Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Bubble solution: a large bowl and a spoon; and 4 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of dishwashing soap (preferably Dawn), and (optional) 1/2 cup of corn syrup or glycerin
- Drinking straws, preferably paper, for all participants, plus a few extra
- Shallow trays, one for every two participants
- Newspapers and/or rags to cover floors
Preparation for Activity
- Make bubble solution: Combine water and dishwashing soap in a large bowl. Stir well, but do not shake. For stronger bubbles, add corn syrup or glycerin. You can make this solution two or three days ahead of time.
- Set trays and straws at work tables.
- Cover floor around work tables with newspapers and/or rags.
- Fill each tray with about 1/4 inch of bubble solution.
Description of Activity
If you have time, use this activity to lead into or out of Activity 2, Story - We All Got Here Together.
Invite participants to join you at a work table. Explain that bubbles are magical; that the story they will (or did) hear today has to do with bubbles and where we came from. Say, in your own words:
The story does not answer questions. The story just lets us wonder-like the bubbles make us wonder-about how we come to be.
Dip one end of a straw in the solution. Hold the straw slightly above the surface and gently blow a bubble.
Demonstrate how to blow bubbles within bubbles: Remove the straw from the bubble. Make sure the straw is wet and then gently insert it in the top of the bubble, so it enters at a 45-degree angle. Blow gently to form another bubble. Repeat to form more bubbles in bubbles. Awesome!
Ask, in your own words:
Do you wonder why a bubble can burst so easily, and yet you can insert the straw back in and still not break it? It is fragile and strong at the same time. I sit here and look at this bubble and I think, "This is awesome!"
Invite the children to experience the awesomeness of bubbles with one or two partners to make a "bubble sculpture" that has bubbles within bubbles.
Share these tips:
- If you get a lot of small bubbles instead of one big one, you are probably blowing too hard.
- Finish your bubble with a quick twist of your blowing straw, so you don't burst the bubble when you take out the straw.
This activity can get messy and slippery. Leave time for volunteers to help clean up.
Including All Participants
Children with low tolerance may get frustrated if they cannot form a bubble sculpture after a few tries. Consider having a bottle of bubble solution with a blowing wand available.
It may helpful to establish rules of behavior prior to doing this activity, such as "We blow into straws only when they are in the solution."