Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bubble Sizing: Small to Giant Bubbles!

What do a splash pool, 5 gallon drum, a hula hoop and super homemade bubble solution give you?  Giant bubbles of course!


All kids love bubbles which made this activity great for kids of all ages (mom and dad included!).   We explored how different sized bubble blowers would make different sized bubbles.  We started with two different sized circles - one small made from a pipe cleaner and a diving ring.


The question was which one would blow bigger bubbles.  First we tested the pipe cleaner (smaller) blower and it blew ....


 ... smaller bubbles.  These are the kinds of bubbles you expect to see when blowing bubbles.  Then we tested the diving ring - Bug correctly guessed that it would make bigger bubbles but I don't think she was expecting the size bubble that she blew:



Then I pulled out a hula hoop (surprise!).  This was so big it would not fit in the bucket so we poured our solution into a splash pool.  Dipped the hula hoop and made:  GIANT BUBBLES!


Don't you love the look on their faces!   I don't think they were expecting one so big.  We even put them in a bubble:


We loved all the colors we could see in the bubbles.   

Bug loved making giant bubbles too!



We hope you enjoy making giant bubbles and exploring bubble sizes!

We tried a few recipes and found that this homemade solution from happy hooligans gave us the best results.  The best part was we had most of the ingredients at home (water, baking powder, detergent, cornstarch and glycerine) and had enough to make a super large batch.  We also learned a couple of tips along the way:

  1. After making the solution wait at least an hour - we found waiting a day worked really well.
  2. Don't do this on a windy day as your bubbles will pop quickly.
  3. Don't give up if it does not seem to be working the first few times.  Keep trying for about 5 minutes as we found the more you played with it the better it was at making bubbles.
  4. You need to lift the hula hoop rather quickly to make bubbles that rise as columns out of the solution.
  5. To make a bubble that trails behind you, dip the hula hoop into the solution and then lift about a foot above the pool and stop until the bubble solution closes off and you have a film over the surface of the hula hoop.  Then walk backwards to make the giant bubble.  We found waving our arms slowly up and down made the longest bubbles.  


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This recipe will make a few gallons of bubble solution which works really well with a splash pool.  Scale down if you are wanting to make a smaller batch.

Supplies:

  • splash pool
  • small hula hoop, pipe cleaner bend into a small circle blower, diving ring
  • 5 gallon drum for storing the bubble solution
  • 48 cups of cold tap water (distilled is suggested but we just used tap water)
  • 4 cups of regular detergent (we used Kirkland Brand regular dish soap)
  • 4 cups of cornstarch
  • 8 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 8 Tbsp Glycerine
Instructions:
  1. In the 5 gallon bucket slowly stir together the corn starch, baking powder and water until as much corn starch as possible has dissolved.
  2. Stir in the detergent and the glycerine.  Do this slowly to minimize bubbles being formed.
  3. Leave to sit for an hour.
  4. Slowly pour into the splash pool and carefully mix as some of the corn starch will have come out of solution.  Mix slowly to minimize the amount of foam on the surface.  These bubbles take a while to pop.
  5. Dip in your pipe cleaner and predict the size of the bubbles and then blow bubbles to test.
  6. Dip in the diving ring and predict the size of the bubbles and then blow bubbles to test.
  7. Dip in your hula hoop and lift to make giant bubbles.
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