Friday, May 8, 2015

Kidding Around: Bubble Bash

For our May meeting of my K-2nd program, Kidding Around, I turned to a perennial kid favorite: bubbles. It is practically scientific fact that kids of all ages love bubbles. Bubbles are relatively mess-free and blowing them (or trying to) can hold the attention of even the youngest children.

Program Overview:
  • 9 kids attended
  • Age group: K-2nd graders. 
  • Total Cost: $10-$20  

Introduction: "Big Bad Bubble"

I've been trying to include more books in my school age programming in an effort to promote reading. To this end we started our bubble bash by reading one of my favorite bubble related books, "Big Bad Bubble" by Adam Rubin.

I love the premise of this book: the monsters in La La Land are afraid of bubbles. It is pretty funny, and definitely has a good message about facing fears. It made me so happy to hear a little girl repeating "This is so funny!" as I read.

Next, we moved on to the main portion of our program: playing with bubbles. This consisted of three different activities.

Bubble Activity #1: Making our own bubble solution

Supplies needed:

Bowl of water for each child
Plenty of dishsoap
Pipe cleaners

Cost: $3 for the pipe cleaners

I gave each child a bowl of water and asked how it was similar and different to bubble solution (hooray for scientific observation!). My favorite answer was "It would taste gross!".

Next I added soap to their bowls and had them stir it in. Once everyone had bubble solution we experimented with making bubble wands out of straws and pipe cleaners. We asked questions as we experimented, such as "What kind of wand would make a big bubble?" and "What would happen if we taped straws together and blew bubbles?"

Bubble Activity #2: Bubble Painting

Supplies needed:
Food coloring or paint

Cost: None

To paint with bubbles we added food coloring to our solution and placed paper on top of the resulting colored bubbles. I've seen this online various places and did it with the kids at last year's summer reading finale party. The kids seemed to enjoy it, even though some colors didn't come out on paper as clearly as others. For alternate methods of painting with bubbles, see Artful Kids.

Bubble Activity #3: Giant Bubbles

Supplies needed: 
Giant bubble wands
Other bubble blowing devices
Super strong homemade bubble solution:
                 1 gallon of water
                 1 cup Dawn Dishsoap
                 4 tablespoons of glycerin (near the cake decorating supplies at Michaels)

About $6 for the glycerin

I brought out the giant bubble wands I bought on sale last summer at Michaels. The ones I have are pretty similar to this one. If you don't want to buy one there are also many tutorials I found online for making your own version. I also had some play tennis rackets and larger bubble wands for the kids to use.

As expected, this was the highlight of the afternoon. At the end of the program I asked the kids which kind of bubble wand was their favorite and the giant one was the unanimous winner.

All in all this was a great way to end "Kidding Around" for the school year. Summer reading is coming fast, and I look forward to updating you on all our fun programs!

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