Friday, June 17, 2011

VBS bubble stuff

I told the kids that I'd post some of the VBS science experiments that we did.  Since they were fascinated by the bubbles, I figured I'd start there.

To get started, you'll need:
* 1 cup of water
* 4 tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid
* 1 tablespoon of glycerin (you can get this at Edwards Pharmacy and at WalMart close to where Calamine lotion is sold)
Distilled water may work better if your water comes from a well.  Mix it together very gently so it doesn't foam.  You can use a regular drinking straw as your bubble wand.  Blow gently.  Cardboard toilet paper centers work, too.  Just about any closed shape will do.  You can try cookie- or biscuit-cutters.  Try bending some out of chenille stems that you get in craft supplies.  (these work very well because the fuzzy stuff holds bubble solution)  If you're having problems getting bubbles, add a bit more Dawn.

Dirt and oil are the enemies of bubbles.  Your skin has both.  Try bouncing the bubbles that you've created off your sleeve.  Some gloves work well to catch bubbles, too.  We found in the Mad Science Lab that fuzzy winter gloves work better over time than smooth cotton gloves.  We think that's because the fuzzy ones don't absorb the dampness as much.

To create a big bubble maker, you'll need 2 wooden dowel rods and some yarn.  Coat 3 to 4 inches of one end of a rod with glue and wrap yarn around the glue.  Do the same with the other rod.  Then take 2 lengths  of yarn, one about 2 1/2 to 3 feet long and the other about 4 feet long.  Now stretch the shorter piece between the wrapped ends of the dowels and tie to each dowel.  Then tie the longer piece of yarn in the same place.  When you pick it up there should be a shape like a side-ways capital D hanging between the sticks.   DO THIS NEXT BIT OUTSIDE!!  Dip the yarn-wrapped ends into the bubble solution and move it through the air or let the breeze do the work.  I found instructions for another giant bubble wand since VBS.

We did this experiment on the day we talked about forgiveness.  Forgiveness is all about letting go.  For a bubble to be a real bubble, it has to let go, too.

To make the square bubble rig, I built a cube out of 12 4-inch pieces of drinking straw hot-glued at the corners.  Then dip it into enough bubble solution to completely submerge it. (see bigger recipe below) When you've got all 6 walls filled with a film of bubble stuff, shake it a bit to make 2 walls stick together in the center.  Now take a straw, dip it in bubble stuff,  place it into the edge the connected wall and blow.  Keep trying and you'll get a cube-shaped bubble in the center of your rig.  Click here to see a square bubble demonstration .

If you need a lot of bubble solution, here you go:
* 2 cups Dawn
* 12 cups water
* 1/2 cup glycerin
You can store this in a gallon jug.

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