Most kids love a bit of messy play. An activity like blowing bubbles is a great opportunity to bond with your child and teach them new skills.
This series of blog posts shares International Messy Play Activities from different countries around the world to enrich your child’s understanding of other cultures. Experiencing messy play activities is great for child development and will ignite your child’s creativity.
Check out the seven blogs in the series that explore exciting messy play activities for your little one here.
What is a bubble snake?
Bubble snakes is a fun kids activity from the UK. They are made by taking a few household items – an old plastic bottle, an old (clean!) sock and some dish soap. It’s a wonderful thing to do in hot, summer weather in particular.
Kids blow through the bottle and as if by magic a “bubble snake” appears out the other end. You can make the soap bubbles really beautiful by using coloured powder or food colouring to turn them into brightly coloured snakes.
Hours of messy fun for kids, but just make sure you supervise children under the age of five and remind them to blow out, not breathe in!
There’s lots to learn with bubbles for kids
This recipe for making bubble snakes is a great activity for kids between 5 and 8 years (with adult supervision). It’s great to develop their understanding of early scientific processes such as planning, investigation and observation.
It’s partly about using your imagination and using everyday items in new ways. It’s also about good motor skills and putting together the different pieces of the bubble snake “equipment”. Then there’s the fun and independence of making the soap bubbles and experimenting with different colour combinations.
How to make bubbles: Ingredients
The most important ingredient for this recipe is giving your child plenty of encouragement and freedom to play around with the colours and textures of the bubble mixture. Make them feel confident by letting them know that a bit of mess isn’t going to be a problem. Next you need:
- A large bowl or container to put the bubble mixture in
- Some dish soap
- A jug of water
- An old plastic bottle
- Sharp scissors (an adult will need to cut through the plastic bottle)
- An old clean sock
- An elastic band or a piece of string
- Some food colouring or non-toxic coloured powder
- A bit of space
When blowing bubbles it’s probably better to go outside but otherwise just put down some old newspaper to catch the snake and any drips or splashes.
Soap bubbles for kids: The recipe for mess and success
First make the “snake maker”.
- Take the plastic bottle and give it a good wash
- Now cut the bottom off the bottle with the scissors. You’ll need to do this part for your child!
- Take the old sock and place it over the cut off bottom of the bottle. You can secure it with the elastic band or a bit of string
Now it’s time to get bubbly. The messy part starts here.
- Put a good squirt of dish soap into the bowl or container
- Add a small splash of water to make the mixture a bit more liquid
- Dip the sock end of the bubble maker into the liquid and give it a good soak
- Lift the bubble maker out and give a good blow through the other end of the bottle
- Once your little one has got the knack of making bubble snakes they can add some colour. By dropping different splashes of colour on to the sock the soap bubbles will come out like rainbows
The bubble snake maker is finished when there is a stream of colourful bubble snakes either in your kitchen (use a plastic sheet to make cleaning up easy!) or up the garden and your soapy little one has got a big smile on their face.
Don’t worry too much if you find they have got mud on their clothes from all the running around outside creating these bubble snakes, it’s easy to get out. Just let the mud dry, then scrub with a brush. Once you’ve scrubbed, wash on a normal cycle with Persil small and mighty.
Just check the label for care details of the stained garment before cleaning the stain. Find lots more stain removal tips here.
What’s your recipe for messy success?
How did you get on blowing bubbles and creating bubble snakes with your child? Share your story with us here in a comment.