“There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them.”
Tom Krause, Author and Motivational Speaker
Bubble painting is such a fun painting process art project with completely unexpected outcomes. I did this with my preschool child and our experience follows. I’ll show you all the supplies you need for bubble painting and how to have a successful painting session.
Aren’t these pretty? These are the result of a semi-failed experiment in bubble painting. The failure isn’t evident, is it? We had fun, experimented, and although this didn’t turn out as we expected, it was worth it!
Bubble Paint Process Art with Kids
Bubble Paint Supplies
- Tempera Paint
- Dish Soap
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.
We started with a natural dish soap from Whole Foods, and learned that while it’s great for dishes, it’s 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. You’ll want to read our bubble paint recipe to get the best recipe and soap suggestions for this project. The bubbles in our session were pretty flat and we’ll try this again for sure.
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 I gave a short demonstration, I instructed my daughter to BLOW.
Don’t suck it in.
It’s not a drink.
Don’t forget to blow OUT.
She did great, and then, “Oh no! Is that red paint all over your FACE?” I’m a terrible mom! Wash it out. Check the bottle. Phew, it’s non-toxic. Ack!
Then she blew paint about five minutes but then just forgot what she was doing. Totally understandable. She’s only two, after all. And sometimes I forget that.
Bubble Painting Tip: MaryAnn Kohl has a good suggestion in Preschool Art (affilate) 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?
If you enjoyed this, I know you’ll love the Best PlayDough Recipe Ever. It’s been used by thousands of people with so much success. Some of my other favorite art experiments and recipes for kids are: How to make Slime, Vinegar and Baking Soda for toddlers and preschoolers, playful experiments with Flour and Water , and setting up a provocation with Flour and Chalk.
Ha, yes the dish soaps sold at Whole Foods do not make good bubbles! I have a little container of Dawn (maybe?) that I keep in the craft room for any project that requires dish soap–we made our own snow globe last year, for instance. Whenever I’ve made bubbles for blowing (the regular kind, no paint) myself, the recipes always call for a little bit of glycerin, too. You can find that in the baking aisle at the craft stores that include that sort of thing–that’s where I always see it. I think I have Wilton’s glycerin around here somewhere…
Thanks for sharing these tips. I’ve heard about glycerin and bubble blowing, but haven’t tried it yet. And I’ve long wondered where in the world one would buy it — now I know! Cheers!
I love this post. the opening quote. the experience project. the beautiful gift tag.
I used your salt glitter idea today and it was a huge hit. your ideas live in my head and pop out right when I need them. I look forward to bubble painting. wait! how do you do it? I have to read the post again.
I’m so happy to hear that the salt glitter worked. Send me pictures, please 🙂 I retired ours from the art table today because I got tired of sweeping salt up on a daily basis, but it’s good to keep handy for when the need to shake some glitter arises. And I just posted the recipe for you 🙂
This is so interesting. I had the idea last month that I haven’t done yet, to blow the colored bubbles (using food coloring) onto paper using a regular bubble wand. Maybe I’ll try that sometime and post about it 🙂
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