One of my son’s college professors did a fun bubble activity for his daughter’s birthday. He cut a dryer vent hose in half, duct taped the ends together so it made a circle, and filled it with bubble solution. He wrapped yarn around a hula hoop.
His daughter stood inside the circle that the dryer vent made. He dipped the hula hoop in the solution and pulled it up so his daughter was standing in a bubble.
I wanted to do that. Really bad.
I talked to the professor to find out exactly how he did it. One thing he said was that the wire from the dryer vent kept popping the bubble. So, he put a big sheet of plastic over everything and then it worked just fine. He recommended that I use a plastic downspout instead of a dryer vent hose.
That sounded like a good suggestion to me. So, off to the hardware store grandpa and I went. We got the downspout.
With his nifty saw, grandpa cut it in half.
I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped yarn around the hula hoop. This took about half an hour!
I mixed up some solution using Dawn dish detergent. (That is the best brand to use because it make better bubbles.)
Then, even though it was 9:30 at night, grandpa and I went out on the patio and tested it. We got it to work. Huzzah! I was excited for when our grandchildren would come over for the Bubble Bash.
Saturday came and my grandchildren arrived for the Bubble Bash. My daughter and I set up the downspout filled with solution. We tried and tried to make it work. We added more soap. We waited for the wind to die down. We added even more soap. Finally, we pulled up a fairly large bubble. When my granddaughter stood in the middle, it wouldn’t work.
Thinking that the grass was popping the bubbles, we moved the set up to the driveway and got a bigger piece of plastic.We tried, and tried, and tried. Still no enchilada.
The picture below was the highest that we were able to pull up the bubble before it burst. (If my granddaughter looks rather unhappy, it is because she had gotten soap in her eyes.)
I had other bubble making thingies. We had purchased this bubble wand at a 4th of July celebration a few years ago. It is made out of a dowel stick, some cording (found at a fabric store), a wooden bead, and a metal ring. The cording is 1.75 yards long. It is held on to the the end of a dowel with a wooden bead. The ring is tied to the cording 16 inches from one end of the cord. When both ends of the cording is held in place on the end of the dowel, the ring will be about 15 inches from the end of the dowel when the dowel is held upright. (See picture.)
Dip all of the cording in the bubble solution. (We had it in a mason canning jar. But it would work if you had the solution in a bucket or a large plastic ice cream container.) Here are some pictures using the bubble wand.
This bubble was almost 10 feet long!
I also threaded string through two straws. I dipped the straws and string in the solution, held the straws apart, and moved the straws through the air. When I brought the straws together, it created a bubble.
I also cut out the center of a Styrofoam paper plate. That worked really good as a bubble wand. I also cut out the center of the lid of a Cool Whip container. That worked well, too, for creating big bubbles. (Well, bigger than the wand you get when you buy a jar of bubble solution.)
So this is what I learned from my experience with the hula hoop and downspout:
- The downspout didn’t make a very deep ‘container’ for the solution. I would use dryer vent hose next time.
- I would make sure I put the vent hose on a flat surface. It wasn’t very level on the grass.
- The soap solution was one part soap to 15 parts water. That wasn’t a thick enough solution. Next time I will do a 1:10 ratio. (You can always add more soap if you need to.)
- I wouldn’t do this activity on a windy day.
- Practice before having the grandchildren stand in the middle to make sure you have the right bubble solution. Then, younger grandchildren wouldn’t lose interest so quickly in the activity if the bubbles didn’t work.
- Before starting, I would putting a piece of plastic over the entire surface. That would help it so the bubbles didn’t pop.
If you try this activity, let me know how it went for you!