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The Color of Bubbles

Do bubbles have a color?


  • empty plastic bottles with labels removed (one per pair of children) 
  • dishwashing liquid
  • commercial bubble solution with wand (1 per child)
  • plastic or glass prisms (optional)

Key Science Concepts

  • The colors visible in bubbles come from light reflecting on the bubbles’ surface.


Tell children they are going to look at some other transparent objects today: bubbles.

  1. Prepare a bottle of bubbles for each pair of children: fill a bottle halfway with water, add a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Then turn bottle over, letting the water drain quickly. The result should be a bottle of bubbles.
  2. Have each pair of children bring their bottle to a windowsill and look closely at the bubbles. Tell them that it may take a while for them to notice anything. They may want to look at the bottle from different angles, but it’s important that they are patient and observe the bubbles closely.
  3. Ask, What do you notice? (Children should begin to see different colors in the bubbles.) What colors do you see? Take notes as children name them.
  4. Then go outside with the bubble solutions and have children blow bubbles, observing whether they see any colors in these bubbles, too.
  5. If you have a prism, have children play with it while blowing bubbles. Ask, How is this prism similar to the bubbles?

Share and Reflect

Add any new ideas to your chart, “Color and Light.” Ask:

  • Did you notice colors in every bubble or only some of them?
  • Did you see different colors when you looked at the bubbles from a different position? How would you describe the colors in the bubbles?
  • Do these colors look like the colors we saw in the book, Spicy Hot Colors? How are they different/similar?
  • We explored how colors remind people of feelings. What feelings did you feel looking at the soap bubbles?