Fun with Bubbles

It's time to break out the pans of soapy water for a wet and wonderful outside Bubble Party. You can buy bubble solution, but it's cheaper to make your own. Take a cup of water, 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup, 4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, and mix them together gently. Do not mix it so much that it foams.

Pour it into a shallow pan, or seal it tightly to use later. You can either use store-bought bubble wands, or you can twist wire or pipe cleaners into shapes to catch the film. Make sure you keep your hands nice and wet to keep the bubbles from popping, and don't let the little ones drink the bubble mix.

Bubbles are more than just a slippery way to have fun. Bubbles happen all the time in the real world. They can be helpful or cause problems. Did you know:

  • Bubbles in the ocean come mostly from breaking waves and help maintain our atmosphere?
  • Bubbles are sometimes used in mining to make ores rise to the surface?
  • Deep-sea divers have to be careful to surface slowly so the bubbles in their blood don't rise too quickly?
  • Bread rises because of yeast bubbles?
  • Beautiful geodes are caused in part by bubbles that form inside volcanic rock?

Below, we've collected books and Web sites on bubble experiments, bubble stories, and bubble fun that make taking a bubble break, either at school or on the playground, a breeze.

In the Library

Things to Do

Bubble Trouble by Joy N. Hulme.
Bubbles grow and flow, fly in the sky, and pop, but dipping the stick and blowing can make more. A rookie reader.Pop! A Book about Bubbles by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
Simply explains how soap bubbles are made, why they are always round, and why they pop.

Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen.
These experiments have step-by-step instructions and use things often already found around the house.

The Ultimate Bubble Book: Soapy Science Fun by Shar Levine & Leslie Johnstone.
Soap bubble activities for children which include recipes for bubbles, and the science, chemistry, and physics involved in each activity.

Bubble Stories

Bubble Bath Pirates! By Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
When pirate mommy announces bath time, it is yo-ho-ho and to the bath we go for her little pirates.

Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy.
Mabel blows a bubble that captures Baby and wafts him away, resulting in a wild chase that involves the whole neighborhood.

Chavela and the Magic Bubble by Monica Brown.
When Chavela blows a bubble with a strange new gum, she floats away to Mexico, where her great-grandfather once worked harvesting the tree sap that makes gum chewy.

King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood.
Despite pleas from his court, a fun-loving king refuses to get out of his bathtub to rule his kingdom.

Strega Nona Takes a Vacation by Tomie dePaola.
Strega Nona sends home gifts of candy and bubble bath while on vacation, but when Bambolona grabs the candy, Big Anthony is left with a lot of bubbles.

On the Web

Baking Soda Bubbles
The Zoom crew gives directions for scientifically enlightening bubble-making.

Bubble Recipe Secrets - Ten Tips and Techniques to Making Super Bubbles
Good tips from a parent on how to make super bubbles that are stronger, bigger, and longer-lasting.

Bubbles for Kids
These fifteen sites have lots of bubble ideas that combine science with fun.

Have a Bubble Party
Great ideas for bubble art, giant bubble photos, and bubble-themed food.

MadSciNet: The 24-hour Exploding Laboratory
Type bubbles in the search box for lots of scientific info on bubbles.

Magic Bubbles
Bubble recipes, directions for making wands, and ways to make bubbles without any wand at all.