Bubble Painting Recipe

Bubble Painting Art Ideas

Would you like to introduce your child to bubble painting? Yes? Awesome — I’ve got just the recipe for you.

The bubble recipe I used in yesterday’s post didn’t live up to my expectations, so I went back to the drawing board (paint and soap laboratory?) and came up with something that creates big, rewarding bubbles that are easy to pull prints off of. While this worked for me, feel free to experiment with your own ratios and solutions. And if you come up with something good, please share it here. Thanks to Amy for suggesting Dawn soap and glycerin in yesterday’s comments. I love getting feedback 🙂

Bubble Painting with Kids

Bubble Painting

Bubble Painting Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons tempera paint (liquid, not powdered)
  • 2 tablespoons dish soap. Palmolive, Dawn, and Joy all work well, but you could also try all-natural dish soap, although my results with these soaps have been less than stellar.
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Straw/s
  • Paper. I cut mine into pieces that matched the size of the bowl’s opening.

Directions for Bubble Painting

  • Pour ingredients into a small bowl. (If you decide you want more bubbles, stick to the same 2:2:1 ratio and size up).
  • Insert straw into bowl and blow.
  • Place paper on top of bubbles and you have a print!! Voila!

Bubble Painting

Other Bubble Painting Ideas

Make Straw Bundles. Tape or rubber band three or more straws together to create a massive bubble blower. Dip the bubble blower in a 2:2:1 ratio or liquid watercolors, soap, and water. Blow! This works a lot like a bubble blower. Very fun!

Use Bubble Toys. Dip a bubble-making toy directly into the liquid watercolor mixture (See Straw Bundles, above) and blow it onto the page.

Make Cards. Once dry, cut up your beautiful bubble creations to make gift tags, greeting cards, or bookmarks.

Make Multiple Colors. Overlap colors to create depth and layering in your work.

Bubble Painting

“There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them.”

Tom Krause, Author and Motivational Speaker

What follows is my pitch for attempting the unknown for the sake of having a new experience, and maybe the end result will match your expectations. Or not. Either way, you’ve tried something new.

Aren’t these pretty? These are the result of a moderately failed experiment in bubble painting. The failure isn’t evident, is it?

I started with a mixture of tempera paint (red with a little silver), dish soap, and a little bit of water to make it runny.

Whole Foods dish soap is apparently great for dishes, but truly terrible for making good suds. If you’re up for this project, Dawn or Joy are most likely the way to go for a bowl full of bubbles. Mine fell flat. I’ll try this again for sure, and will be sure to share the winning recipe. That was the first failure, but here comes one that’s even bigger.

Can you guess what happened here? We poured the mixture into a little bowl, and then after a little demonstration, I instructed my daughter to blow. Out. Don’t suck it in. It’s not a drink. Don’t forget to blow OUT.

“Oh no, is that red paint all over your FACE?” I’m the worst mom ever! Wash it out. Check the bottle. Phew, it’s non-toxic. Ack!

She did great for the first five minutes of blowing, but then just forgot what she was doing. Totally understandable. She’s only two, after all. And sometimes I forget that.

MaryAnn Kohl has a good suggestion in Preschool Art, which I wish I had read beforehand: Pierce a hole near the top of the straw to keep your child from sucking paint into their mouth.

After that short, freaky interlude, we resumed Project Bubble Paint. From this point forward, I was responsible for blowing bubbles.

And they make for delightful gift tags, don’t you think?

Do you have a good bubble paint recipe?

Raindrop Collage

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and then the rain came pouring down on Sunday. Amidst a full circuit of rainy day activities like treating patients in our tented doctor clinic and practicing gymnastics on the furniture, we conducted art experiments in the rain. A shift in weather can captivate young minds with questions about seasons, popping bulbs, falling leaves, flurries of snow, and pounding hail. The elements provided us with an improvisational opportunity to celebrate the excitement of rain, get a little wet, and play with a cause and effect relationship (i.e. IF I open an umbrella in the rain, THEN I will stay dry).

We each worked on our own piece, gluing strips of bleeding tissue paper to our papers. N noticed that a little bit of glue was still showing on my artwork, and did a good job covering it up. Phew!

We had a bowl of dry pasta on the table from another activity, which she decided to incorporate into her piece. Nice 3-D touch!

Then she put them out in the rain to let the raindrops do their work. I asked her to think about how the rain would affect our pictures.

Once dry, we took a good look at them. When I again asked what happened when the rain landed on the collages, she said, “It smeared the colorful paper, but not the big paper.” Righty-oh!

For a prettier after-effect, I’d recommend glue sticks over white glue. Just keep in mind that glue sticks add extra friction to tissue paper, making them more difficult for little ones to use.

More improvisational weather activities

Windy Day: Make long streamers  or wind socks to blow in the wind.  Or, fill a large ziplock bag with small pieces of tissue paper. Put a straw in the bag and zip it shut. Blow into the bag and watch all of paper fly around. Discuss how the wind works in a similar way.

Rainbows: Create rainbow-colored marble paintings.

Snow: Paint directly on the snow with spray bottles and food coloring.

What are your favorite weather-related activities?

Improvised Caution Tape

My daughter is FASCINATED by caution tape. It all started about a month ago when we walked past a building that was surround with the stuff, and I was barraged with questions like: Why is there caution tape there? Who can go over there? What happened? How did the fire truck get in the building? Why is that man behind the caution tape? Why can’t I go behind the caution tape? And so on. And ever since, her radar is attuned to caution tape like mine is attuned to drive-through coffee shacks (which are way too few and far between!)

So, one fine Sunday morning, she and my husband decked out our house with their version of caution tape. While I bought this tape with more traditional art projects in mind, I’m impressed with how they interpreted it as a medium for blocking off areas of our home. When this all got underway I was thankfully on the right side of the tape, as I was told that the other side was only for “workers only” and I wasn’t permitted to pass. Toddlers and their rules!!

In case you’re wondering, this is what she was stockpiling on the other side of the tape.

This simple play-acting game kept her entertained for close to an hour, which I attribute to paying attention to her interests, one of the first posts I wrote about back in May. While we could have purchased a head-to-toe construction worker kit like this, she got into the spirit of it all with simple yellow tape and orange paper repurposed into caution tape and cones, and it didn’t cost us a dime. Kids are awesome like that. And who needs a yellow safety vest when you can wear a pink tutu? (Bet you didn’t realize you bought her a construction outfit, Auntie Danielle!)

With rainy (and maybe where you are, snowy!) days ahead, I plan to look for opportunities to support my child’s interests using materials that we already have on hand. Or none at all. This afternoon we laughed through an improvised outing to a friend’s house to pick up stickers, using nothing but our bodies and voices. What a great way to pass an otherwise dreary afternoon!

How have you supported a child’s interests with a creative use of materials? What improvisational games have you found yourself playing?