The weather is getting warmer, the breezes blow lightly, time to get outside! What keeps kids active on a nice day more than… BUBBLES!?
Bubble blowing is an awesome activity for kids of all ages! The science behind bubbles makes for fun conversation and even more fun experimentation!
- 1 cup of distilled water (240 mL)
- 4 tablespoons of Dawn® dish soap (60 mL)
- 1 tablespoon of glycerin (15 mL)
- **Let sit for 24 hours**
- To your container, add all ingredients.
- Let sit for 24 hours (or more!)
- Blow bubbles!
Bubbles are simple.. but a good bubble is a little tricky.
Soap and water will give you bubbles, but the right amount of soap and water, plus a little bit of glycerin (a thicker, viscous, liquid) will give you bubbles that will last a little longer.
Bubbles are made by making a soap and water sandwich. A layer of water between two layers of soap. You would think that the soap is breaking the surface tension of the soap allowing it to blow into a sphere, but it is actually just the opposite!
The soap concentration decreases as the bubble is blown up causing the surface tension of the water to increase, allowing the water to create the sphere shape we all know and love as bubbles! This is called the Marangoni effect!
The shape of a bubble, if it is allowed to free form, is always a sphere because that shape has the least amount of surface area. The air that is blown into the bubble will press out evenly in all directions, creating that typical bubble shape!
- Pipe cleaners
- Water bottle
- Rubber band
- Twist pipe cleaners into shapes, dip into bubble solution and blow through the opening.
- Thread string through two straws and tie ends together. Holding the straws at opposite sides of the string square, dip into a bowl of solution, lift, and blow!
- Cut the bottom out of a water bottle. Stretch a sock over the new bottom opening and secure the sock to the bottle with a rubber band. Dip the bottom of the water bottle blower into a bubble solution and blow through the top of the bottle. Add food coloring to your bubble solution if you’d like a rainbow bubble snake!
Anything that is a complete 2D shape can be a wand. As long as there is no beginning and no end, like a ring, you can use it as a wand.
The bubble solution needs something to hold onto all the way around. If there is a break anywhere, the molecules can’t form the thin film required to start the bubble!
You can make triangles, squares, circles, and more – will your bubbles be different shapes? Experiment and find out!