Monday, May 23, 2011

Outdoor Adventures: Bubbles by Erin Uda

The other day I caught my 8 year old son making bubbles out of hand soap, water, and a Lego and immediately knew what my post was going to focus on this week – bubbles!

For a small child, bubbles are magic. Everything about them is a mystery. Even when kids begin to understand how bubbles work, they only seem cooler. So put on some old clothes, grab some soapy water, and let’s get outside.

Start by blowing some store-bought bubbles and letting the children pop them. Talk about the bubbles as you pop them together. Look at the swirling patterns. Ask your child what she thinks causes the swirls. If you like, you can try explaining the real reason, but there’s nothing wrong with a sweet ‘maybe so’ once your child has explained her theory.

Once your children get bored, show them how to combine soap and water to create your own bubble mix. Bring out an assortment of homemade or found bubble wands and encourage the children to make as many shapes and sizes of bubbles as they can. Again, talk about what you’re doing. Ask questions if necessary and get a conversation going.

Now break out your big guns: the huge bubble makers. I’ve seen some enormous bubble wands on TV, but I’d settle for the 1-foot bubble wands you can find in a local dollar store. Make as many as they can pop and enjoy their childish giggles and squeaks as they soak it all in – literally.

Some fun ways to enjoy the bubbles without bumping into each other:

  • Have the children lie on their back and blow the bubbles over them. The rule is they have to stay as still as a statue. The bubbles will fall and pop all over them, causing squeals of delight all around.
  • If your children are too tiny to enjoy the anticipation of the previous activity, try spinning in a circle as you blow the bubbles, or walking backwards. This spreads them out and makes your child have to work to pop them. It should also make it easier if you have multiple children on bubble patrol; you don’t want them falling all over each other.
  • Stand the children in a line and blow a bunch of bubbles over their heads. Have them blow the bubbles up into the air. See who can keep the most bubbles above their head before they pop.
  • Try catching a bubble on your finger.

Suggested Reading:

  • Bubble Bubble, Mercer Mayer (P Mayer; ISBN: 9781577683483)
  • Bubble Trouble, Margaret Mahy (P Mahy; ISBN: 9780547074214)
  • How to Make Monstrous, Huge, Unbelievably Big Bubbles (Klutz), David Stein (ISBN: 9781570542572)
  • Bubble Bath Pirates, Jarrett J. Krosoczka (P Krosoczka; ISBN: 9780670035991)
  • The Bubble Gum Kid, Stu Smith (P Smith; ISBN: 9780762420469)

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