Bubble Science Experiments
Bubbles are fun to blow and chase and play with. But bubbles can be educational, too. Kids learn about air, surface tension, reflection and refraction, geometry, and much more.
Below you will find simple bubble experiments for the little ones and some more challenging bubble projects for older scientists as well.
Discover how to make glow in the dark bubbles, how to freeze bubbles, how to create square bubbles, how to light bubbles on fire, and even how to hold bubbles in your hands.
Not only will kids learn with these bubble projects, they will be busy having a great time in the process. This is the place where bubble science meets bubble entertainment.
Homemade Bubbles Recipes
Making bubble solution can be a science project in itself. Mixing dish liquid and water is great for blowing normal bubbles, but performing some of these bubble experiments require bubbles that last a bit longer. Here are several recipes for more durable bubbles.
Letting the solution sit for a day or so makes for better bubbles.
Recipe #1 - Corn Syrup
- 1 Cup of warm water (purified water works best)
- 2 Tablespoons of dish liquid
- 1-2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup
Add the ingredients in a container and mix.
Recipe #2 - Glycerin
- 1 Cup of warm water (purified)
- 2 Tablespoons of dish liquid
- 1 Tablespoon of glycerin
Glycerin can typically be found in either the pharmacy section or the crafting section of most stores. It is used in making soaps.
Mix all of the ingredients together in a container.
Recipe #3 - Sugar
- 1 Cup of warm water
- 2 Tablespoons of dish liquid
- 2 Tablespoons of sugar
Mix the sugar into the warm water until it is dissolved. Then add the dish liquid.
Experiment with several bubble recipes. Which recipes work the best? What other types of soap make bubbles? What other ingredients can add stickiness and durability to bubble solutions?
- How to Make Colored Soap Bubbles
Make brightly colored pink and blue soap bubbles that won't stain clothing or surfaces.
Hold a Bubble in Your Hand
Bouncing Bubbles in Action
Glycerin or corn syrup bubble solution
A pair of clean gloves or socks
What normally happens when you try to touch a bubble? With this experiment, you can hold a bubble in your hand and even bounce it around.
To begin, you will need to mix up some bubble solution using either the recipe with corn syrup or the recipe with glycerin from above. For the best results, let the bubble solution sit for about a day. This gives the mixture time to settle for the optimal bounciness.
When the solution is good and settled, put on gloves or put a pair of clean socks on your hands. Blow the bubbles or have a friend blow them. Try to catch the bubbles with your hands. Can you get the bubbles to bounce around now?
The gloves are the key to touchable bubbles. Our hands have dirt and oil on them, which causes bubbles to pop. So with the gloves on, the bubbles have a surface that they can land on and even bounce off. Try using other fabrics and surfaces to see which works best.
Amazing Glowing BubblesClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make Glow in the Dark Bubbles
Glow in the Dark Bubbles
Highlighter marker or glow stick
Tonic water (optional)
Blowing bubbles is usually something to do during the day. But bubbles that glow in the dark make bubble blowing a fun nighttime activity. There is something eerie about glowing bubbles that gives them a mysterious appeal.
The best way to make glow in the dark bubbles is with a highlighter marker or with a glow stick. (You can use glow powders or paints, but most don't mix as well with the bubble solution). You will have to cut open the marker or glow stick and pour the liquid into a bowl. You may need to soak the felt from the highlighter in a bit of water to get the liquid out. Yellow, green, or orange highlighters glow the best.
Mix the glowing liquid along with water and dish liquid. Turn off the lights, get a bubble wand, and start blowing glowing bubbles.
I like to use tonic water to mix in with the soap instead of regular water. Then I turn on the blacklights for an even better glow (tonic water is blacklight sensitive). If you are using a highlighter, you will need the blacklight to make the mixture fluoresce. Glow sticks, paints, and powders should glow without a blacklight. You may have to expose them to light first.
The bubbles should wipe away easily when you are finished. You may want to avoid fabric surfaces just in case. If you are unsure about stains, blow the bubbles outside. If you are using the bubbles with little kids, check the glow materials to be sure they are non-toxic.
More Glow in the Dark Fun
- Glow in the Dark Experiments and Activities
Light up the night with these awesome glow in the dark activities and experiments. Make glowing drinks and a glowing geyser. You can even make glow in the dark writing that is invisible in the day.
Bubbles Aren't Always RoundClick thumbnail to view full-size
Large container (example - bucket)
(Tinkertoys or other building toys can be used instead)
What shapes do bubbles come in? Bubbles are only round, right? Did you know that you can actually make square bubbles?
You will need to make a cube to create square bubbles. I used straws taped together. If you have Tinkertoys or other construction toys, you can use those to put together a cube shape. Pipe cleaners will work as well, but they are a bit flimsy.
