intro: Take a scientific approach to a childhood favorite: bubbles! The bubble solution you purchase at the store usually makes flimsy bubbles that burst quickly. This activity compares homemade solutions with different additives to compare the strengths of the bubbles produced.
set up ideas: Create a chart with three columns for each mixture and rows for each category being tested. To grade each you may give a letter, number, thumbs up or down, stars, etc.
let's get started
You don't need a lab coat and goggles for this science activity, but they never hurt! What you will need are 3 cups of water, 6 tbsp liquid dish soap, 1 tbsp glycerin, 1 tbsp light corn syrup, 3 containers, pipe cleaners, markers and a comparison chart with three sections.
step 1 Create the following 3 solutions and label each container. A: 1 cup water and 2 tbsp dish soap. B: 1 cup water, 2 tbsp dish soap, 1 tbsp glycerin. C: 1 cup water, 2 tbsp dish soap, 1 tbsp corn syrup.
step 2 Form pipe cleaners into different sized circles with attached handles. You may use separate pipe cleaners for the ring and handle. These will be used for blowing the bubbles.
step 3 Have the children test out each solution to determine which solution creates the strongest bubbles, the largest bubbles, the bubbles that travel the farthest, etc.
step 4 Record the information on a chart and compare the results. Based on the data that you've gathered, decide which solution works the best.
This activity demonstrates that while we may feel like we can pick out the "best" item in a series, performing tests and studying the results will tell us whether our intuition is correct. Through the scientific process, we can make better decisions in our day-to-day lives.
Tips and Tricks Staying organized with your chart, solutions and tests will go a long way to making this a fun activity, and it sets a great example. Use clear labels and verbalize each step of the process.
Follow up Activity Now that you've done the hard work of creating and testing your bubble mixture, it's time to play! You may wish to whip up a larger batch of the children's favorite solution to enjoy.