B is for Bubbles
Fun Activities with Bubbles
Hands-on Bubble Fun: Have your child wet his or her hands. Dryness is what pops bubbles, so once your hands are wet, you and your child can touch and hold bubbles without popping them. Challenge your child to these hands-on activities:
- See who can hold a bubble the longest.
- Transfer a bubble from one hand to the other.
- Dip a straw into the bubble solution. While holding a bubble on your hand, insert the straw into the bubble and blow gently. See how much air you can add to the bubble before it pops.
- Get a straw completely wet with bubble solution. Push the straw in one side of the bubble. Then see if you can pull it out the other side or straight up without breaking the bubble.
Bubble in a Jar: Rinse a jar with water. Place a bubble in the jar and close the jar. Count how many days the bubble lasts.
Rainbow Bubbles: If you look carefully, sometimes you can see reflections in a bubble and you will see lots of colors swirling around on the bubble’s surface—especially if you blow them in the sunlight. Just before a bubble bursts, some part of the bubble will look like it has lots of black swirls on it. Black on a bubble shows where it is thinnest and weakest.
Double Bubbles: Form a bubble. Put it on a surface moistened with bubble solution. Wet a straw with bubble solution. Push the straw into the bubble. Blow a smaller bubble. Remove the straw. If you are careful you should be able to form a bubble within a bubble.
Beehive Bubble Wall: Take two sheets of clear plastic, separated by about one-half inch. Soak them in the bubble solution. Then blow bubbles between the sheets of plastic. Look closely at the wall. What shape are the bubbles? (Bubbles form hexagons with 120° angles.) Show your child how the bubbles look like the cells of a beehive.
Chilly Bubbles: Blow a bubble outside in the wintertime. Let it freeze on the wand or at the end of a straw. What color is it? (Frozen bubbles have no color, unlike the colorful bubbles you see at warmer temperatures.) If it’s too warm outside to freeze a bubble, try blowing a few onto a plate and gently set them in the freezer.
Shrinking Bubbles: This is a great science experiment to do with kids of all ages! Watch your bubble grow and then slowly disappear.
- Tie a piece of string around the stem of a funnel so the string hangs down below the funnel.
- Tie a loop in the loose end of the string.
- Dip the funnel, string and all, into the bubble solution.
- Remove it and blow a big bubble by blowing into the stem of the funnel. (The string will lie along the outer surface of the bubble.)
- Using a sharp pencil, poke a hole in the bubble through the loop of the string and watch what happens: the loop of string will stretch into a perfect circle, then the bubble slowly collapses.
The bubble doesn’t pop instantly when you puncture it because the string prevents a long tear from developing in the soap film. The bubble deflates as the air escapes through the small hole inside the string.
Whether you’re experimenting with bubbles or simply blowing them from a store-bought bottle with a small plastic wand, you and your child are sure to have a good time watching your soapy creations float on the wind. You’re never too old to blow bubbles!
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