Red Flags
Soapy water on the floor is very slippery.

Questions to Ask
Can you tell me something about the bubbles? What does the paper do to them? What shapes/colors do you see on the paper? Why? What would happen if we didn’t use the detergent…the food color/paint, etc.?

Tips for Less Mess
Cover the work area with newspaper, old towels or tablecloth. Keep paper towels and a garbage bag handy.

Science Connection
The water and soap molecules link together to form an elastic soap film. Bubbles are formed when the soap film stretches around air. The air is trapped and a bubble is formed. The bubbles take on a spherical shape, giving it the least amount of surface area possible. Bubbles pop when the water from the soap film evaporates. The evaporation makes the soap film thinner and thinner. Bubbles also pop when they touch dry surfaces.

Why
To have children experience bubble blowing as an art activity.

What You Need

  • Food coloring or paint
  • Water
  • Liquid detergent
  • Drinking straws
  • Plastic bowls
  • White or light construction paper

    What to Do
    Give each child his own bowl for mixing. Ask the children to mix some liquid detergent with water. Offer several colors for them to select to tint the mixtures. Make sure children practice blowing out through the straw before they begin blowing into the bubble solution. Have the children blow a mound of bubbles in their bowls, so that the bubbles flow out and over the rim. Remove the straw and lay paper over the bubbles. Repeat until paper is filled with bubble images.

    Vocabulary
    Bubble: A thin spherical film of liquid which encapsulates a volume of gas or air.

    Try This
    Try using different colored paper. What colors are preferred? Experiment with various intensities of color. Blow bubbles during bath time. Blow bubbles outside—when the temperature is below thirty-two degrees. What happens?

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