Today’s STEAM Activity is making bubble machine using a few common household items!
Are your kids as obsessed with bubbles as my kids?! My kids will blow them, chase them and pop them all day long, every day if I let them. So I knew this experiment would be an extra fun treat for them!
- Small paper cup
- Sharp pencil
- Bendy straw
- Duct tape
- Dish soap
- Poke a hole in the bottom of your paper cup with the pencil, then remove the pencil and put it aside
2. Stick the long end of the straw into the hole, push it in until it is almost touching the other side of the cup
3. Duct tape around the straw and cup to make sure no water will leak out
4. Add enough dish soap to the cup to cover the straw
5. Add a 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the cup (so it’s about equal parts water and soap)
6. Bend the short end of the straw up towards your mouth and blow! Bubbles will begin to foam out of the cup. Keep blowing to see how many and how big bubbles you can make!
7. Have fun popping all the bubbles, then blow the bubbles all over again!
STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:
- Science: When soap and water are mixed and air is added to the mixture, a thin surface will form to trap the air (creating the bubble). The soap lowers the surface tension of water allowing it to be flexible enough to form the bubble with the soap.
- Math: You can practice geometry by discussing the shapes of bubbles. Bubbles are always sphere shaped because this shape allows them to take up as little space as possible while holding the most air possible. But when the bubbles start to stack and attach to each other like they did in our activity, they may squish each other into other shapes such as cubes or hexagons. A math concept my son is learning now is greater than and less than. You can do that comparison with the size of the bubbles you’re creating. You can blow bigger or smaller bubbles depending on how hard, soft, strong, or weak you blow into the straw. Add too much air and you might pop all the bubbles, add consistent air and you can form very large bubbles.
Bubbles are always a good idea if you have kids. This is a sure-to-please experiment that is super easy to set up and so much fun to play with. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes for you!