Bubble Bonanza: Engaging Kids with DIY Bubble Blower Fun!

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Engineering is a fun way to introduce kids to the concepts of science and math. Today, we’ll walk through an experiment that your child is sure to love!

Building a bubble blower machine is a simple and engaging engineering experiment that uses simple household items. This experiment will teach your child about the concepts of airflow, pressure, and how machines work.

Since bubbles are a childhood favorite, your child will not only enjoy making it but also have a blast playing with their completed bubble blower after you finish the experiment. And, as a bonus, they’ll know a little more about how bubble blowers work!

bubble bonanza building a bubble blower engineering experiment for kids and preschoolers

How to make the Bubble Bonanza engineering experiment

Supplies you will need

For this experiment, you will need the following:

Supplies needed for the Bubble Bonanza engineering experiment

Before you start

Since we are using scissors and cutting into a plastic bottle that could have sharp edges, please watch your child while handling these sharp pieces.

Instructions

Here is how to do the Bubble Bonanza experiment with your toddler:

Step 1: Cut the plastic water bottle

Cut off the bottom of the bottle

Using your scissors, cut the bottom of the plastic water bottle (not the side you would drink out of).

Please watch the edges of the water bottle when handling it; it could be sharp after you cut it!

Step 2: Add sock to the bottle

Place sock over the water bottle (cut if needed)

Cut a small piece of the sock and place it over the bottom of the bottle. If you are using a small sock (I’m using a toddler’s sock here), then you can get away with not cutting it.

Once you’ve cut your piece of the sock and placed it over the bottle, secure the sock to the end of the water bottle using your duct tape. Pull the sock pretty tightly so the bottom is snug.

Adding duct tape to secure sock to bottle

Step 3: Insert the straw into the bottle cap

Insert your straw into the bottle opening

Now, we’re going to create the piece of the bubble blower machine that we blow into to create bubbles.

Insert your straw into the bottle cap portion of the water bottle, then secure it in place using your duct tape.

It doesn’t have to be in a particular spot, as long as the straw itself is not pinched (that will make it harder to blow into!).

Tape the straw in place, making sure to not pinch the straw

Step 4: Dip the sock end of the bottle into the bubble solution

Insert sock end into bubble solution

Our bubble blower machine is ready to go! Now, it’s time to blow some bubbles.

Dip and saturate the end of the bottle with the sock attached into the bubble solution.

Step 5: Blow into the straw to create airflow, which will create bubbles

Blow into the straw to create your bubbles!

When we blow into the straw, we create airflow that changes the air pressure inside the bottle. This change in pressure pulls the bubble solution up and forms bubbles when the air passes through the sock.

Step 6 (optional): Extend the fun!

To extend this experiment, try these activities:

  1. Experiment with different shapes and sizes of bottles to see how it affects the airflow and the number of bubbles created.
  2. Try using different materials for the sock to see how it affects the size and shape of the bubbles.
  3. Add food coloring to the bubble solution to create colorful bubbles.
  4. Experiment with different types of bubble solutions to see which one creates the best bubbles.

The engineering behind the Bubble Bonanza engineering experiment

This experiment teaches:

  • Introduction to Engineering and Mechanics
  • Understanding of Science Principles
  • Problem-Solving Skills

How it works

The bubble blower machine works because of the principles of airflow and pressure. When you blow into the straw, it creates a low-pressure area inside the bottle.

The bubble solution is then forced up through the sock, creating bubbles. The sock acts as a filter, preventing the bubble solution from spilling out of the bottle.

Intro to Engineering and Mechanics

This experiment can help preschoolers learn about the basics of engineering, mechanics, and how simple machines work. They will get to build a bubble blower machine using everyday household items, which can introduce them to the concepts of airflow, pressure, and how machines work.

Here’s what is happening inside our bubble blower with regard to airflow and pressure:

When we blow into the straw of our bubble blower machine, our breath creates airflow, which means the air is moving. This moving air creates a special kind of pressure inside the bottle.

Inside the bottle, the air is being pushed by the air we blow in. This makes the air inside the bottle move faster, and it becomes a bit squished. Squishing the air makes the pressure inside the bottle lower than the pressure outside.

When we dip the sock end of the bottle into the bubble solution, the low pressure inside the bottle pulls the bubble solution up through the sock. As the solution comes out, it forms a thin layer around the sock.

When we blow again, the air passing through the sock creates a film of air between the sock and the bubble solution. This film of air traps the bubble solution and forms a bubble!

As we keep blowing, more and more bubbles form and float away.

Understanding of Science principles

Through the experiment, preschoolers can learn about scientific principles like surface tension.

Surface tension is like a thin, invisible skin on the surface of liquids and it’s what makes bubbles possible.

The bubble solution sticks together tightly because of surface tension. When we blow air through the sock, the surface tension pulls the solution into a round shape, trapping air inside and forming a bubble. So, surface tension helps the bubble hold its shape until it floats away.

We can also observe how air pressure inside the bottle creates a low-pressure area that forces the bubble solution through the sock to create bubbles. This can help them develop an understanding of the natural world around them.

Problem-solving skills

The experiment provides an opportunity for your preschooler to experiment with different materials and adjust their methods to create better bubbles.

They can explore different shapes and sizes of bottles, try different types of bubble solutions, and experiment with various materials for the sock to create different bubble shapes and sizes.

More engineering experiments to try out with your child

FAQ about the Bubble Bonanza engineering experiment

How does a homemade bubble blower explain engineering?

A homemade bubble blower introduces kids to engineering concepts through hands-on building. They learn about cause and effect as they blow into the straw, creating airflow and affecting pressure for bubble formation. Exploring airflow and pressure fosters foundational engineering principles. Through creativity and problem-solving, kids optimize their bubble blower, developing skills for future engineering exploration.

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