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Kids Turn Science

Blowing Bubbles

Indoors or outdoors bubbles can be lots of fun to play with. They can be little bubbles or huge gigantic bubbles, but they all do the same thing....they float softly in the air until something magically pops them!

What are bubbles?
David Winsemius, MadSci Admin from The Mad Scientist Network gives us the answer:

"Bubbles are films of a solution stretched around some kind of fluid, usually air. The film that is easiest to make is a soap (or detergent) in water solution. The the film has thickness and an inside and an outside. Soap and detergent molecules are long thin molecules with many hydrogen atoms that attract each other. They have an electrically charged end that is attracted to water. The soap bubble surfaces have the soap or detergent molecules arranged so that they line up side by side. In the middle of the film is a water and soap solution."

You can purchase bubble mixture just about anywhere, from department stores to toy stores - but part of the fun of bubbles is you can make your own!! Follow this simple recipe:

Materials Needed:

  • 2/3 cup - 160 ml dish detergent (Dawn and Joy work best)
  • 1 tablespoon - 15 ml glycerin (available at food or drug stores)
  • 1 gallon 3.8L of water
Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in bowl, pail or container. Allowing the solution to sit or age for 24 hours will increase the life of the bubbles.
You are now ready to make some awesome bubbles. All you need are a few tools to help shape and size the bubbles.
Standard bubble blowing wands can usually be purchased with commercial bubble mixture but again you can create your own tools. Some examples are:

  • Shape metal coat hangers make larger circular bubbles
  • Floral wire can be shaped into circles of any size
  • The end of a funnel can be dipped into solution and blown out

Check out this BIG bubble!!

This is a photo of my son when he was about 8 years of age, blowing bubbles at our cottage. Aaron loved to make bubbles! The bigger the better!

To make this bubble we used a mixture like the recipe above. We then used a wand with a light rope attached to the end to form a loop. The loop was dunked in the solution. When Aaron ran with the wand up the hill at the cottage the wind blew open the loop creating this wonderful bubble!!

You too can make them THAT big too!!


 

There are quite a few web sites dedicated to Blowing Bubbles - here are just a few:

  • You can purchase some pretty cool things in the The Bubble Shop
  • Bubblesphere - Solutions, questions, history and more!
  • Big Bubble! - XTREME Bubbles LLC owned by John R. Erck, a 20 year old entrepreneur, has set a Guinness World Record: “World’s Largest Free Floating Soap Bubble.”
  • National Bubble Week
    The Forecast for March 20th is Bubbles...Gazillions of Bubbles!; Funrise® Sponsors National Bubble Week: A Coast-to-Coast Celebration That Heralds the First Day of Spring!
  • Colored Bubbles - Check out this new bubble solution!
  • Interactive Earth - Blow bubbles online.
Sherlock Approved


More Topics | Summer Fun | Science