Kids love blowing bubbles. Here are some ideas for how to transform your child's exploration into "science play."
You can make really simple bubble blowers using clean, empty aluminum cans of different sizes. With a can opener, open the other end of the can. To make homemade bubble mixture, add some dish soap to a large shallow pan of water (you can also use a sink or the bathtub.) The amount of soap you will need will depend on the type of dish soap, the size of the pan, and the amount of water. Try blowing a bubble by dipping one end of the can into the water, lifting it out, and blowing through the can. Did it work? If not, try adding more soap, mixing it, and doing it again. Keep experimenting until you find the mixture that makes the best bubbles. If you add too much soap, you can always add more water!
Once you find a perfect mixture, use the different-sized cans to blow lots of bubbles. Watch the bubbles, noticing how they move and float through the air. What happens when the bubbles land on different surfaces? Do they break or stay intact? What happens when the bubbles land in your pan of soapy water? Can you catch a bubble in your hand without breaking it? When the bubbles pop, look for evidence of soap and water droplets on the surfaces.
For an extension activity, gather other items to make bubble blowers. What sort of bubble blower would make a really big bubble? How about a small bubble? To make a monster bubble, thread a piece of yarn about two feet long through two drinking straws. Tie the ends of the yarn together. Lay the yarn in the bubble mixture, using the straws as handles. Then, hold the yarn taut and pull it out. To make lots and lots of tiny bubbles, try using fly swatters, straws, and slotted spoons.