When it comes to entertaining little ones, simple ideas can be surprisingly effective -- even in an age where toy manufacturers pitch increasingly complex toys to kids, toddlers, and even babies. If you're curious about this issue, by the way, there is at least one book devoted to the topic: Buy, Buy Baby by Susan Gregory Thomas
. It's an enlightening read, to say the least.
But back to the topic of simple play ideas. What could be simpler and more fun than blowing bubbles? You can make your own bubble blowing liquid at home very easily. The advantage of making your own is that you know for sure what is in it. If you prefer, you can use eco-friendly dish washing detergent instead of whatever is in the commercially produced bubble potions.
I adapted this "recipe"
for bubble liquid and instructions on how to make a bubble ring from Parenting
How to Make Homemade Bubble Blowing Potion
1/2 cup liquid dish washing detergent
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons sugar
Gently stir these ingredients until combined. Store in an air-tight container with a firm-fitting lid. It will keep pretty much indefinitely.
How to Make Your Own Kid-Safe Bubble Ring
Take a plastic six-pack soda holder (the thing with the rings that holds the cans together). Tape a drinking straw to it to make a handle for your child to grip. Personally, I think bending a pipe cleaner around it would work even better. You could leave the six-pack holder as is, or cut it up into smaller pieces for smaller kids. Alternatively, you could leave it in one piece, but use scissors to snip the inside connectors out, leaving one big flexible loop.
You can also make a bubble ring from wire. I made mine from fencing wire, and it works great! I used snub-nosed pliers to wind the wire into the correct balloon-type shape, and I used a thick wrapping of duct tape to ensure none of the sharp cut ends are exposed. I twisted a large circle at one end and a smaller circle at the other end. This makes it pretty safe, because it eliminates sharp, pointy angles.
How to Make Bubbles
Pour your bubble liquid into a flat, shallow plastic plate or dish. Show your little one how to make bubbles by dipping the ring into the liquid then gently waving it around or blowing on it to produce bubbles. Children big and small are invariably enchanted at the sight of large, glistening bubbles wafting through the air...not to mention thrilled by the sensation of popping said bubbles!
How to Blow Killer Bubbles
Here's how to blow the best bubbles: 1) hold the bubble ring about a foot from your mouth, not
up close. 2) Blow a gentle
yet steady stream of air, almost like a powerful exhalation. Oh, and don't purse your lips too tightly.
Three Important Safety Tips
1. Store leftover bubble liquid up high, out of the reach of inquisitive little hands.
2. Yes, you can make a bubble blower with wire, but that could be really
dangerous if you don't eliminate sharp ends as described above. Not sure? Stick with something soft and harmless like the six-pack holder.
supervise toddlers and younger kids around the bubble liquid in case someone tries to drink it. (Bubbles are only fun when they're floating around on the outside
of little tummies!)
Blowing Bubbles(click thumbnails to view gallery)