Try this bubble snake activity at home and make thousands of bubbles in seconds!
Who doesn’t love blowing bubbles? Our kids have always loved getting some bubble wands out from time to time, and we have to admit we love it too!
That’s why we are so excited to share this easy but totally amazing bubble snake science experiment with you. Thanks so much to Shahzia from Little Steam Learners for contributing this awesome STEM activity idea!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own bubble snake with a sock:
- Disposable plastic bottle
- Sock (a smaller sock will fit the bottle better – it should be a tight fit)
- Small waterproof container
- Dish soap/washing-up liquid (not antibacterial)
- Food colouring (optional)
- Paper towels (optional)
Before we get into the full rundown on how to do this easy bubble snake activity at home, have you grabbed your free copy of our popular kids activity ideas eBook yet? We’ve got 21 simple and fun STEM and STEAM activities waiting for you – totally free! Just click here to get your eBook.
Ok, so now let’s get into the step-by-step instructions for this bubble snake experiment!
- Cut the bottom of the plastic bottle off using the scissors.
2. Pull the sock over the bottle, starting from the base. The open end of the sock should be closest to the end where the lid of the bottle would normally be.
3. Keep the sock in place using the elastic band. You can also fold the sock partly back onto itself to help it stay on the bottle.
4. Put a big squirt of the dish soap into the container. Add a splash of water. Don’t be tempted to add lots of water so it looks like a normal bubble solution! It will work great with lots of soap and just a little bit of water.
5. Dip the wider end of the sock and bottle into the mixture and let it soak for a minute so the sock can properly absorb the soap and water.
6. You will want to do the next part outside or in an area of your home which is easy to clean up. You may want to lay paper towels on the ground to absorb the moisture from the bubbles. Take the bottle out and blow on the mouth end.
7. Watch the bubbles appear! You can play around with the ratio of soap to water and see which mixture makes the best bubbles. Blowing hard will make a snake shape, and blowing more gently will make bigger bubbles with a less snake-like shape.
Optional: add some drops of food colouring to the soapy end of the sock to add some colour to your bubbles! Just be aware that this will be messy and food colouring can stain.
Encourage your kids to think about and share their thoughts on the answers to these questions.
Why do you think bubbles appear when you blow on the mouth end of the bottle? Why do you think blowing harder or more gently makes a difference to the kinds of bubbles you get? Do you think you’d get bubbles if you used water with no soap in it? Why or why not?
How does it work?
Here’s a little bubble snake science experiment explanation:
The reason you can make bubbles is that soap molecules have an end that is attracted to water and an end that isn’t. When you mix soap with water, a layer of water is sandwiched between opposite ends of soap molecules and air is trapped inside. This forms a bubble.
Bubbles are round because they will always try to fit the most air into the smallest space, and a spherical shape is the best way of doing this. The bubbles have surface tension, which means the molecules want to hold on to each other as tightly as they can, so they pull together to form a bubble shape.
When you blow air through the tiny holes in the material of the sock, it travels through and gets trapped inside the bubbles formed by the soap and water ‘sandwiches’.
Make sure you check out our full collection of activity ideas and grab your free eBook too!
Thanks again to Shahzia for contributing this activity. Shahzia shares all her awesome STEAM learning ideas over at Little Steam Learners.
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