How can you bounce a bubble?

Activities & Days Out / 15 January, 2024 / Nanny Anita

How Can You Bounce a Bubble?

Last year I asked EC and YC what they wanted to do more of this year; EC wanted more science experiments and YC more art. Not very helpful. This year I will try to make more of a balance between doing science, art, games and other educational activities.  First off is this simple experiment: can you bounce a bubble?

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You will need:

  • Bubble solution*
  • Pipette
  • Scissors
  • A selection of gloves
  • Paper
  • Pen

* You can use ordinary store bought bubble solution (like we did). We did make our own bubble solution last summer which can be found here.

To begin with you need to cut off the end of the squeeze part of the pipette. You can just use the wand that comes in the solution, but I found that it was easier to blow one bigger bubble this way.

Before you start to blow any bubbles you need to discuss what happens when you try to catch a bubble.   It pops, I’ll explain the science in a second. Now talk about which gloves might you be able to catch and bounce the bubble on. EC and YC hypothesised that they would be able to catch and bounce the bubble the most using the washing up gloves. Then we drew up a table to show whether we could catch the bubble and how many times we could bounce it between hands.

First up was the washing gloves.  Unfortunately we couldn’t even catch the bubble on them (we did try a few times).

Can you bounce a bubble

YC managed to bounce it 15 times between her hands!

The best gloves to use were a pair of YC’s fleecy mittens followed closely by cotton gloves.

Can you bounce a bubble

The science behind it

Why do bubbles burst when they touch your hand? Well the bubble’s worst enemies are oil and dirt. The outside layer of a bubble is tiny and the oil and dirt on our hands breaks the bubble’s skin. By putting on the gloves you are (hopefully) removing the dirt and oil that comes into contact with the bubble. Of course the bubble will eventually pop. However, this added layer gives you a chance to bounce the bubbles before you do. So it is probably a good idea to make sure that you use clean gloves.

EC and YC loved doing this, they even put of going on a cookie adventure (that is what we call our trips to places like museums as we always have a cookie as a snack)!   Even if your little ones are too small to appreciate the science behind it they will certain love being able to catch and hold a big bubble.

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