We love to play with bubbles. They are so much fun for babies and can rapidly change a toddler’s mood. (Unless of course you allow the toddler to hold the bubble solution and they spill the bubbles or you spill the bubbles. Voice of experience: do not spill the bubbles.)
Bubbles are great for spontaneous playtime, but recently I used bubbles in planned play and was amazed at what I saw happening.
Demonstrate air movement with this bubbles toddler activity
One day on a walk I tried to explain to my boys what wind is. There was a light breeze that you could feel, but the movement of the trees was minimal for my guys to see and fully understand.
I started to think about how we could have fun with a simple starter lesson learning about the movement of air and immediately my mind went to bubbles.
We ventured out to the yard, I sat down with the boys in the grass with our bubble maker and we talked about the breeze we felt. I pointed out the way my hair, the trees, and the leaves that were all moving in the light wind.
I then turned on the bubble machine and instant joy erupted in both boys. My youngest, who was a baby at the time, sat on the ground reaching for the bubbles that fell near him. My toddler began chasing bubbles and trying to catch them with his hands and mouth.
Soon the breeze stopped and the bubbles fell just in front of me. Both boys looked on with curiosity as to why the bubbles weren’t streaming out into the yard. I simply told them the wind stopped.
The breeze picked up again and the bubbles were everywhere. As the wind changed direction the bubbles would begin to blow behind me.
Every time the wind would shift I would call out, “The wind changed direction, where is it going?” The boys would giggle and my toddler would point in the new direction. Then he would again start running to the bubbles. His baby brother observed and would nearly fall over in laughter when the bubbles came his way again.
This was a great activity for both baby and toddler age groups to be involved in.
My favorite bubble supplies
While you could use a regular wand for a cheaper bubble making option, I absolutely love the Gazillion Bubble Hurricane Machine. It makes so many bubbles at once and made very clear the movement of the wind. I place it on a frisbee or plastic plate to keep any mess from dripping as we move around. We have even taken our bubble machine with us on trips to enjoy this activity again in other locations.
I use a generic bubble solution sold in large quantities from Amazon, the dollar store or Walmart since my kids enjoy bubbles so much and we played with them weekly.
The only mess was the bubble solution in the machine which was easy to take apart to clean. We had a light breeze the day I decided to attempt this play plan, but you can easily use a fan to create wind and to show directional change.
- cognitive development: observe the effects of wind
- physical skills: walking/moving on uneven ground when chasing bubbles; improving hand/eye coordination on popping bubbles
- emotional skills: experiencing happiness when playing with bubbles; working on coping when bubble solution runs out and activity ends
- engaged senses – sight and touch (taste will most likely happen too!)
- Use a fan with multiple speeds to create movement of bubbles with different degrees and direction of wind.
- Older child may be able to create bubbles.
- Purchasing edible bubble solution and encouraging the consumption of bubbles.
Level of mess: