To prepare for this program, I gathered:
- 18 small bubble containers, to which I added a few drops of watercolor colorant;
- white paper;
- one massive jug of bubbles;
- a sleeve of chenille sticks;
- some plastic food container lids; and
- plenty of paper towels for inevitable drips and spills.
We kicked off our exploration of bubbles with a story: Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. This delightful picture book suggests that, when a bubble pops here on Earth, it doesn't just disappear--it reappears in La La Land, where the monsters find bubbles terrifying. This fun, obviously fictional, story provides lots of opportunities for talking about what kids know about bubbles, making observations, etc. And a little bit of humor can go a long way to starting a program off well.
Our first hands-on activity was to see what bubbles leave behind when they do pop. I placed sheets of white paper and the small containers of now-colored bubbles on each table, and kids were instructed to blow their bubbles onto their papers. Note: instruct caregivers to hold the bubble containers while their kids dip the bubble wands and blow bubbles, as otherwise spills are guaranteed. As kids blew their bubbles onto the white paper and the bubbles popped, they saw the various shapes and sizes, now in color, that the bubbles left behind. Abstract bubble art!
Our second hands-on activity was to see if we could blow bubbles in shapes that are not spheres. We talked about circles and spheres, then I gave each child a chenille stick to bend into another shape. These chenille sticks--now in the form of bubble wands with triangle, square, heart, and moon-shaped heads--were then dipped into pans of bubble solution I had set on the tables. We had a bit of a bubble party as kids with different shaped wands took turns demonstrating the bubbles they were creating. Much to the kids' delight, this activity shows that no matter the shape of the bubble wand, bubbles are spheres. Note: I highly recommend ending your program with this activity, or doing it outside if possible, as the floor is a bit of a slippery mess after all the blowing of bubbles around the room.
Thus ended our exploration of bubbles in Science Club, Jr. The topic seemed particularly apt to kick off the summer (this program happened early in June), and I heard many families say they'd be experimenting with bubbles at home as a result of attendance.