Forest Tots Week 8 – Bubbles

LITTLE Kids with BIG Bubbles: Outdoor Fun with Tots

Following on from last week’s nature potions, this week your mini scientist can mix up their own giant bubble potion and have fun chasing them around in the sunshine!

You will need: washing up bowl, measuring jug, whisk or spoon, washing up liquid, guar gum, baking powder, 2 long sticks, 75-100 cm length of string, a heavy metal nut and 1 L water. Optional: 2 pipe cleaners, a hollowed-out stick (e.g. bamboo or elder) or a biodegradable straw.

Create your wand

  1. Take one end of the string and tie it tightly around the end of one of the sticks. Thread the metal nut onto the string (this adds a little weight to keep the string open). Note: cut the string if you want smaller bubbles.
  2. Lay both the sticks and string on a flat surface and make the string into a triangle shape. The triangle should be the same length on each side. When it is right, tie another knot at the top of the second stick and the last loose end on the first stick (see photo).
  3. For an alternative smaller wand, twist the ends of the two pipe cleaners together to make one long one. Bend the ends round to make a loop and twist the ends together before pushing them in the end of the straw or hollowed-out stick (see photo – I used a bamboo stick).

Make Your Potion

  1. Help your tot to measure 120 ml of washing up liquid in to the washing up bowl then add 5 g guar gum and 7 g baking powder. Whisk this up. Help your tot here to ensure there are no lumps of powder. It will look a bit like toothpaste when it is ready.
  2. This paste is enough to make 2 L of bubble potion. Half the paste and save it for later.
  3. Add 100 ml of water to the paste and stir to loosen the mixture. Mix the water and paste really well together.
  4. Now add 900 ml of water and stir, making 1 L of bubble potion.
  5. Test it! Now for the bubbles!! When using the giant wand, hold the sticks together in one hand and carefully dip all the string into your bubble potion, making sure not to get all the string tangled up. Gently lift it out and pull the sticks apart slowly to release your giant bubble!

I found this works best when I held my arms in the air and walked backwards, which gently forced the air into the bubble.

  1. Your tot will enjoy using the smaller bubble wand. They need to carefully dip it in the bubble mixture, lift out and blow, run or twirl on the spot!
  2. Save some of your mixture for the next day, the bubble mix works best when left to rest overnight.

Note: take care with all ingredients near pets and if your tot is under 3 years. Don’t drink the potion and be careful as your floor can become slippy if you do try this indoors.

Making giant bubbles works best believe it or not, when it is humid or slightly overcast. There haven’t been many days like those recently, so perhaps you could take your bubbles under the canopy of a large tree or under the shady side of your house. The reason being that sunshine and wind will dehydrate your giant bubbles, causing them to pop.  The more you and your tot use the mixture, the easier it will be to make bubbles as the mixture becomes silkier. As you can see, this is a great outdoor science activity with lots of opportunity to talk to your tot about the size, shape and colours of their bubbles, how to move their body, the weather, and more. Make sure you have plenty of time as your tot is likely to continue to ask for bubbles until your drop!

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