Friday, February 26, 2010

The Science of Bubbles

We dug into one of our Science Kits this week and were up to our armfuls in bubbles. I purchased several of these themed science kits some time ago when Aldi had them all on special. I hadn't even taken a peak inside so I had no idea what to expect.

Considering that they were super cheap I was very pleasantly surprised. The kit (well at least this one) contained all of the bits and pieces for 16 different activities/experiments (except maybe a bowl here and there and possibly extra bubble mixture if you go overboard). It also has a booklet with loads of information about bubbles and all of the details for each of the experiments/activities. Super easy, grab it off the shelf, choose the experiment and off you go!


We learnt how to prepare our own bubble solution using soap, distilled water and glycerin. We talked about what exactly a soap bubble was. This covered topics such as, minimal surface structures, volume, molecules, surface tension.

How nature uses the same principles of bubbles attaching themsevles to one another at 120 deg forming hexagons, such as in a beehive. And how man has also used the same principles to build structures, such as the Munich Olympic Stadium.


We made Bubble Harmoninca's. To do this yourself you will need a piece of fluted plastic, 2 plastic slides (or equivalent), a rubber band and some bubble mixture.

Dip one side of the harmnonica in the bubble mixture and blow through the other side.


We blew some bubble chains. Join six straws together with a rubber band, dip one end into the bubble mixture and blow gently from the other. You will make a long chain of bubbles.

This is a fabulous way to show how the bubbles attach to themselves at a 120 deg angle.

You need to get your 'blowing' fine tuned to make perfect chains though. Too hard and the bubbles will just fly out the end, too soft and you'll barely make a bubble at all.


We had a go at making giant bubbles. All you need is a funnel and the bubble mixture. Dip the wide end of the funnel in the mixture and blow. This is harder than it looks.


We made coloured bubbles. I believe that tempura paint is best for this activity but we didn't have any on hand so we used food colouring instead.

Place a small amount of bubble mixture in a bowl, some water and food colouring. The more colouring you add the more intense the colours will be.

Blow lots and lots of bubbles. Place a piece of paper over the bubbles, as they pop they will leave a print on the paper.



We had some success with the food colouring. Although no one overly enjoyed this activity, apparently the mixture got up their noses, in the eyes and in their mouths when they accidentally sucked instead of blowing!!


4 comments:

Riceball Mommy said...

I'm hoping to find some some science experiment kits for a Pre-k/kindergarten level. I'd like to get into some hands on science this summer. I think I might try to recreate some of these though. I really like the look of the colored bubbles.

Stuff On My Blog said...

LOL Whoops @ sucking instead of blowing! I scored a bubbleology 'lapbook' that I really need to pull out & do with the kids. Bubbles are just the best fun, being scientific is just a big bonus ;)

Raising a Happy Child said...

This sounds like a great way to learn about so many things while having fun. And it's also good for different ages. Thanks for sharing all the ways to make bubbles :)

Leptir said...

Nice and interesting activities! Thanks for sharing!

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