Bubbles aren't exactly an expensive playtime activity, by themselves. However, considering the amount of times those little bottles of soapy chemicals are knocked over, the price can really add up. Wouldn't you prefer to have free bubble time? Follow the tips and ideas in this article for the frugal version of bubble play time, including some activities you can do with your children that make blowing bubbles even more fun.
You can make your own bubble mixture using a simple recipe. Gather up 1/2 cup of dish soap or detergent, 5 cups of water (if your water tends to be hard, use bottled water), and 2 tablespoons of glycerin (you can get this at your local grocery store). If you don't have glycerin, you can substitute light corn syrup. Mix these ingredients together and very slowly stir them together -- you don't want to form the bubbles before your children get a chance! -- then let them blend overnight. The mixture will be ready the next day!
For colored bubbles, just trickle in a few drops of food coloring to your bubble mixture. If you want different colors, don't mix all the food coloring together or you'll get a gross brown hue. Instead, split the mixture into several smaller cups and add the color then.
It's also easy to make your own wands for blowing awesome bubbles! Inevitably, the bubble mixture is going to get all over the place, including on your children's hands, so why not use the natural wand they can create by making a circle with their thumb and forefinger? You can also use anything that can be shaped into a roughly loop formation: coat hangers, pipe cleaners, or beading wire. You can also utilize kitchen implements or other tools that have holes in them (just make sure to wash them thoroughly afterwards). Straws, when inserted into the bubble mix, can make lots of tiny bubbles.
Here are some bubble game ideas:
Bubble Tag -- each person playing chooses a bubble color and blows an abundance into the air. If a bubble of your color pops on someone else, they must join your team.
Bubble-Blowing Contest -- see who can blow the biggest bubble! Make sure the wands are of equal size to be fair.
Bubble Catching -- who can catch the most bubbles without popping them? Who can hold a bubble the longest without it exploding? Keep track and crown a winner!
Here's an idea for an activity you can do as a family -- garage saling!