STEAM at Home: Bubbles

Kids are fascinated by bubbles because blowing bubbles is a fun activity, especially in the summer. You can blow bubbles in a bathtub, outdoors, or when you are doing the dishes. Even adults love popping bubbles! One fun STEAM activity to do this summer is creating bubbles, and experimenting with different sizes, shapes, and number of bubbles.

Materials:

  • Four cups of warm water
  • Half a cup of dish soap
  • Half a cup of sugar
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

For this project, we’ll follow the instructions from this video. First, pour half a cup of sugar into the bowl. Next, carefully mix in the four cups of warm water with a spoon and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. The last step is to mix in half a cup of liquid dish soap into the bowl. Let it sit for a few hours before you test your bubbles. For an advanced recipe you can also try adding half a cup of glycerine, cornstarch, or baking soda. For blowing bubbles, you can use a regular spoon or create your own bubble wand.

According to Kids Discover's article “The Science Behind Bubbles,” “a bubble is just air wrapped in soap film. Soap film is made from soap and water (or other liquid). The outside and inside surfaces of a bubble consist of soap molecules. A thin layer of water lies between the two layers of soap molecules, sort of like a water sandwich with soap molecules for bread. They work together to hold air inside.”

You can also try a variety of different bubbles. Try using these observations and questions with your child:

  • Did you create any rainbow bubbles? What do you think causes them to be rainbow bubbles?
  • How many bubbles can you create in a minute?
  • Try timing how long the bubbles last before they pop!
  • What solution created the strongest bubbles? Why?
  • How big was your biggest bubble? 
  • If you made different types of bubble wands, which one worked the best? Why?

OverDrive Resources:
Fun with Nature Projects: Bubble Wands, Sunsets in a Glass and More by Megan Borgert-Spaniol
Why do bubbles pop? Where do the colors and leaves come from? In this book readers will experience unplugging and tuning into the natural world for new discoveries, fun experiments, and activities. Create a cranberry volcano or great big bubbles. See the sunset in a jar or learn chemistry through the colors of autumn leaves! The book also includes helpful websites and a glossary.

Pool by JiHyon Lee
This book is a quiet celebration of what can occur when a child uses their imagination. Two shy friends meet at a pool and discover fun sea monsters, the tail of a whale, an underwater castle with mysterious creatures and incredible sea life. This beautifully illustrated picture book is reminiscent of Flotsam by David Wiesner.

Crafty Science by Jane Bull
This is a great book filled with fun projects that are wonderful for the summer. For example, the thirst aid kit shows readers how to create ice-pops and homemade lemonade. Try making your own invisible ink or a crafty boat. You can also learn about what makes a great bubble. Fun fact: did you know you can use hangers to create a bubble wand?

Helpful Websites:

Categories: Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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