Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!
As a child, our house was the place to be during the summer. My mom frequently would make her "secret" bubble recipe and pull out all kinds of crazy tools for making bubbles. All the neighborhood kids would come to join in the fun. Of course, the favorite were always the giant bubbles. There was always a contest to see who could make the longest giant bubble.
Here's the homemade bubble solution recipe and some wand ideas to get you started making memories with your kids this summer:
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
1 1/4 cups of bubble solution
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 4 Tablespoons Dish Soap, (Joy brand recommended)
- 2-3 drops vegetable oil
How to Make Bubbles
- Put warm water in bowl or cooking pot. We recommend a large pot/stock pot and multiplying the recipe for giant bubbles.
- Add dish soap and stir to help dissolve. You may want to let the dish soap and water solution sit for a few minutes.
- When you are ready to use the solution. Add 2-3 drops of vegetable oil (this makes the bubbles harder to pop).
Bubble Wands and Blowers
Part of the fun of bubbles can be trying different bubble-making tools and using different shapes. Here are some that we have tried:
- Remove the top and bottom of a can or frozen juice tube
- Make wands out of pipe cleaners
- Slotted spoons
- Cheese grater (makes frothy bubbles)
- Wire clothes hangers can be shaped in different ways (try making multiple with different shapes - heart, triangle, flower, square)
- Save bubble wands from store-bought bubbles to use later
- Potato masher
- Form wands out of wire and let kids decorate with beads on the handle
While bubbles of all kinds are fun, giant bubbles are definitely our family favorite. When I was a child, we had a giant bubble wand that lasted over eight years. In order to make your giant wand last, be sure to rinse out the soap solution and then let air dry before storing.
You'll need to at least quadruple the recipe for giant bubbles. We generally use a large cooking pot to hold the bubble solution for giant bubbles.
Here is the giant bubble wand that we recommend:
Ways to Extend Play
The great thing about bubbles is that it's such a versatile activity. Infants can be amused by watching bubbles, children love popping bubbles, and even adults love seeing how big they can make a bubble. When you've done plenty of generic bubbles, try these ideas to shake it up a little:
- Add a few drops of food coloring for colored bubbles.
- Better yet, make bubble prints: Put some bubble solution with food coloring in a small bowl or pie tin. Blow bubbles. When the bubbles go above the top of the bowl/tin, press a piece of paper onto the top of the bubbles and then lift straight off. You'll have a beautiful picture made by bubbles.
- Add a few drops of essential oils for scented bubbles.
- Try experimenting with the recipe. Try adding small amounts of sugar, more vegetable oil, or more/less soap and see what it does for the strength and amount of bubbles.
- Talk science! Older kids can learn what hydrophillic and hydrophobic means and how that helps soap to work. Talk about why soap and water forms bubbles. http://chemistry.about.com/od/bubbles/a/bubblescience.htm
Cookie on March 22, 2017:
Also for the "Extend Play" part, you should list breaking a glow stick and putting the glowing liquid into the bubble solution, it looks pretty cool.
JenBarn (author) on August 25, 2016:
Sarah - No cooking needed! The pot is only recommended because it's big!
Sarah on July 19, 2015:
What do You Cook it with Stove or
Nib on April 19, 2015:
replace glycerin for organic olive oil. worked like a charm!
Simonas on July 21, 2014:
I made it myself and it is pretty good and i replaced it for one of the other brands.
byardley on August 20, 2013:
Glycerin to the mixture is to make the bubbles stronger and last longer. If you don't want to buy glycerin, try adding corn syrup instead to give them some body.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on July 31, 2013:
Most people know how much I like to photograph bubbles so I am always fascinated to find something to do with bubble solutions. I like to add some liquid glycerin to my bubble mixture. Interesting Hub, thank you very much.
Bernadyn from Jacksonville, Florida on July 11, 2013:
My family loves bubbles, too and they make for great pictures! I've never made my own solution but will try this, sounds so simple and cost-friendly. I like the idea of adding food color; my kids are going to love this. Thanks for sharing, voted up and pinned :)
Divine Grace Adriano from philippines on July 10, 2013:
good hub. I love playing bubbles too, but once the bubble solution is gone, I just throw my bubble gun.
marion langley from The Study on July 03, 2013:
My word what fun! I had never heard of adding vegetable oil...though food coloring and scenting I had. What a fun list of things to try to make bubbles with. In my family it is also all about the monster bubbles...I'll have to try the dip stix wand...sounds awesome! Thanks for writing.