Everyone is inventive. Everyone is creative. Everyone loves bubbles. Match creativity and inventiveness with a fascination of bubbles and you end up with lots of fun inventing that everyone can enjoy. So, what do you need to start inventing with bubbles? Fancy equipment? No. Bubble Machines? Not exactly. Believe it or not, you already have a complete bubble laboratory with everything you’ll need to explore your bubble inventions.
So where is this secret bubble lab just waiting for our experiments? This magical place is better known as the kitchen. Yes, your kitchen can be your own invention lab. As the 18th Century image above suggests, people have been turning kitchens into bubble labs for hundreds of years. Benjamin Franklin and his mentor James Logan studied the optical properties of bubbles. These experiments later contributed to Franklin’s invention of bifocal glasses in 1784.
While you have everything you need in the kitchen, bubble experiments can get a bit wet and soapy. We recommend preparing your bubble solution in the kitchen, then take your bubble solution outside for blowing bubbles. Remember to get permission from an adult before starting your experiments.
Image: Children Blowing Bubbles. Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789) Courtesy of WikiGallery.org
- Clean hands
- Safety glasses or even sunglasses (to protect your eyes)
- Bucket or large bowl
- Parent or adult to assist you
Try this Spark!Lab Bubble Recipe, or experiment with your own bubble recipes.
- 1/3 cup Joy® or Dawn®
- 1/2 gallon of water dishwashing soap
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder (not baking soda)
1. Gently stir your bubble making ingredients together in a bucket or large container.
2. Ask a parent or adult to carry your bubble solution to a grassy area outdoors.
3. Dip both of your hands in the bubble solution so that they are completely wet.
4. While submerged in bubble solution, bring your hands together so that your thumbs and index fingers are touching, as shown.
5. Slowly raise your hands out of the bubble solution. A sheet of bubble solution should form between your hands.
6. Gently blow your breathe between your hands. Does a bubble form? Multiple bubbles?
7. Try putting your hands together in different shapes. How does this affect the size or shape of the bubbles?
8. Write down each new bubble-maker you invent in your Spark!Lab Inventor Notebook. You can then name each bubble invention and then also check to see if it is truly original. You can look online to see if anyone has created your bubble-maker before.
9. Host a “Bubble Show” to show off your bubble blowing techniques and inventions.
Want to learn (and do) more? Check out these links:
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