Why do bubbles always come in the shape of a circle? This might be a good question to ask your kids the next time they want to play with bubbles outside. For instance, if you used something other than the bubble wand they give you, could you make a different shaped bubble? Asking questions like these about the world can never begin too early, and getting kids to make hypotheses and to experiment is the foundation of science.
So have your kids explore that question while they rifle through your kitchen drawers looking for bubble-making implements. Encourage them to think about which utensils would make what kind of shaped bubble and which wouldn't make a bubble at all. Then pour some soap into a tray with water and experiment to see if the kids are right!
What You Do:
- Pour some dish soap into the tray with water. Agitate the water carefully until the soap is incorporated but not too sudsy.
- Let the kids choose which utensils they think will make bubbles. Don’t let them go near the dangerous ones, but do let them explore in the kitchen (even if they pick a wooden spoon.) Part of the fun is seeing which ones work and which ones don’t.
- Have them try dipping the utensils into the soapy water, pulling them out, and blowing on the open spaces to create bubbles. Try a fork, a slotted spoon or a strainer. Talk about why some work and some don’t. What does that tell you about bubbles? Your kids will never look at a bubble the same way again!
Once they've rifled through your kitchen supplies, you might want to take out a few tried-and-true bubble makers. Straws, the plastic that holds a six-pack of soda together, or canning jar rings all work well. Or let your child come up with some ideas of his own!
Lisa M. Cope is a freelance writer who focuses on parenting and child development issues, among many others. She is the mother of two boys, ages five and two.