You will submerge the cube, so try to make it small enough to fit into the container you are using. A 5-6 inch cube would be ideal.
Get the bubble solution ready (the type of bubbles don't matter for this experiment). Dip the cube into the bubbles. Carefully pull out the cube. Depending on how the bubbles form, you can have a square in the middle or all sorts of other shapes.
You can dip a wand into the bubbles and then blow it into the cube to change the shape of the bubbles already formed.
Experiment with more shapes by making a pyramid to dip into the bubbles. See if you can form triangle-shaped bubbles.
Making Square Bubbles
Frozen BubblesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Bubbles are made of water, so they can be frozen, too. Frozen bubbles are beautiful to look at and fun to make. But like regular bubbles, they don't last long. Frozen bubbles are tricky to make, but it can be done, even in the summer.
The best time to freeze bubbles is outside on a day that is below 32oF. Go outside with some bubble solution and a wand. Blow bubbles onto various surfaces and watch as the bubbles begin to freeze. They won't last long, so don't blink.
You can also create frozen bubbles in the freezer if you don't want to wait for a below-freezing day. To begin, clear out some space in the freezer near the back. Put a plate in the freezer for about an hour so that it is cold.
Mix up some bubble solution. The best kind for this experiment is either the glycerin bubbles or the corn syrup bubbles because the bubbles tend to last longer.
Take out the plate and dampen it with water. Then blow bubbles onto the plate. When you have a few bubbles solidly on the plate, very carefully put the plate into the spot you cleared in the freezer. It works best if you do it at a time when the fan in the freezer isn't running. Close the freezer door very slowly.
Wait about 10 minutes. If you are going to take pictures, have the camera ready to snap a picture before you open the freezer door. Slowly open the freezer door.
The draft will likely pop the bubbles and they will begin to deflate. But you will get a few seconds to look at your frozen bubbles. You will see frozen rings on the plate where the bubbles were.
**Warning** - Adult Supervision Required - This experiment can be dangerous.
Aerosol can with flammable propellant
Lighter with long stem
*Wear safety goggles during this experiment
You can set bubbles on fire if they are made of a flammable material. To create fiery bubbles, go someplace away from anything that could potentially catch on fire such as curtains, rug, etc. Outside on sidewalk or pavement is best. Grass can catch on fire as well, so do the experiment away from grass. If you have long hair, you may want to pull it away from your face to reduce the risk of it catching on fire.
Mix dish liquid and water together in a bowl to make a bubble solution. Make sure to add plenty of dish liquid (at least a couple of tablespoons full).
Find an aerosol spray can that has flammable contents. There will be a warning label on the can somewhere. Cleaning products or hairspray is probably the easiest to use for this experiment.
Take the spray can and dip it into the bubble mix. Spray the can generously into the mix to create bubbles full of the flammable gas.
Move the can away from the mix. Take the lighter and ignite the bubbles. Take a step back and watch as the bubbles flame. The burning should last for a few seconds until anything flammable burns up.
If you repeat the experiment, you may have to pour out the mix and freshen it to get the right effect.
Cautions: Check the wind direction before you light the fire. Stand upwind of the experiment that way the wind won't blow the fire and smoke onto you.
Burning Bubbles Experiment
What are you going to do with bubbles?
Keep the Fun Bubbling: More Bubble Science Ideas
- Make giant bubbles by filling a wading pool with bubble solution. Use a hula hoop instead of a bubble wand.
- You can add food coloring to make the bubble solution pretty colors. Some food coloring will stain, so do a test before blowing the bubbles. This works best outdoors.
- Use pipe cleaners to make bubble wands. Shape the pipe cleaners into squares, triangles, hearts, and more. When you blow the bubble, what shape comes out?
- Do experiments to see what kind of weather is best for bubble blowing. Bubbles pop when they come in contact with dirt, oil, or anything that is dry. For example, which would be better, a windy day or a calm day? Or a humid day or a dry day?
- Build a bubble blowing machine. Check out Zoom and FamilyFun to get started.
- Create scented bubbles by adding essential oils into the bubble solution. You will need to use unscented dish liquid so that its smell won't overpower the oils.
Create More Bubbles!
- Fizzles, Explosions, and Eruptions: Simple Science Experiments Gone Mad
Make soda bottles bubble over and erupt. Create bubbling and fizzing science projects all with stuff that is probably in your kitchen right now.
Dry Ice Bubbles
- Dry Ice Experiments: Cool Science Projects with Dry Ice
Dry ice can be a fun substance to use in experiments. It has cool properties that cause it to fog and make bubbles when placed in water and other liquids. Make foggy bubbles you can touch and much more with these dry ice activities.