Science activity – How to make giant bubbles

Posted on October 21, 2013 by

Materials

  • Washing-up liquid
  • Glycerine or corn syrup
  • Jug
  • Water
  • Large bucket or bowl
  • Spoon
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Ball of string
  • Electrical tape

How to make it

  1. Mix the washing-up liquid and glycerine or corn syrup in a jug, then stir it into a bowl full of water. To make really good bubbles, for every 15 parts of water, mix in one part of washing-up liquid and a quarter part of glycerine or corn syrup. Watch out though, it’s very sticky!
  2. Bend the triangle of the coat hanger into a circle shape – you may need an adult to help you. Use electrical tape to hold the shape together.
  3. Wind string tightly around the arm of the wand and then coil it around the circle shape. Secure the string by wrapping electrical tape around the bottom of the wand.
  4. Dip your wand into the bowl, making sure you cover the string with the mixture. Take the wand out and let some of the mixture drip off.

What’s happening?

Water molecules hold themselves together by surface tension. Washing-up liquid weakens the surface tension, which allows the water to be stretched into thin film. A free-floating bubble filled with air always forms a sphere. This is because the surface tension pulls it back into shape.

 

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