A Simple STEM Activity: Blowing Bubbles with Household Objects

by Meghan

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Blowing bubbles with our homemade bubble solution has been one of the girls’ favorite summer activities.  However, halfway through the summer, our giant Dollar Store bubbles wands are beginning to fall apart.  So this week, I decided to seize upon the girls’ favorite outdoor activity as a learning opportunity with a simple STEM activity.  Using household objects to blow bubbles, it was also our first lesson in the scientific method.

Blowing Bubbles with Household Objects - A Simple STEM activity for Preschoolers and one of 18 bubble activities in a complete unit study for kids


 A Simple STEM Activity

You remember the scientific method from your middle school science fairs, right?  Question, hypothesis, prediction, testing and analysis.  Big words for a preschooler, but when you think about it, simple concepts and much aligned with the way they naturally explore the world anyway.

Question

We started in the kitchen, where I took down our cooking utensil jar and told Big M we were going to use objects from the jar to blow bubbles.  Our question?  Which household objects would work to make bubbles?

Supplies

Assortment of household objects
Homemade bubble solution
Large bowl

Cost: Free to less than $5

Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes

Clean-up Time: Less than 5 minutes

Hypothesis & Prediction

Without delving into the complexities of bubble making, soap and surface tension, I asked Big M which utensils she thought would make the best bubbles.  She quite confidently hypothesized the ones with holes would work best.  She started sorting the utensils into two piles, making her prediction as to which ones would make bubbles.

Bubbles with Household Objects - STEM Activity Collecting Objects

Testing

We took the bubble blowing pile outside for testing. I filled a large bowl with our homemade bubble solution, and let her dip each utensil in and test it.

Blowing Bubbles with Household Objects - STEM Activity Slotted Spoon

Analysis

We analyzed the results.  She was most surprised that the whisk didn’t work since it seemed full of holes!  She determined that bigger, circular holes made better bubbles than utensils with long, more rectangular slots.

Blowing Bubbles with Kitchen Objects - STEM Activity

Replication

Big M, my little scientist, then took things one step farther – she decided to search the garage for objects that might work.  She came out with a fly swatter!

Blowing Bubbles with Household Objects - STEM Activity Fly Swatter

Blowing Bubbles with Objects - STEM Activity

She was a little dismayed that with all its holes it didn’t make better bubbles – they were so tiny it took some serious blowing to produce bubbles with it, but when it did, made long bubble chains.


Not a bad first foray into the magical world of the scientific method!  And Daddy was quite impressed with Big M’s newly expanded vocabulary.  What simple STEM activity have you done with your kids this summer?  Next time, try explaining it with the basic steps of the scientific method.

Want more great STEAM ideas for kids?

Check out the latest collaborative book from the Kid Blogger Network – STEAM Kids! Featuring a year’s worth of science, technology, engineering, art and math ideas for hands-on learning to inspire the next generation of innovators and creators. It’s already topped Amazon as the best selling book in it’s category! Order the ebook from the Playground Parkbench store or get a hard copy on Amazon today!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our Ocean-Themed Sensory Play and our current STEM series, Architecture and Engineering for Kids! You can find all of these, as well as our favorite STEM Activities for Preschoolers from around the web on our like-named Pinterest board.

Bubble Unit Study

This post is part of a Bubble Unit Study.  For more awesome bubble lessons, activities and ideas, please visit the contributors below:

Find the Letter B is for Bubbles from 3 Boys and a Dog

Science Fair Project: Which Bubble Solution Works Best? from Planet Smarty Pants

Bubble Frames from Brain Power Boy

Easy DIY Homemade Bubbles and Refill Station from Crafty Mama in ME

Where to Find Bubbles in Nature from FrogMom

POP! Bubble Wrap Number Formation from Kara Carrero

Bubble Science Experiment from Pre-K Pages

Bubble Wrap Gross Motor Play from Schooling a Monkey

Bubble Painting from Play & Learn Every Day

Circle Time Bubble Songs from Parenting Chaos

Learning about Bubbles from Our Daily Craft

Bubbles & Letters Sensory Play from Books and Giggles

Super Fun Bubble Toys to get your kids moving!  from Gym Craft Laundry

Bubble Sunflower Art Activity from Preschool Powol Packets

DIY Bubble Wands from CraftCreateCalm

Bubble Counting Play Dough Mats from Simple Fun for Kids

{Free Printables} Under The Sea Bubbles ABC Matching Game from Play Dough & Popsicles

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15 comments

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My Bored Toddler July 29, 2015 - 7:36 am

I’m doing this tomorrow! How cool – I’ve never seen that done before! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday

Reply
PGPBMeghan July 29, 2015 - 12:43 pm

Good luck! Let us know what household objects you find make the best bubbles! Often, many work better than wands, especially for little hands.

Reply
Tina July 23, 2015 - 10:29 am

My kids love bubbles! But they almost always lose the ‘bubble wands’ that come with the bottle. Never thought of trying to blow bubbles with household items! Great idea! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday

Reply
PGPBMeghan July 23, 2015 - 1:01 pm

Just about anything with a hole will work! Stay tuned – coming soon, DIY bubble wands!

Reply
Steph July 17, 2015 - 11:17 am

What a fun project. Bubbles are always a hit! I dug though to find your recipe, and was a bit surprised….we tried a similar reicpe from a different source and had ZERO luck. You’re obviously have lots of success, though. We’ll have to try it again. Thanks for sharing your fun!

Reply
PGPBMeghan July 17, 2015 - 1:18 pm

Hmmm… did you use the glycerine? Also, the original blue Dawn? I also find the recipe gets better with age – so I tend to make it in a gallon jug and let it sit overnight, or even for a couple of days before I put it to use.

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