Bubbles are sometimes my secret weapon while working with children. Today’s post is super exciting because it is a Bubble Explosion! I am super thrilled for this guest post by Sue from the wonderful blog, One Time Through. She also has one of the coolest discovery bottles ever, a hurricane in a jar!
Hi! I’m Sue from the blog One Time Through. When Katie invited me to guest post here on Preschool Inspirations, she told me that her readers enjoy getting ideas for sensory play for their kids. My preschool aged son, whom I lovingly refer to as “Onetime” on my blog, absolutely loves doing “experiments” – especially if they bubble or fizz!
So today, I’m going to show you how you can make a Bubble Explosion in your kitchen sink, for a sensory science experience that your child will really enjoy – and maybe even learn some things from!
Supplies for the Bubble Explosion:
- A large clear plastic container (we used an empty juice jug)
- A couple tablespoons of dish detergent
- Food colouring of your choice
- Baking Soda (a couple tablespoons)
- White Vinegar (approximately half a cup)
- A funnel is helpful but not necessary
- A kitchen sink or bathtub!
Prepping for the Explosion:
Depending on the age of your child, you can get them to help with the preparation for the activity. Onetime was able to do quite a few steps with close supervision.
Step 1: Scoop a couple tablespoons of baking soda into the empty plastic jug. Add about an inch of water, put the cap on, and have your child shake to mix the soda until it dissolves.
Step 2: Squirt a couple tablespoons of dish detergent into the baking soda/water mixture.
Step 3: Add some food colouring to colour the mixture and shake again! This part was really fun!
Now is a good time to talk to your child about what they think will happen when you add the vinegar to this mixture.
If you’ve done some other baking soda and vinegar experiments, like my mesmerizing Hopping Corn activity, they may already know that carbon dioxide will be released and may be able to predict some bubbles or fizzing. If they haven’t had experience with this type of reaction, they will be very surprised!
Step 4: Make sure your bubble bottle is in the sink or bathtub and have your child slowly pour approximately half a cup of vinegar into the bottle.
If all goes well (and your baking soda is fresh!), your juice jug should start overflowing with coloured, fizzy bubbles!
My son had a blast watching the reaction and getting his hands right into the bubbles. When it started to slow down a bit, we just shook the bottle gently to get it going again.
Eventually, the reaction will peter out and then you can have even more fun cleaning out the bottle for a second or third try with different colours!
Learning Through Play
Although this activity is a fun one just to set-up and play with, it’s also the perfect opportunity to get young children to learn the meaning of some scientific words like hypothesis, observations, reaction, and experiments.
If you want to find even more great ways to encourage young children to think like scientists, be sure to read this post: 8 Ways to Help Your Kids Love Science.
And if you want some more bubble related fun, check out this Homemade Ice Cream Scented Bubble Recipe.
Bio: Sue Lively is a behaviour therapist, turned elementary school teacher, currently at home with her preschool-aged son, “Onetime.” She shares her adventures of creating, observing and celebrating life, learning, and parenthood with her favourite little guy. You can find her onFacebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.