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Bubbles!

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 magical, especially to young children. They also offer chances to stimulate multiple senses and easy ways to experiment. Grab your bubbles, head outside and try these different ways to spark wonder through bubble play. Want to add more? Make your own wands or even your own bubble juice, too!


The Guide

  1. Get bubble juice: If you want to make your own bubble juice, try one of our two favorite bubble juice recipes.
  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. Make bubbles in many different ways and stimulate kids' senses!
    • Enjoy watching bubbles move and savor the sight as the colors swirl on their surfaces.
    • Listen for the tiny "pop" sounds.
    • Feel the juice on your hand and the delicate skin of each bubble.
    • Run with your wand, activating your big muscles and gaining proprioceptive input.
    • Spin with wand outstretched, stimulating vestibular systems as you go!
    • Just enjoy blowing bubbles—focusing the breath calms kids down and using the jaw to blow actually activates proprioception!
  5. Have fun and experiment a bit: Bubble play is a great opportunity to enjoy age-appropriate mini-experiments just by asking questions as you play. Here are some guiding prompts you can float to your bubble makers:
    • Which bubbles are the biggest? smallest?
    • How could we make a teeny, tiny bubble? A giant bubble?
    • 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.

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