Let’s make bubbles
What’s more fun than bubbles? Learn how to use household items to create your own bubble wand!
- Find some household items that have an opening and are ok to get wet and bubbly. Try to get a mix of different shapes, materials and things that you can bend a twist into new shapes.
- Take these items and your bubble liquid to an area where it is ok to get a bit messy like a backyard.
- Test your household items. Which ones make a good bubble? What do they have in common?
- Create the ultimate bubble wand! Get creative with materials and build a bubble wand that creates many bubbles or really big bubbles.
A bubble is an extremely thin layer of soapy water that wraps around some air and the hole in a bubble wand lets us blow that air in. Take a look at the shape of your bubbles. They might start out a different shape from your wand but quickly become sphere shaped because tension in the bubble skin shrinks to the smallest possible shape for the volume of air it contains. Bubbles are always sphere-shaped because it is the strongest shape a bubble can be in nature without popping.
Try our Bubble juice recipe below to make the ultimate bubbles! Our recipe contains guar gum, a thickener sometimes used in icecream and baking and it helps to hold the water in the bubble for longer so it doesn’t pop so quickly.
Our Scienceworks challenge to you
Can you make a bubble larger than your head? Or larger than a basketball? How big can you go!?
Bubble juice recipe
- 1000 ml warm water
- 50 ml fairy or fairy platinum detergent (not lemon)
- 1/2 tsp guar gum (available from some health food stores)
- Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol (available from pharmacies as disinfectant or Bunnings as a keyboard/lens cleaner)
- 1 tsp baking powder (different to bicarb soda. Found in the baking isle)
Mix guar gum with enough isopropyl alcohol to be pourable, stir then add into water. Shake/stir vigorously. Add detergent and baking powder, shake/stir gently. Can be used straight away, but often works better the next day.