sealed container.
3 cups water
2 cups liquid dishwashing detergent such as Joy or Dawn
1/2 cup light corn syrup (Karo syrup)
Mix all ingredients together, pour into a shallow container and prepare to have some fun! Save any leftover solution in a sealed container.
Although you can make either of these without the glycerin or Karo syrup, it does help the skin of the bubble to stay stronger, therefore making bubbles that are larger and longer lasting!
Bubbles in a Bottle
For this you will need a clear, plastic pint-sized bottle or glass, water, vegetable oil and salt.
Pour the water into the bottle until it is three-quarters full. Add about 1/2 inch oil to the water. Discuss why the oil floats (it is less dense than the water). Next, sprinkle salt into the glass and watch what happens. Discuss the results, Try it with other powdery substances you can substitute for the salt such as dirt, flour, sugar. Is the effect the same, or did something different happen?
Bubble Blowing Gadgets Scavenger Hunt and Discussion – Math, Science and More
Have a scavenger hunt to look for items the child thinks will work well for blowing bubbles. Once all items have been gathered, ask your child why they think each one will make a good bubble blowing gadget, and have him/her guess whether the bubbles it produces will be large or small.
While your child blows bubbles, make a chart illustrating whether the gadget produced large or small bubbles, and if it made a lot of bubbles or just a few. Afterwards, discuss the chart bringing in terms such as more than and less than, larger and smaller, etc.
Practice counting skills by counting the number of bubbles blown.
Some bubble blowing gadgets include:
- tin cans open at both ends/li>
- strawberry baskets
- paper cups with a hole poked in the bottom
- straws (use a rubber band to secure 5 or 6 of them together both at the top and the bottom)
- fly swatter
- a paper cone made by rolling a sheet of 8-1/2-x-11-inch paper and taping the smaller end so the cone shape holds (you may need to make the open end more round using scissors, be sure to make it as smooth as possible)
- Wire clothes hangers work great too! Use pliers to stretch the hanger into a circle or oval, cover any sharp ends with duct tape, and wrap the wand in cotton string or pipe cleaners – this will absorb the liquid and allow you to blow bigger bubbles.
Bubble Wrap Painting
For this you will need different colors of tempera paint, paint brushes, newspaper, bubble wrap cut to the size of a piece of construction paper and white construction paper.
Another messy activity, you will want to place the newspaper down on the table or just do this outside. Let the children paint the bubble wrap (bubble side up) in a variety of colors. Then, while the paint is still wet, place the white piece of paper on top of the bubbles, and gently press down. Peel the paper up, and look at the beautiful picture! Point out where the colors have overlapped to form new colors!
For a different twist, you can also cut the bubble wrap into small strips or favorite shapes.
For this fun activity – best done outside – you will need some bubble mixture, a wand, food coloring and paper.
Add the food coloring to the bubble solution, then blow bubbles through the wand having your child run around and catch the bubbles on a white piece of paper cut into any shape they desire. Just be sure to wear old clothes or a smock because some of the bubbles will pop on the child, and food coloring stains clothing!
Another way to do this is hang the paper on a fence or clothesline, and let the children can blow the bubbles at the paper.
The Bubble Factory
Gather together an empty, clean yogurt container and lid, bubble solution and a straw (to ensure your child does not drink the solution, place a small hole near the top of the straw).
Punch two holes in a yogurt lid, put a straw in one and leaving the other one empty. Add the bubble solution to the yogurt container and place the lid on. Let your child blow into the straw and watch the bubbles pour out of the cup!
Get a 5 inch long piece of plastic piping from your local hardware store, and a small piece of cheesecloth. Attach the cloth to one end of the pipe, dip that end into the bubble solution and have your children gently blow. You will get incredibly, unique bubbles!
For drinks: fill a glass with club soda and let your child watch the bubbles. Then add some orange juice for a bubbly drink.
For snacks: make Sparkling Jello!
A favorite Jello flavor
Stir boiling water into Jello until it is completely dissolved (while water boils, carefully show your child the bubbles made by boiling). Add 1 cup of Sprite, then refrigerate for two hours.
What a perfect way to end a busy, bubble-filled day!