Making soap bubble domes on a flat surface is a simple activity that can provide hours of fun, while helping students practice math, measuring, and telling time!
This activity is best outside (on a patio table for example), but can be done indoors with a bit of precaution.
Table (outdoor plastic or glass table works best)
Plastic wrap/waterproof tablecloth and garbage bags, if indoors
Baking sheet or tray, if indoors
Bubble mix (recipe below)
Clock or timer
Clothes that can get wet and messy!
Basic bubble mix:
- ½ cup liquid dish soap
- 1 ½ cups warm water
Super bubble mix:
- Add 1 teaspoon of sugar or light corn syrup to the basic recipe
Tips for better mix:
Use filtered or distilled water instead of tap
Mix well but stir gently, without producing a lot of bubbles
- Mix up some bubble mix.
You can follow the recipe above or experiment with your own!
Pour a portion into a cup or bowl
Keep the rest out of reach so you can replenish your student’s supply if needed
2. Prepare your surface.
Cover table with plastic wrap or waterproof tablecloth.
Put down a tray or baking sheet. If setting up for multiple students, put down a tray for each student.
Cut open and put down some garbage bags underneath the table. There may be a couple of drips and drops! However, make clear to your student that bubbles should only be blown on the surface - this is not an exercise in blowing bubbles in the air.
Spread a thin layer of bubble mix onto the tray.
Wipe down the surface to remove pollen, leaves, etc.
Spread a thin layer of bubble mix onto the table
If you have a wooden outdoor table or even just a flat surface on the ground, use a tray or baking sheet per the indoor instructions.
3. Practice blowing bubble domes
Pick a straw!
Make sure your student understands the difference between inhaling and exhaling air. This may not be intuitive for younger children. Have them practice by blowing air through the straw and putting their hand in front of it. Demonstrate taking the straw out of their mouth and taking a deep breath when they need to inhale.
Place the tip of the straw into the cup/bowl of bubble mix then blow onto the thin layer of bubble mix on your surface to make your first bubble dome!
How wide a bubble dome can you blow? Use the ruler to measure. Can you beat your record?
How tall a bubble dome can you blow? Use the ruler to measure. Can you beat your record?
How many bubble domes can you blow, one inside the other? Don’t let the edges touch!
Here are examples:
4. How many bubbles can you blow next to each other so that all the edges touch?
Here’s an example:
5. How long can a bubble dome last?
Blow a 2-inch bubble dome
Watch the clock or set a timer to time how long until the bubble pops!
Try it again a few times. Is there a pattern?
Now blow a 4-inch bubble dome and repeat the timing exercise.
Did this bubble pop faster or slower than the 2-inch bubble?
Can you think of a way to make the bubble last longer?
Expanding the Activity
Can you improve your straw in any way to blow better bubble domes?
Can you place a plastic toy (lego figure) etc. inside the bubble dome without popping it?