Giant bubbles must be the coolest thing ever. In fact, I think I enjoyed this activity way better than the kids! In this post I’ll be sharing an awesome recipe that really works and two different kinds of easy DIY giant bubble wands.
To make the bubble mix:
We tried lots of recipes and had quite a few failed batches that didn’t work at all (always a disappointment, especially when you’ve waited a week to let it ‘rest’). In the end the winning combination for us is this one, adapted from this awesome bubble website.
You will need:
•12 cups warm water
• 2 cups HOT water (ours was straight from the kitchen tap)
• 1 teaspoon guar gum (found in health food shops – guar gum is used commonly in gluten free baking)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 4 teaspoons glycerine
• 1 cup detergent – I used Fairy, pictured below, but if you are able to get a hold of Dawn or Joy (hard to get in Australia) I’ve read they are the best ones to use. The detergent you use is very important, some brands will not work at all or you would need to add a much greater amount to get the recipe to work.
1. Measure the 12 cups of warm tap water into a bucket or large container and set aside.
2. In a smaller container or jug add the guar gum, baking powder and glycerine. Stir to combine and keep stirring for another 30 seconds. It should thicken and become a bit like a gel.
3. Add the 2 cups of HOT water to the guar gum mix and stir for about 30 seconds until the gel has really thinned out into the water.
4. Add this to the 12 cups of warm water and stir. Finally, add the detergent and stir gently so as not to create too many bubbles. As you can see, my kids did the stirring and created lots of bubbles but the recipe still worked for us.
5. Let the mixture cool, stirring every 10 minutes or so. It should rest for an hour before you use it.
To make the DIY wands…
Repurposed coat hanger wand:
You will need:
• A wire coat hanger
• Some wire cutters
• A straight stick (ours was from the garden)
• Coloured yarn, beads and feathers as optional extras to decorate
Cut the hooked end off the coat hanger with the wire cutters, attach it to the stick with duct tape and secure well by wrapping twine around it many times. You don’t need to decorate the stick but we like pretty things and I added some coloured yarn and a few beads and feathers at the end.
Get two sticks (we used long dowel rods) and tie a piece of looped string to the ends. Here is a simple diagram that explains how we made our string wand. For the “string” I used a very thick wool (as thick as a skipping rope) and just tied it in simple knots at the ends of each stick. The kids found this wand pretty tricky to use because it’s so big, but they had great fun popping all the bubbles I made with it.
Time for some fun!
We tipped the bubble solution into a large pot plant tray, because it needs to be big and round enough to fit the wands in easily.
Once we had the mixture working I found the bubble-making somewhat addictive. It’s really hard (even for me) to put the bubble wand down and resist creating just one more. My kids were AMAZED by the huge bubbles they made.
• There is a bit of a technique required to getting a real, big bubble floating in the air. My 5 year old mastered it beautifully but my 4 year old only got a few big, real bubbles. To get a good bubble wave the wand gently in large circles in the air.
• If your solution doesn’t work at all, don’t be afraid to experiment by adding extra detergent or guar gum.
• If you can’t find any of the above detergents, try a brand that has good de-greasing abilities. I tried several common Aussie brands before I found Fairy in the local IGA supermarket, but this brand can also be hard to find in Australia.
• The longer you let the solution ‘sit’ the better the bubbles will be. Leave it for one week for best results.