Bubbles Unit Study and Badge Resources
Bubbles is one of my all time favorite badges. I don’t care how old you are, bubbles are fun and fascinating to play with and learn about. If you are earning your Bubbles badge and are looking for other badges to tie into it you may wish to check out badges like Water, Science Fun, or Patience (for when your giant bubbles keep popping…)
How to Make Homemade Bubbles Without Glycerin
I don’t know about you, but glycerin is not something I usually have on hand, nor would even know where to find it in a store. Yet most homemade bubble recipes call for it. While glycerin helps to hold your bubbles together longer, there an easier option that works just as well. Sugar!
To Do: Make your own bubble solution
- 4 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dish soap (blue Dawn dish soap works best)
- Large bowl
Pour the sugar in a bowl and then pour the warm water over it. Make sure your water is warm enough to dissolve the sugar. Whisk slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Slowly pour in the dish soap and blend with the sugar/water solution. Do not whisk too hard or you will simply make a bubble bath!
Now go blow some bubbles! You can even use the whisk as a bubble wand!
Fulfills preschool requirement #1 and Level 1 requirements 1 & 2
Learn About the Science of Bubbles
The soap bubbles we play with are just one type of bubble, but bubbles are everywhere.
To Do: Watch the documentary “The Science of Bubbles” hosted by a bubble physicist, Dr. Helen Czerski, to learn about how bubbles influence our world in all sorts of ways from animal behavior to the sounds of running water and even the way drinks taste. This is an hour long movie so if you have younger kids, you may wish to pick and choose which segments to show them.
Fulfills level 2 and level 3 requirement 2
How to Make Homemade Bubble Wands
When you buy bubbles from the store they come with their own bubble wand. But what if you make your own bubble solution? What do you use for a wand?
To Do: Search through your house for everyday items that might make good bubble wands. Look for things that are waterproof and have holes in them. Examples might include a fly swatter, a funnel or a slotted spoon. Experiment with your finds. Which make the best bubbles? Which can make lots of bubbles all at once?
To Do: Make a bubble wand.
- Wooden dowel or stick
- Pipe cleaners
Take one end of the pipe cleaner and bend it to form a circle. The circle can be big or small as long as it fits in container that holds your bubble solution. Wrap the remainder of the pipe cleaner around the end of a stick or wood dowel for stability. Now you are ready to blow bubbles! For extra fun you can string small beads on your pipe cleaner prior to making the wand to add a decorative touch.
Fulfills optional requirement #3
How to Create Bubble Art
Did you know you can use bubbles to create beautiful pieces of art? The projects below can be used to make cards, wrapping paper, or even a painting for your wall.
To Do: Make a bubble card
- 1/4 Dish Detergent (blue Dawn works best)
- 1/4 cup craft paint
- 1/2 cup water
- drinking straw
- Low wide bowl
- Cardstock folded in half to create a card
Pour the water in the bowl and then add the craft paint. Stir until well mixed. Add the dish soap and stir until blended. Place the drinking straw in the bubble solution and blow gently until a pile of bubbles forms on the surface. Remove the straw and gently place the cardstock over the bubbles to catch their shape on the paper. Do not let the cardstock touch the liquid bubble solution, just the bubbles themselves.
To Do: Make bubble wrapping paper or bubble paintings
- Bubble solution of your choice
- Food coloring
- Bubble wands
- Large sheets of paper or blank canvases
Mix the food coloring into the bubble solution. Be generous so that the solution turns a deep color. If it is too pale, the color won’t show on the paper.
Now blow bubble directly onto the paper. As they pop, they should leave a colorful residue. You can make interesting paintings or wrapping paper by blowing different colored bubbles.
Fulfills optional requirement #5
How Are Bubble Used in Products?
Bubbles are used everyday items all around you. From the bubble wrap that packages breakables during shipping to the air bubbles in your soda.
To Do: Go on a bubble scavenger hunt and see how many items you can find that use bubbles in some way. Discuss what this product would be like without the bubbles. For example soda, when flat, does not taste nearly as good as soda with bubbles. Flat sheets of plastic would not protect items nearly as well as plastic with bubbles.
Fulfills optional requirement #13
Hold a Bubble Blowing Contest
Blowing bubbles can be quite creative. You can blow giant bubbles, tiny bubbles, and even multiple bubbles.
To Do: Hold a bubble blowing contest and compete for things like the biggest bubble, the smallest bubble, the bubble that lasts the longest before popping, or the person who can pop the most bubbles. You can also use a bubble machine and challenge kids to pop all the bubbles before they hit the ground.
Fulfills optional requirement #4
What is An Economic Bubble?
The word bubble can also have the meaning of “something, used to refer to a good or fortunate situation that is isolated from reality or unlikely to last.” If you listen to the news you will hear stories about economic bubbles, housing bubbles, or even technology bubbles.
To Do (Level 4 and 5): Learn about 3 different famous economic bubbles such as the Housing Bubble of the 2000’s, the Stock Market Bubble of the 1920’s, the Tulip Bubble in the Netherlands in the 1600’s, Japan’s “Bubble Economy” of the 1980’s, or the South Sea Bubble of the 1700’s. Discuss why these economic situations are called bubbles. What was the result when each one “popped”?
- Wharton University: The Real Causes — and Casualties — of the Housing Crisis
- History.com: What Caused the 1929 Stock Market Crash?
- Barrons: The Real Story of the Dutch Tulip Bubble Is Even More Fascinating Than the Myth You’ve Heard
- Japanese Times: Lessons from when the bubble burst
- Historic UK: The South Sea Bubble
Fulfills Level 4 requirement 2
For more additional ideas and requirements for earning your Bubbles badge, visit the badge page.
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