bubble activities

Kids’ Bubble Fun for May the 4th Be With You

Awesome Super Galactic Bubbles from Two-daloo

Today needs a bubble activity that’s out of this world. Thanks to Two-daloo, here is a recipe for bubble fun for May the 4th be with you. Good thing the ingredients are easy to get in this world but the play is universal.

two-daloo-gak-bubbleStephanie, mom and blogger at Two-daloo,  has great explanations for how to make bubble slime. Somehow, white school glue and liquid starch combine to make a stretchy, rubbery material. She advises to start by putting the white glue, liquid food coloring, and sparkly glitter in a bowl and mixing these first. Adding small amounts of liquid starch at a time and working it into the glue is better to get the consistency just right.

exploring slimeThe next step is to break off a small piece of the slime-gak, put a straw into it and blow to make the bubble. This part is like blowing up a balloon, but a bit more tricky, so adult help will be needed. We’ve made slime several times with glue and borax but it’s fairly fluid and spreads out. It’s really stretchy too. But we did get a bubble!

bubble slime activityWe  had to try several times but suddenly, there was a bubble. The bubble kept stretching and stretching. As it stretched it got thinner and longer and we giggled as I tried to lift it higher. It didn’t pop but as soon as it touched the counter it flattened out and deflated. It was like making our own balloons. Kneading and working the play dough or gak or slime seemed to make it easier to blow it into bubbles.

bubble activity slimeSensory play is crucial for children’s development. In the words of Maria Montessori, “The senses, being the explorers of our world, open the way to knowledge.” Children, in particular, engage and interact with the world through their senses. They need to experience what’s around them on a sensory level so they can figure it out. When it comes to bubbles, kids can’t see the air they are breathing in and out, but they can see how a bubble grows as they blow.

bubble May 4thKids will have lots of fun squeezing, squishing, rolling, stretching, patting, and digging with this sort of play dough, gak, or slime. Are you and your child up for some bubble fun for May the 4th?

Bubble Play and Learn Activities #2: Sensory Bubble Play

Sensory Bubble Play Makes Sense

A child’s brain needs massive amounts of sensory stimulation for development. How can you get a cleaner activity than sensory bubble play with soap and water?  The early years are the most sensitive time for brain growth. 90% of the brain develops by the age of 5. Children’s play is critical for sensory input and children play with far more than toys.

bubble sensory playOne morning we added a big squirt of dish soap to two cups of water in the blender. This needed to get mixed on high to get thick soap bubbles. Once the container was almost full, we dumped it out into the sink. Two or three batches made heaps of bubbles for playing.  Another great idea is a large bin or container set on a big towel on the floor.

First, Little Sister just liked to get her hands all covered with the soapy solution. She smoothed it over her hands and lower part of her arms like lotion. Then, she scooped up handfuls of bubbles and piled them into a mountain in the middle of the bin. After she explored the sensation and piling enough, I gave her a few small toys to drop into the bubbles. The bubbles swallowed them up and she had to use her hands to find them. As she played, it was simple and fast to whip up another batch of soap bubbles so she had lots to play with.

Big Sister showed her how to attach a few bubbles to her chin to make a snowy-white beard. Both kids slowly dipped their chins into the solution and checked out each others face. Of course, sometimes they got the soap past their chins and covered their mouth or got a few up their nose but this is part of the fun and learning. Little Sister didn’t seem to mind the taste. She put a bit of soap on a cloth, then her lips, and tried blowing bubbles that way.

bubble sensory playAfter their sensory bubble play, clean up was simple–pull the plug, but it did take a bit of time to rinse out all the bubbles.  Soap bubbles can be messy, as so of us have experienced from accidentally using dish soap in the dishwasher, but this was a clean way to have fun. Can also be done in the tub or while doing dishes. Might this be your child’s play-of-the-day?

Bubble Play and Learn Activities #1: Blowing Bubbles

Blowing Bubbles Pops with More than Fun

Soap and water must be a sort of magical formula for childhood. Blowing bubbles is a fun way for kids to both play and learn with bubbles. Mix up a batch and who knows what might pop up?

blowing bubblesFor a start, simply blowing bubbles is exciting. In order to create bubbles, kids need to make a certain shape with their lips and use just the right amount of air. This is quite tricky and requires a lot of trial and error to get it just right. The muscles a child uses in the mouth and cheeks are the same ones needed for speech. Not every language has the same range of sounds but they use these muscles.

Before they even blow bubbles, very young children are linking the cause—blowing on soapy water, and the effect—bubbles. They carefully watch adults or other children to see how it’s done. Soon, they want to try for themselves and engage in exploratory play and figure out just how hard or soft to blow. Holding a bubble wand in different ways will change the effect. It needs to be straight up and down and too close doesn’t leave room for blowing.

blowing bubblesOlder kids and adults all love to blow bubbles. The colors seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear back again. Time seems to stand still as a bubble grows on the end of a wand. Will it or won’t it stay round and float away? What direction will it go? Eyes follow the path of the bubble until poof and it’s gone. Once in awhile, one will land and linger.

Being able to blow bubbles gives a sense of satisfaction. While adults don’t announce “I did it!” kids do. Their faces show their surprise and delight, as well as disappointment when it’s not working. There’s enough success and challenge to make it unpredictable without being too frustrating. Interesting and fun, blowing bubbles is full of learning and play.  Will bubble play pop up in your child’s day?