Outdoor Activities and Science: Bubble Blower Experiments
Bubble-blowing activities are perfect for warm, sunny days!
- Grades: PreK–K
Children will use the science skills of observation, experimentation, prediction, and evaluation, as well as creative-thinking, fine-motor, and language skills.
- A plastic dishpan
- Ingredients for bubble-blowing solution:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup liquid detergent
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Glycerin (optional)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Commercial bubble pipe and solution (optional)
- Toilet paper tubes
- Pipe cleaners
Bring children outside and talk about blowing bubbles. Try sparking children's curiosity by blowing some bubbles from a commercial bubble pipe. Explain that each child will get a chance to experiment with different ways to blow bubbles.
- Put out the dishpan of bubble solution, along with a variety of bubble-blowing objects such as toilet paper tubes and sieves. Invite children to experiment with these objects.
- Bring out the straws and help children construct their own bubble blowers. For each child, make slits in one end of a straw and help the child bend the slits back. Invite each child to dip that end of the straw into the solution and blow bubbles.
- Pass out the pipe cleaners and help children create wands to dip in the solution. Encourage them to create different shapes with their pipe cleaners, and to wave the wands through the air.
- While children blow bubbles with the straws and pipe cleaners, ask, "What size bubbles does each one of the blowers make? How many bubbles come out at a time? One? More than one?" Talk about which blowers your students thought worked best.
For younger children: You may want to offer children several commercial bubble blowers, which tend to be sturdier and easier for small hands to manage.
For older children: Encourage students to experiment with ways to strengthen the bubbles they make. Ask: Which bubbles seem stronger, the big or small bubbles? Which seem to last longer?
Observation: Do some children seek out new tools/ways to create bubbles? Do some children manipulate the bubble blowers in interesting ways to make their bubble blowing more effective?
Remember: You may want to double the amount of bubble solution so children can experiment for a longer period of time, or to have extra in case of accidental spills. You can save any "leftovers" in a jar for the next day.
Invite children to move as if pretending to be bubbles floating through the air. When you say, "POP!" encourage children to jump up to represent popping bubbles!
- Bubble Bubble by Mercer Mayer
- Bubble Trouble by Joy N. Hulme
- The Magic Bubble Trip by Ingrid Schubert