We go through a lot of bubble solution here. Last summer, I kept a jug with a spigot full and ready on our front steps so the boys could fill a dish and blow bubbles whenever we were outside playing. I've even been known to zip-tie those colorful plastic tubes of bubbles right onto our railing outside! But bubbles and the plastic wands and accessories used with them have a pretty limited shelf life and usually only last us through the spring/summer season before needing to be replaced. It's super easy to make your own bubbles, though and even your own bubble blowers and wands! You probably even have most of what you need in your cupboard and recycling bin...
We made our bubble solution with:
- 4 cups warm water
- 1 cup dish soap
- 2 TBSP glycerin
We store it in a glass jar and any container with a tightly sealing lid will work. To use, you can pour the desired amount into a shallow bin, pan or dish, or even just dip your wand right into the jar.
The boys even made their own bubble wands using pipe cleaners and beads. I didn't quite get a picture of those, but they (with some help from me) twisted the pipe cleaner to form a larger circle at the top, strung on some beads and twisted a smaller circle at the bottom. This seals the beads in and creates a double ended bubble wand. Simply dip your wand and blow! The pipe cleaners do get rather wet and soapy and don't work as well once they get to that point of total saturation. Alternatively you could use floral wire and that would probably work a bit better--but we had fun nonetheless.
I also helped the boys to assemble some simple cup and straw bubble blowers that overflow giant bubbles from the top and recycled bottle bubble blowers that shoot out long bubble snakes from the bottom:
The plastic cup & straw bubble blowers are easily assembled by poking a hole toward the bottom (about an inch and half to two inches up) of a disposable plastic cup. (An adult should do this part.) Stick a straw inside and tilt it to the bottom of the cup. Fill with a bit of bubble solution and blow! It's kind of like when you blow bubbles in your chocolate milk only without the getting in trouble part. I would, however, support and supervise little ones not to drink from the straw by mistake. S got this message easily. Y had to learn the hard way, poor little guy. He helped blow big bubble sculptures off the top of the cup after that!
To assemble some recycled bottle bubble blowers, cut the bottom off an empty plastic bottle. (An adult should do this part.) Use a washcloth and rubber band to cover the open end. Dip the towel end into your bubble solution and blow through the top of the bottle. Now check out the bottom as a long bubbly snake grows and grows from the towel! You can try this one in the bathtub as well, just getting the washcloth soapy before you affix it to the plastic bottle.
The bubble blowing led to a lot of bubbly play! The boys loved scooping up piles of bubbles from the bottom of the bottle or top of the cup and flinging, blowing and chasing them around. Even our garden turtle enjoyed a little bubble bath...
Making our own bubble solution and blowers saved us a lot of shlepping, time and money.
And speaking of saving time... if a couple of little boys happened to play in some soapy bubbly mud and mulch after all that, it counts as a bath as well, right?
I am, of course, asking for a friend...a very close friend...