Quintessential summer is incomplete sans bubbles. COVID-19 has modified many aspects of our lives, including summer vacations and even weekend getaways, but ‘Rona can’t take away the simple pleasure of watching bubbles drifting on a beautiful summer day.
If you don’t have pre-made bubble mix on hand, delight your kids and self with DIY versions. Simply made bubble wands can also be a fun and practical craft for kids of all ages.
You can make bubble solution with a number of ingredients. Try a few different ones, and sneak in a lesson on testing and controls (variables include wind and wand type) into the fun.
Big Batch of Simple Bubbles
-1 liter of hot water
-1 cup of good quality dish soap
-2-4 tablespoons glycerin
Combine ingredients, adding the soap to the water — if you add the water to the soap you’re more likely to create foam and bubbles. Gently stir, and let sit overnight or longer for more bubble strength.
A benefit of making a large batch of bubbles is that no one will cry when the inevitable spill happens.
Of course, once you get hooked on making your own bubble solutions, you may fall into the hole of wanting to see how big you can make a bubble. If you’re going for giant bubbles, a few extra ingredients can help strengthen the solution so you can make huge iridescent spheres.
Giant Bubble Mix
-6 cups water
-1/2 cup good quality dish soap
-1/2 cup corn starch
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1 tablespoon glycerin
Slowly mix ingredients together, and let it sit for a few hours. The cornstarch will settle to the bottom, so just gently stir it up once in a while.
Make your own giant bubble wands by securing two strings (one slightly longer than the other) to the same ends of two sticks, to create a loop between the sticks. Dip the strings into the bubble solution, and slowly separate them and gently move to drag the giant bubble out.
If you don’t have glycerin on hand, don’t despair — you can still have bubbles!
Bounce-able bubbles without glycerin
-4 tablespoons water
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 tablespoon dish soap
Mix ingredients and stir gently until the sugar dissolves. To make bubbles bounce, you will need to wear winter gloves — bubbles which pop on your hands will bounce on fabric to the delight of all, regardless of age.
Corn syrup also works as an ingredient in bubble mix. Combine six parts water, one part corn syrup and two parts dish soap for a quick and easy bubble solution.
Make bubble wands with pipe cleaners, by creating a loop in the middle, and twisting the rest together for a handle. Kids will love adding beads to the pipe cleaners to add their own flare.
To create a bubble snake, cut the bottom off a plastic bottle, and secure a piece of cloth (an old sock or other textured or loose fabric works well) stretched tightly onto the end with a rubber band.
Dip the sock end into the bubble mix, and blow into the top of the bottle. Add dabs of food coloring to the sock to make a rainbow tube of bubble.
Once you’ve made all of these types of bubbles, you might end up with extra mix. It’s great to have on hand for spontaneous outdoor play.
If you want to take bubble fun to a more creative level, add some tempura paints to your mix, and blow bubbles onto a sheet of paper. Try different types of paper, food coloring instead of paint, and let your creative bubbles burst with color.
By Aldona Bird
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