Sometimes it is the simplest of materials that bring the most wonder, and that is definitely true about bubbles! These sudsy creations are fun for the whole family and are a simple at-home science experiment.
Homemade bubble recipes abound, but we’re partial to this science-approved version. In a large bowl or container help your child measure and pour 6 cups of water and 1 cup of dish soap. Your child can gently mix it together until the soap is dissolved, but try not to let foam or bubbles form (yet!). Next add the secret scientific ingredient: 1 tablespoon of glycerin (or ¼ cup corn syrup). For best results let the bubble solution sit overnight.
While you wait, prepare your bubble wands. You can try pipe cleaners, string, cookie cutters, coat hangers, or whatever else inspires you.
With younger children, focus on the bubble blowing and ask questions. How many bubbles can you blow with one breath? What happens when you poke your finger with the bubble? Do different wands make different bubble shapes or sizes?
For older children, you can introduce some of the science behind the bubbles. The outside of the bubble is actually three layers; two layers of soap sandwiching a layer of water. When the water evaporates the bubble pops! The glycerin helps thicken the soap and prevents the water from evaporating as quickly. You can even make a bubble solution without the glycerin and compare!
Prepare the space ahead of time for your child; choose a low table or somewhere they can easily reach and have all the supplies laid out (if they’ll be helping to measure the water you can have a large jug and the measuring cup there). When it comes time for blowing the bubbles place the solution outdoors on the ground where they can access it. Get their assistance in cleaning up and putting away the materials to complete the work cycle.