Magic Bubbles – Kids Experiment

This week we’re going to be using washing up liquid to create ‘Magic Bubbles’ in this fun Science experiment. Depending on the equipment/ingredients you use, you can create all sorts of magical bubbles ranging from the bouncy to the MASSIVE! It might be a good idea to prepare yourself in case of a soapy spill however.

You will need:

  • A bowl or cup of water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Sugar/Glycerin
  • A teaspoon
  • Winter Gloves
  • A bubble wand or pipette
  • Scissors (If using an expendable pipette)

Method:

  • Firstly, you want to start by adding 1 teaspoon of washing up liquid and 2 teaspoons of sugar or glycerin to your bowl or cup of water. Mix them all together until the sugar (if used) has dissolved.
  • If using a pipette, next cut the fat end in half using scissors (and an adult) to make a homemade bubble wand. Or if you have a bubble wand already, dip it in your mixture and start blowing bubbles!
  • Depending on the equipment you use, your bubbles should have “magic properties”. The sugar/glycerin in particular should give you “bouncy bubbles” that you can blow to be HUGE!
  • But there’s more! Using your winter gloves, you can even handle these bubbles and bounce them in your palm. They’re resilient so won’t pop easily, but if they do you can always blow another one!

The Science Bit:

Understanding both how regular bubbles form and how the washing up liquid and sugar/glycerin affect the structure of the bubble is the key to this lesson. Regular bubbles generally compose of air trapped inside a thin layer of water and can be easily popped if touched. ‘Magic Bubbles’ are stronger however. Not only does the washing up liquid ease out the tension of the water, allowing the bubble to stretch and become bigger, but the sugar/glycerin bind to the water in a way that stops the bubbles from drying out. This results in bubbles that are less likely to burst and can be blown to much bigger proportions. On top of that, gloves are needed to handle the bubbles because the natural oil on our skin destroys the barrier that protects the air from escaping.

I hope there wasn’t a massive amount of soapy spillage in your kitchen! Just be cautious of your child swallowing too much soapy water if using a pipette. Other than that, I hope you enjoy the ‘Magic Bubbles’ Science experiment.