This week’s blog is dedicated to something we all know and love—BUBBLES! For me, bubbles are the perfect symbol of carefree childhood fun. They remind me of that first day of spring when it’s finally warm enough to play outside. Mom is out watering the garden, Dad is washing the cars, and it’s time to break out the good stuff—the sidewalk chalk, the hula hoops, the Wiffle balls and bat, and, of course, the bubble wands.
Bubble Note: If you’re in need of some new bubble supplies this season, Learning Express has a wonderful Bubble Bucket that comes with 8oz of free bubble solution. Through the end of April it’s just $9.99 and we’ll personalize it with the name of your choice for free as well!
Blowing bubbles is something that never gets old, regardless of how many years young you are. I hope you enjoy these fascinating facts about this timeless pastime!
Bubble Fact #1: Bubbles are made up of air surrounded by a thin film of water. The film, or skin, wraps around moving air, trapping it within. A soapy solution allows the skin of the water to stretch.
Bubble Fact #2: Have you ever tried to blow a bubble with pure water? It won't work. There is a common misconception that water does not have the necessary surface tension to maintain a bubble and that soap increases it, but in fact soap decreases the pull of surface tension. The surface tension in plain water is too strong for bubbles to last for any length of time. Due to evaporation, the surface quickly becomes thin, causing them to pop.
Bubble Fact #3: All bubbles are round, regardless of the shape of the bubble wand. Bubbles are very economical, so they try to pull themselves into the shape that has the smallest surface area, which is a sphere.
Bubble Fact #4: Color, one of the most beautiful aspects of bubbles, provides us with an extremely accurate tool for measuring the thickness of the soap film that makes up the skin of the bubble. Light waves, like ocean waves, have peaks and valleys (crests and troughs). Red light has the longest wavelength and violet the shortest. If we were to look at a highly magnified portion of a soap bubble membrane, we would notice that light reflects off both the front (outside) and rear (inside) surfaces of the bubble. But the ray of light that reflects off the inside surface travels a longer distance than the ray which reflects from the outside surface. When the rays recombine they can get "out of step" with each other and interfere. Given a certain thickness of the bubble wall, a certain wavelength will be cancelled and its complementary color will be seen.
Bubble Fact #5: The biggest free-floating soap bubble ever blown was 105.4 cubic feet. It could have held 788 gallons of water!
Bubble Tip #1: Blow a bubble and watch the top of the bubble closely. When a black band begins to form on top of the bubble, announce that it is ready to pop! The bubble wall becomes thinner before it pops. Less light is being reflected, so a black band forms on top of the bubble right before it pops. Give another demonstration and blow several bubbles. Tell your friends which bubble will pop first. Watch their amazement!
Bubble Tip #2: Blow gently! If you get a lot of small bubbles instead of one big one, you are probably blowing too hard, or you have the bubble wand too close to your mouth.
Bubble Tip #3: Twist it! Finish your bubble with a quick twist of your wrist to seal it.
Bubble Tip #4: Mix it ahead! If you’re preparing your own bubble solution, do it two or three days in advance. This makes it more cooperative, apparently. Save any extra bubble solution to use later.
Bubble Tip #5: Wetter is better! Make sure your bubble wand or bubble maker, and anything your bubble may touch is wet.
Bubble Tip #6: Easy does it! Let the bubble wand or bubble maker sit in the bubble solution for a few seconds. Don't slosh it around in the solution. This creates suds and foam, which are bubble busters!
Bubble Tip #7: Weather helps! Look for cool humid days, shady areas. Avoid windy days!
More Bubblicious Products
Stay tuned for our review and giveaway of a terrific scientific kit, the Bubble Gum Factory Kit in two weeks!