Bubbles on the Breeze

Bubbles on Breeze (5)Don’t underestimate the magic of bubbles. Blowing bubbles is an activity I remind myself to return to at intervals, since children engage with them differently as they age. The last time we did bubbles, Veronika was sitting up and just starting to crawl. Now, she’s fast as can be, and wanted to scoot after them and pop them!

So the instructions for today’s activity: Open up a bottle of bubbles and blow!

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I pointed them out to Veronika, and how they shimmered and floated.

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This little girl wants to walk, so it was also fun to hold her at the waist and help her reach out for them.

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A perfect sunlit pause.

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Unpoppable Bubbles

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There’s some serious “wow” factor to this little bubble experiment, the perfect way to turn a ho-hum morning into something special!

To make the bubble solution, pour 1/4 cup water into a container. Add a little blue food coloring just so it’s easier to see.

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Stir in 1 tablespoon dish soap and 2 tablespoons corn syrup.

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A straw will be your bubble blower, but the secret now is that you also need a pencil.Travis dipped the pencil tip in the solution, as I dipped in the straw and blew a bubble.

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He poked the saturated pencil tip into the bubble… and the bubble doesn’t break!

If you want a quick run-down of what’s happening here, basically the “skin” of the bubble merges with the soapy surface of the pencil tip, so that no air gets in and makes the bubble pop. If you try it with a dry pencil, you’ll get a pop right away! We had fun seeing how far in we could poke the pencil.

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And then had lots of extra bubble solution to blow out on the back patio!

Bubbles and Squirty Water

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With Veronika sitting up in the tub, the fun continues to bubble over in new ways!

I mean that literally tonight; it was time to introduce her to the great joys of bubble baths. Make sure you’re using a baby-safe, tear-free formula, especially because your little one is likely to touch mouth or eyes with a sudsy hand at some point. Luckily Veronika seemed unfazed when this happened.

First I just showed her the bubbles as we ran the water.

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Once in the tub, we hid a favorite toy, a bright yellow ducky. She loved digging for it in the bubbles!

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I also blew bubbles gently onto her back and tummy, for a giggly sensation.

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Then we got squirty! I used an empty dish soap bottle to squirt water, both over the bubbles and onto her skin. She wanted to catch the stream of water!

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You can also do this with a funnel.

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Or with a sieve (we have a bath cup with little holes that’s perfect, and better-sized for baby hands than an actual sieve). I drizzled a little stream of water over her toes and palms, which she loved!

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How do you make bath fun for your baby at this age? Please share in the comments!

Bubble Bottle

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This little sensory bottle is the infant version of a soapy bottle I made for Travis as a toddler, incidentally one of the very first posts on this blog!

For a baby version, fill a small water bottle halfway with water. Add just a few drops of liquid dish soap and a couple drops of food coloring. Don’t shake it together yet!

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Screw the lid on very tightly. If you’re worried about it coming off (especially if your little one tends to put things in his or her mouth) you could even glue it on and let dry completely.

I sat down with Veronika and tilted the bottle so the color dispersed and the bubbles bubbled up. She loved looking right away!

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You can roll it on the ground for your little one.

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Or shake it overhead while they are lying down.

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Veronika immediately wanted to grab hold!

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As a bonus, the bottle will make plastic crinkling sounds as your little one grabs hold.

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It also works during tummy time, where Veronika reached out and tried rolling it back and forth by herself. Easy to put together, and I liked that it engaged multiple senses!

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Break Open the Bubbles

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It’s been so long since Travis was in the bubble-loving phase of toddlerhood that I almost forgot about this classic with Veronika! So today, it was time to break out the bubbles.

I sat her up in a comfortable infant seat, and simply started sending them her way.

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She went from slightly confused to amazed!

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Travis remembered the fun and wanted in on the action, too!

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There’s no need for anything grandiose here; at this age, simply letting the bubbles waft down is enough, and will captive your baby. As they get older, get ready for the reaching and popping to begin!

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To continue the fun, we made sure to check out the bubble room at our local children’s museum. Travis was a great helper making huge bubbles for Veronika to marvel at, whether with wands or pulleys.

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Happy bubbling!

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Frozen Soap Bubbles

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Here’s the perfect game to turn cold (and I mean truly freezing!) weather to your advantage. Believe it or not, I used to hate winter and cold weather. As a mom, I now found myself gleeful when I saw the 10 degree forecast since I knew it meant our frozen bubble solution was definitely going to work.

To prepare the bubble solution, pour a little dish soap into a container, and add a few drops of vegetable glycerin. Notice Travis’s eager hands by the countertop there – he was very curious what I was up to.

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We wanted to test our solution indoors before venturing outside and realized we had no bubble wands around the house! Fret not: cut a few straws in half, gather into a bundle, and secure with a rubber band for the easiest homemade blower ever.

Why pop bubbles with your fingers when you can use a sword?

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Ok, the next step was to bundle up and face the chill. The longer you’re in the cold, the more interesting this will be. The bubbles don’t pop when they hit the ground, but instead float down in big clumps and freeze to the grass.

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Perfect for popping with that sword, of course.

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If you pop them with a finger, they become almost stringy, instead of disappearing straight away. Popping them left what looked almost like white frost on the ground, and Travis adored it!

