Wacky Wednesday | Not Your Average Bubbles

by Beth Montgomery on May 23, 2012 · 0 comments

in Crafts for Kids, Do It Yourself, Entertainment & Fun, Frugal Living

No matter how much my children grow, they never seem to tire of bubbles. Even your average, everyday bubbles thrill them for hours. We like to get creative with our bubbles though just to see what happens. Sometimes we end up with some awesome bubbles, while others times it’s a complete bust (literally!).

Homemade Bubble Solution Recipe

I know bubble solution is cheap, but it will never perform as well as homemade. Just trust me on this.

You may need to adjust the recipe slightly, depending on if you have hard or soft water and what type of dish soap you use, but experimenting is half the fun. If you realize your solution isn’t perfect, no need to start over.  Just pour it a little more of whatever you think you need!

What you’ll need…

  • Hot Water (not boiling, from the tap is fine!)
  • Dish Soap (I don’t know why, but Dawn or Joy tends to work best)
  • Glycerin or Light Corn Syrup (for elasticity)
  • Empty Jug or Container

Bubbles with Corn Syrup

  1. Pour 1 1/2 quarts of hot water and 1/2 cups of light corn syrup together.
  2. Whisk  together until dissolved and well blended.
  3. Add 1 cup dish soap, then continue to whisk lightly (and slowly or you’ll end up with a bubbly mess) until blended.
  4. Allow to cool, then pour into your empty container.
  5. Start blowing!

Bubbles with Glycerin

While corn syrup works like a charm, it can also attract bees. For that reason, I tend to prefer glycerin if I’ll be using the bubbles outdoor for long periods of time, like at church camps, camping, or parties.

If you aren’t aware, you can find glycerin in the pharmacy area of just about any grocery or pharmacy store. It’s a skin protectant that is often used in homemade soaps. I usually find it very cheap at CVS and Walmart with hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol in a brown bottle (not the pretty clear bottle pictures above).

  1. Pour 1 gallon of hot water and 3 tablespoons glycerin together.
  2. Whisk  together until dissolved and well blended.
  3. Add 1 cup dish soap, then continue to whisk lightly (and slowly or you’ll end up with a bubbly mess) until blended.
  4. Allow to cool, then pour into your empty container.
  5. Start blowing!

Creative Bubble Blowers

Blow large bubbles by bending a large wire coat hanger.

While bubble wands aren’t expensive, making your own can be half the fun. You can make bubbles from so many things found in your home, so get creative. Letting your kids search the house can be a learning experience, since some bubble blowers will work better than others and some may not work at all

Fun Homemade Bubble Blowers

Photo Credit: Stephanie Brown

Other Items to Use for Homemade Bubble Blowers

  • Funnels
  • Fly Swatter (probably unused is best)
  • Potato Ricer
  • Mason Jar Lids
  • Cookie Cutters (plastic won’t rust)
  • Strainer
  • Small rings to hold on lids found on milk jugs and soda bottles

Bubbles to Awe Children

Colorful Bubbles

If you’ve tried Crayola’s new washable colored bubble solution that claims it’s mess free, you know it’s a huge mess. Save your money and add a drop (or more) of food coloring to your bubble solution for colorful bubbles. Of course, the more you add, the more likely it is to stain, so your kids might become colorful too. You can always use it to make some bubble art!

If you’d like to skip the mess and get brighter bubbles, About.com offers a recipe that includes ingredients like phenolphthalein and thymolphthalein. I’ve never made them myself, but I have used them and they are very neat. Based on the same ingredients as disappearing ink, they blow bright, but then fade away and disappear.

Glow in the Dark Bubbles

Photo credit: Anne Helmenstine

I wish I had my own picture of this, but my camera was not cooperating in the darkness, but glow in the dark bubbles are great around the campfire. Carefully (and I can’t emphasis that enough, because it can get messy and isn’t safe on some fabrics) cut the end off of a glow in the dark necklace or crack a glow stick after you have it glowing.  Pour the glowing liquid found inside into your bubble solution and head outside at night to blow some very spectacular glow in the dark bubbles.

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