Saturday, September 5, 2009

More Fun With Bubbles - Super Bubble Ooze and Gelatin Enhanced Bubbles

This being the unofficial last weekend of summer, and the local weatherman predicting a cold front approaching by tomorrow, we decided to seize one last opportunity for some fun with bubbles. We've played with bubbles quite a bit over the summer. Now, we were ready for something better, something stronger, or maybe just something new.

We turned first, to a recipe we found in Kid Concoctions & Contraptions by John E. and Danita Thomas, for "Super Bubble Ooze". It called for equal parts liquid starch, and gel type school glue, and a little food coloring. To anyone who's ever made oobleck, or a cornstarch bouncy ball, this recipe will look familiar.
We combined about 1/8 of a cup of gel glue, with a drop of red food coloring.

Then, we added in about 1/8 of a cup of liquid starch (again, mine was a liquid spray starch, so I don't know if that makes a difference).

After leaving the mixture to sit for five minutes, we mixed it until it was solid enough to pick up in our hands.

Then, we rolled and kneaded it, until it was somewhat like a sticky rubber ball.

The kids applied glops of the goo to the end of straws, and blew it into bubbles.

The bubbles worked, but were not all that strong. Really, I think we could have just stuck chewing gum to the end of the straws, and gotten the same results. The goo was sticky, and wonderful, though. And, with green food coloring, instead of red, it would make some excellent imitation snot.

We were, however, going for bubble, not gross out, fun, and so we proceeded to our next recipe.
This time, we dissolved one packet of unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup of boiling water. Then we added 1/2 cup of dish soap, and three cups of cold water, stirring gently to mix.

The bubbles produced from this solution, while not super bubbles, were stronger than the others we've played with over the summer. They were slower to pop when they landed in the grass, or on hands. And, by covering their hands with a little of solution, the children were able to play quite a bit with the bubbles they caught. We'll definitely be experimenting more with this solution next summer. That is, as the children's great-grandmother liked to say, "If the Lord don't come, and the river don't rise before then."

It's great to be a homeschooler.

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