Few activities bring children more glee than chasing bubbles around the yard. Whether you’re using a simple plastic wand, a bubble lawn mower, or one of those high-tech movie-set bubble machines, bubbles can keep kids entertained seemingly forever ⏤ or at least until they ask to hold the bottle of mix and immediately dump it over. There are even fun ways to freeze bubbles in the winter.
Nonetheless, store-bought bubbles are not without their genetic flaws: namely, they’re small, thin, and they pop too quickly. Which inevitably leads to wasted time dipping and blowing and watching in frustration as tiny bubbles burst before they even leave the wand. Also, to wondering whether there’s a better way to just make your own bubbles at home. Bubbles that will grow big and thick and can float to Indiana without popping.
Turns out, there is. In fact, mixing home-made bubble solution is a breeze, and it costs a fraction of what you’d pay for a bottle off the shelf. All you need is a bucket, a few household ingredients, and about 15 minutes. Here’s how to do it in three easy steps.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 Gallon Water
- 1 Cup Liquid Dishwashing Soap
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Guar Gum (or 1/4 Cup Glycerin)
- Mixing Spoon
Giant Tri-String Wand
- 2 Wooden or Plastic Sticks of Any Length
- Roll of String
- 1 Metal Washer (not too light, as it’s for weight)
- Optional: 2 Screw Eyes
How to Make the Bubble Mix
- First, pour the dishwashing liquid, baking powder, and guar gum into the bucket. Guar gum, by the way, is a natural stabilizer/thickener commonly used in ice cream. It can be found at your local grocery store, and in this recipe, it’s the secret ingredient that helps the bubbles to grow big and tough. If you can’t find guar gum, some recipes substitute corn syrup of Glycerin (or even lubricant), all of which can easily be found at a grocery or drug store.
- Stir until all three ingredients are well mixed.
- Add warm water and continue stirring. Once the formula is completely blended and there are no lumps, you are ready to bubble.
How to Make The Tri-Wand
To make giant bubbles, you need to use a tri-string, or tri-wand. Essentially, two handles attached to a long piece of string in the shape of a triangle. The handles can be as big or small as you want, but if kids will be making the bubbles, use something more manageable like plastic straws. If you’re blowing the bubbles, invest in something a little longer and more sturdy. No matter the size, however, the steps to make a tri-string wand remain the same.
- First, slide a washer onto the string and tie one end of it to the top of one of the sticks. NOTE: If using screw eyes, screw one into the top of each stick and tie the string to it.
- Now lay both sticks down on a table and make a ‘V’ with the string, so that the washer is at the bottom. Remember, the wider you can stretch the two sticks when making the bubbles, the more gigantic said bubbles will be. So if you want enormous bubbles, create an enormous ‘V’. After settling on the size, knot the other end of the string around the top of the other stick (or through the screw eye).
- To complete the triangle, you have two options: 1. If you’re using a roll of string (and you haven’t cut it), stretch it back across the top of the two sticks and tie it near the original knot; 2. Simply cut another piece of string and tie it to both handles (or through both screw eyes) at the top.
If you want to skip making the wand all together, you could also just buy one here.
How to Make the Big Bubbles
With the bucket of mix and tri-wand in hand, you’re now ready to blow some young minds with ginormous bubbles. To make that happen, put the sticks together and lower the string and washer into the solution until it’s fully submerged. Move it around to make it gets covered, but don’t let it get tangled. Raise the string up, slowly separate the sticks as far as they will extend, and start to move your arms or walk. Viola! Enormous bubbles that won’t immediately pop should start to form and float. Kids should start to squeal with excitement. It may take a little practice to get them perfect, but you’ll get the hang of it.