Jul 8, 2013

WonderWorks: Bubble Science

Bubbles are classic summer fun, but did you know they contain sneaky science lessons?

Wonderworks:  Bubble Science
--a clear plastic tub and a smaller cup
--bubble solution
--pipe cleaners
--food coloring
--small paper cups

 cover art Pop! : a book about bubbles / Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker

What we did:
--discussed how the small container (see top image in this post) contained air, then pushed it, open-side-down, into the tub of water and slowly tipped it to the side to watch the air escape.  We also discussed how the bubbles that floated up were round(ish).
--blew bubbles in water with straws
 --added food coloring to bubble solution and blew bubbles onto paper to see what shape they were as they popped.
 --bent pipe cleaners into different shapes to see if they made different shaped bubbles.  Talk about why bubbles are always round (air pressure equal on the inside and outside...) unless there's an outside influence (like wind or a whole pile of bubbles on top of each other)
 Hindsight tips:
--Try out your bubble solution before class.  The jug of bubbles I'd provided was weak and the pipe cleaner wands were difficult to use no matter what shape they were because of that.
--Ask the adults to hold the bottles of colored bubble solutions to avoid (most) spills.

Variations to try:
--If you have no dairy allergies in the class, it would be fun to compare blowing bubbles in water vs. blowing bubbles in milk.
--try giant bubbles with hula hoops and a wading pool!
--try catching bubbles with bare hands, soapy hands, or hands wearing gloves.  Which works best?  Why?

Other books that tie in well:

cover art Bubbles float, bubbles pop / Weakland, Mark cover art Bubble trouble / Mahy, Margaret


  1. Steve Spangler has a recipe for Bouncy Bubble Liquid that blows more durable bubbles. He has lots of other bubble experiments, too.

  2. I tried to do the bubble painting and no matter how much food coloring i used i couldn't get it to be very bright on the paper. Do you have any suggestions? How much or what kind did you use?

  3. The bubbles will always be fairly pastel colored. I think I added 3-5 drops of (standard McCormick) food coloring in each of the "wedding favor" sized bottles of bubbles? Hope this helps? Good luck!


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