A note to all those of you feeling cabin fever: Travis was initially hesitant to go outside, but he had so much fun that he was soon demanding we make more bubble solution – and I was the one who had to say our pink noses meant it was time to head back inside. So give those kiddos a nudge and get out there to enjoy! Easily the most magical 10 minutes of our day.


Giant Bubble Wand

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I’ve been eyeing this project for over a year, but it looked too technical and difficult so I kept tabling it for another day; parents and caregivers, I’m here to reassure you not to be daunted! The wand was so simple to put together, and the result is fantastic. With 80 degree morning sunshine on our back patio, how could we not pop out for bubble play?

To make the wand, insert a push pin into one end of each of two dowels; a twisting motion works better than pushing, so you don’t bend the plastic bit by accident. Leave a little space instead of pushing the pins all the way in, as shown.

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Cut a four foot length of yarn, and tie one end to one exposed push pin. Insert that push pin fully to hold the yarn. Loop the yarn through a metal washer, then tie around the other exposed push pin.

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Finally, cut a smaller length of yarn (about 18 inches), and tie a few inches below the dowel on each side – you’ll wind up with a triangle shape when the dowels are held apart. This is now your wand.

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To make the bubble solution, combine dish soap and water in a 9-to-1 ratio – I used 1/3 cup dish soap and 3 cups water.

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I showed Travis how best to dip the wand for the first few tries.

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Wave it in the wind, and you’ll discover that this thing makes serious bubbles!

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It was hard for him to get the hang of holding a dowel in each hand, instead of gripping it with one hand, but that didn’t stop him from loving the mere sensation of wand and bucket.

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When we tired of bubbles, the wand made a fantastic “mop” for the patio, which kept Travis happy in the sunshine for quite some time.

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B Week!

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It’s hard to believe this is our second to last week of our Letter of the Week journey, begun last September. We had a (n appropriately lettered!) blizzard hit, and frigid temps, but that didn’t deter us from B week fun.

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Bird: My favorite moment of the week was a stop into a local bird sanctuary, where we spotted early spring birds, including a beautiful cardinal! A great way to get out into nature.

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Bubbles: Bubbles are always a childhood favorite, so to make them different this week, we used bubble bath and played bubble barber, piling on silly beards and hairdos. Travis loved giving me a beard and rubbing bubble “lotion” all over his and my arms. We also made a painting with bubbles (simply add food coloring to bubble solution, hold up to paper and blow!), for a neat way to visualize them.

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For more bubbly fun (but not the soap kind), we also painted with bubble wrap.

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Boats: Speaking of bath time, make an easy boat that will really float in the tub. Use an empty Styrofoam tray from the supermarket as the base; place a blob of playdough in the middle, and insert a straw with a paper sail taped to it for the mast. Travis loved it so much he didn’t wait until bathtime to play, and he loved that it really floated.

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Balloon/Bounce: Balloons are another constant favorite, so we needed to make them special for B week. What could be better than balloons that bounce? Buy large balloons, and smaller rubber bouncy balls. Slide a ball up inside each balloon before inflating, then inflate and watch them bounce – they’ll be off balance and wonky and super fun. The bouncy balls turned out to be a huge hit on their own. Travis used them in musical play, to bounce backwards off the wall, and more.

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Backwards: Be silly this week and do whatever you can backwards. Bounce a ball backwards, wear a shirt backwards, or even eat a backwards meal (dessert first of course, or breakfast for dinner and vice versa).

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Baseball: Read a cute intro to baseball like Little Baseball from Sleeping Bear Press, listen to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, and then take a few practice swings with a soft bat and ball!

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Beanbags: Beanbags have nearly endless possibilities; race with them on your back, squeezed between your knees, on your head – the sillier the better!

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Beanbags also make great musical props or color-learning tools.

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Buttons: With the help of some sticks we collected, Travis made a button tree. Or just play with buttons! Travis loves sorting them by color, or piling them into and out of containers.

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Butterfly: This word was the prompt for three fantastic art projects, one messy and fun (footprints), another a touch more scientific (balancing), and one just beautiful (zipline butterflies). It was nice to think about spring butterflies flitting about, here in our late winter weather! Of course you can also flutter like a butterfly using scarves as wings.

Our weekly extras…

Fine art: Travis helped construct an entire block city for our 3-D art project this week. Admittedly, I did most of the crafting, but he loved building stacks and towers in the final creation.

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Food: Some favorites this week were baby bananas, blueberries, and bagels… And of course we had to take a field trip to a bakery for a brownie.

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Books: Your child will get gales of laughter for The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems. You might also check out any of the Angelina Ballerina books, The Bear in the Book by Kate Banks, Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, or The Lamb and the Butterfly by Arnold Sundgaard. Our favorite reading moment this week was with our Usborne Young Beginners Bugs, matching them up to Travis’s bug kit.

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Songs: Make sure you listen to Baby Beluga this week!

Math: We talked about the concept of before, as in 1 comes before 2, 2 comes before 3, etc. Floor puzzles or number mats are nice ways to visualize this idea.

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I’ll be posting our final installment – letter A – next week, so stay tuned!