Is there anything more fun on warm afternoon to go outside and blow bubbles? Whether you are 4, 44 or 104, blowing bubbles is just one of those activities that lends itself to smiling, laughing and just general happiness. For a long time we were going through store-bought bubbles very quickly in our house -- the kids were blowing them, yes, but they also spilled a lot (as little kids are want to do). So I soon learned that making my own homemade bubbles was not only a good idea, it was one that saved money (hey, every little bit counts!) and one that the kids had fun being a part of -- another way to introduce them to the inner workings of the kitchen.
When making homemade bubbles, I find it is best to do it in large batches. I use either a clean bucket or even a washed out milk gallon container (a great way to teach your little one about reusing unwanted materials). I then store the leftover bubbles in the milk container or a large plastic pitcher. For use, I pour the bubbles in cleaned out, cylindrical-shaped frozen juice containers (again with the reusing) or even just empty store-bought bubble containers. (See below for ideas on homemade bubble wands).
But making homemade bubbles isn't as simple as it sounds. Through trial and error I learned that there is definitely a science to the process. Here are some recipes I've had some success with over the years. Try them out and then experiment on your own!
Basic Homemade Bubble Solution
As its name implies, this is a simple recipe that produces basic and good bubbles. For a long time I would always just use water and dishwashing liquid to make my homemade bubble recipes and they would be OK, but it's the addition of Karo (liquid corn syrup) or glycerin that really holds the solution together to make nice, round, "solid" bubbles.
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light karo syrup or 2 tablespoons glycerin
- 4 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
Yes, regular bubbles have a nice sheen of their own, but adding a few drops of liquid food coloring to the mixture really makes a big difference. A note though, make sure you make this one outside, away from anything that you don't want stained (cars, patios, decks, etc.). While the food coloring usually washes away, you don't want to take any chances.
- 1 cup granulated soap or soap powder
- 1 quart warm water
- Liquid food coloring
More Homemade Bubbles
To be honest, I'm not sure on a scientific level what the sugar does to the bubbles, but a friend of mine uses this recipe for homemade bubbles and swears by it. When we make this one, I do notice that the bubbles seem bigger and are slower to pop -- always fun when you are having a bubble blowing contest!
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons liquid detergent
- 1 tablespoon glycerin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Ten Great Ideas for Homemade Bubble Wands
If you happen to have bubble wands from store-bought bubbles lying around the house (for some reason, we always seem to have a collection), by all means, use those. But experimenting with different household items can also be a lot of fun. And like our bubble containers above that use unwanted materials, you can definitely find things that you are either getting rid of or, serve a different purpose but are a good fit here. Here are some ideas for homemade bubble wands to get you started, but look around your house too to see if there is anything else that would be useful.
- Fly or bug swatters
- Cookie cutters
- Colanders (for this one, you need a big bowl to dip, and instead of blowing the bubbles, move your arms back and forth so the force of the wind does the work for you)
- Plastic slotted spoons
- The top end of a salt shaker or spice container
- A ball with holes in it like a whiffle ball
- Plastic baskets that hold berries (again, you can try blowing, but moving your arms might be less tiring and leave you less winded)
- The top end of a plastic bottle (like a water bottle)
- Make your own using pipe cleaners (This link leads to a fun, inspiring video!)
Happy bubble blowing!