Bubbles are so much fun for little ones. Blowing bubbles with kids is such a simple activity that brings so much joy.
Yes, it can be messy, but that is part of childhood. Kids seem to be drawn to the messiest things – mud, bubbles, big puddles of water, dirty leaves and grass, and the list goes on.
But there is so much more to bubbles than just some excitement and often, a big mess – but on a positive note, its basically just soap.
Fun Facts About Blowing Bubbles With Kids
Bubbles Facilitate Early Sound Production
Early sounds include “p, b, m, h, y (as in you), n, w, d”. Babies and toddlers typically start producing these sounds (not necessarily all at once) between 6 and 18 months. Some children do take more time than others adding these sounds to their repertoire. But, blowing bubbles allows you to focus on some of these sounds with your little one(s).
For example, you can blow a bubble for your child and then say the word “bubble” and then just say “buh, buh” while looking at your child.
See if he will imitate either just the sound or the entire word (this will depend on what stage your child is at with regards to sound and language development). After the bubbles have disappeared, pause and wait. See if your child will verbalize or vocalize that he wants more bubbles.
Many young children will grab the bubble wand as an indication that they want this activity to continue. If your child is not speaking yet, then repeat the word “bubble” followed by “buh, buh” before you blow more bubbles. But don’t withhold the bubble blowing turning this fun activity into a power struggle. Keep it fun and blow bubbles even if your child isn’t repeating you.
Now you are setting up a routine for your child, a routine in which you are building language.
Some other great words which contain early sounds that you can incorporate into this activity include:
- more – I tend to stay away from this word as a first word because it is not very concrete. But since it’s a simple word to learn, children will often just say “more” at random times making it hard for the parent to know what the child wants more of.
For more information see my explanation as to why I also wouldn’t teach “more” as a first sign.
- yay (cheering when you see bubbles)
Bubbles Encourage Oral Motor Development
Oral motor development is the development of the mouth, jaw, tongue, cheeks (everything that is needed to speak). When a child tried to blow a bubble it can help to strengthen some of these muscles.
Most children learn how to blow bubbles between 2 and 3 years of age. You can work on blowing bubbles at any age, but don’t expect your child to be able to do it right away.
It tends to be easiest to start by having your child practice blowing through a straw (e.g. put a straw into a glass of water and have your child blow bubbles). I know, blowing bubbles into your drink is not very polite.
I used to get my children to do this outside of meal times and would tell them that we are playing a game now. I always made sure to only use water as well. The bigger (in width) the straw, the easier it will be for your child to blow bubbles with.
Once your child is able to blow bubbles into a straw you can see if they can manage to blow bubbles via a bubble wand. This can be more challenging because she will need to be able to pucker her lips and blow at the same time.
This takes a lot more coordination. But, you can a purchase “bubble blower straw” to make this easier! Gymboree and Melissa & Doug both have some great wand straws. The gymboree bubble solution is a bit pricier than most, but the bubbles are amazing – they don’t pop instantly and they don’t stain! These were my go to bubbles in my speech therapy sessions.
Lots And Lots Of Bubbles!
You can also purchase battery operated bubble blowers that are great for children ages 3+. My kids are really into these right now. They love that so many bubbles come out at once.
With older children, you can still work on language skills by talking about the bubbles and what the child is doing. You can also work on turn taking skills.
Some examples of more advanced language include:
- Now it’s my turn
- Look at that big bubble (adjectives/opposites)
- Look at that little bubble (adjectives/opposites)
- Look at all of those bubbles (plural)
- The bubble is going up really high (adjectives)
- My bubble popped (prounoun, past tense)
Homemade Bubble Solution Recipe
There are many different homemade bubble solution “recipes” available online so I am not going to write about all of them.
But here is a very basic recipe that typically works well:
1 Cup of water
1 Tablespoon dishwashing liquid
Combine the two ingredients in a cup or bottle. Stir or shake gently to mix the ingredients. Put your bubble wand in and your are ready to blow some bubbles.
There are also many great commercial bubble solutions available. Everything from scented bubbles (I would not recommend these to younger children as they will want to drink the bubble solution), colored bubbles and bubbles that last a long time before they pop.
I hope that this post has given you some insights into how a simple activity such as bubbles can mean so much for a child. So get out there and start blowing bubbles with your kids!