Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

What do children learn when playing with bubbles?

Playing with bubbles is absolutely the best fun when playing with children.  It doesn’t matter what age the child is, the enjoyment is always wonderful to see as children blow, chase or make bubbles.  Pop, pop, pop, we say as they chase and pop a bubble.  The laughter when they manage this is magic.

Bubble play is not only an easy way to have fun it is a great learning experience for children and a fabulous way to get children involved.  There are not too many children who can resist chasing bubbles.  Children can develop many skills from bubbles, such as:

Hand-eye coordination.   When chasing bubbles children have to watch the bubble carefully, line it up and then try and pop it.  Children try to do this from the earliest age and fortunately they have more success as they get older. It takes a lot of practice to get the hands and eyes to work together to pop a bubble.

Visual Tracking skills. Because bubbles are so fascinating and shine so brightly in the light and because they float in the air slowly, they are excellent to use to stimulate visual tracking.  Visual skills are needed for learning and as these skills don’t come naturally, they need to be developed.

Gross motor movement, balance and muscle tone development. Bubbles are great for encouraging movement.  It helps to perfect balance and it also improves muscle tone.  Chasing bubbles, running, jumping and stretching for them means that children are exercising and using all the muscles in their bodies.  Bubbles can change direction quickly so this helps to develop skills in direction and build quick reactions.

Fine Motor Skills.  Developing fine motor skills is preparing your child for writing by developing the muscles in the hands.  Children can learn to maneuver the fine wand in and out of the bottle of bubbles, move it around with their wrists and learn to grip the handle. 

Speech and Language development.  Teaching children how to blow is a very important milestone for speech development. It is one of the best ways to exercise jaw muscles and to prepare the mouth for pronunciation.  Blowing bubbles with children creates a great opportunity for language development by teaching new words in a fun way e.g. you can talk about bubbles being big, round, wet, floating up/down…

Social and communication skills.  When playing in a group chasing, blowing, catching bubbles children can practise taking turns and keeping personal space between their bodies so they don’t bump into or knock each other over.

The overall calming effect Bubbles have on children. 

The simple exercise of blowing a bubble encourages children to practice deep breathing which has calming effects on the body.  The physical act of blowing can be a very effective sensory-based way to help children calm and focus their bodies

There are many store bought types of bubble mixtures that don’t cost a great deal but if you prefer to make your own, below are some recipes to follow:

Bubble Recipe

3 parts dishwashing liquid (Morning Fresh works well
7 parts hot water
1 part glycerol

Mix the ingredients very thoroughly.

The glycerol helps the bubble to last longer, by preventing them from drying out.  Glycerol is available from pharmacies and some supermarkets.

Bigger Bubble Recipe

6 cups water                                                                                                                       
½ cup dish detergent (concentrated is the best maybe Morning Fresh)           
½ cup cornflour                                                                                                                 
1 tablespoon baking powder                                                                                         
1 tablespoon Glycerine 

Dissolve cornflour in the water, stirring really well.                                               
Add remaining ingredients                                                                                           
Stir in the rest of the ingredients, being careful not to create a lot of froth     
Let it sit for at least an hour before using, stirring occasionally when you see the cornflour settle on the bottom

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