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Saturday, June 11, 2016

It's Bubble Time! by Trisha Roberts

Floating Bubbles

Bubbles are universal fun for young and old alike.  Something about that iridescent floating orb evokes memories of reaching for the sky and imaginary worlds beyond the rainbow.

Most children learn to purse their lips and blow around 3 years old.  

Blowing Bubbles takes practices
Learning to Blow Bubbles

Holding a full jar of bubbles and trying to keep it level while inserting the bubble wand is usually a skill not mastered until 6 or 7. 

Skill is required to use a bubble wand
Bubble Blowing with Mom
That’s not to say that young children can’t enjoy bubbles, but they require adult supervision if it is to be a successful adventure that doesn’t lead to a total mopping of the floor! 

Making Bubbles

I personally love the “spill proof” bubble containers, as the unique design of the container lid reduces the spillage of liquid to a minimum.
Bubble Container
Unique Spill-Proof Bubble Bucket

 If you don’t have the spill-proof bubbles, buying a set of small bubble containers (think ‘wedding bubble’ sized) and then filling them from a large container of bubbles is the most economical way to play. It reduces the amount of bubbles spilled and the number of tears shed when the bubble container is knocked over!

I prefer to instruct children ahead of time to get out their “pointy fingers” (index fingers) and try to stand in one spot and pop the bubbles. 

Pop bubbles with your finger
BOP Goes the Bubble!

Without instruction, most kids start running willy-nilly through the bubbles waving their arms and knocking other children down or whopping them in the head! By standing in one place and using their index fingers, they improve trunk control, isolation of upper extremities from the trunk, balance and postural control, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor skills.

Bubbles can encourage reaching
Reaching up for Bubbles

Young children can have fun with bubbles

Even infants can enjoy bubble play.  It helps develop early focus and tracking, reaching, language, and cognitive Skills.  If an adult is able to blow and then catch a bubble on the wand, 

Baby reaching for bubbles in the air

it can be placed within the baby’s visual range and moved to facilitate focus and tracking.  The child can be encouraged to reach out a hand or finger to pop the bubble, working on the development of core control, isolation of upper extremity movement from the trunk, and fine motor control.

Hold bubble on the wand for young children to pop
Catch Bubbles on the Wand so Young Children can Enjoy!

Large bubbles made with a bubble wand  are great fun outdoors.  Adults or patient older children can learn to make these gigantic bubbles with a bit of practice. 

Make Giant BubblesMake Giant Bubbles
Most wands come with a recipe for the bubble liquid and instructions in how to produce these monsters. It is important to keep foam and suds to a minimum and to slowly separate the wands connected to the ribbons of fabric so that the bubble doesn’t pop prematurely.

Bubbles that can be touched and stacked are also available and are sold under a variety of names such as “Catch-a-Bubble”, “Stack-a-Bubble” and “Touchable Bubbles”.  These are great bubbles, as they usually don’t pop until touched and will float in the air for long periods of time, allowing young children and children with speed and control issues a higher chance of successfully capturing or popping the bubbles.  This type of bubble should be blown by adults or older children, as spills are very sticky and difficult to clean.  They are non-toxic and do not stain furniture or floors, although they do leave a cobweb-like residue that easily wipes away. 

So choose your bubbles, whip out the wand and turn on the smiles and laughter. 

Laughing with Bubbles

Bubbles and Kids

Author:  Trisha Roberts

Bubbles Floating across the field

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Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

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