Monday, July 14, 2008

Not So Tiny Bubbles: Cheap Wands and DIY Solution

If you're not reading Mom Advice, you're probably missing out on some great ideas. I don't know how Amy does it all, but her frugal living site has a great breadth of coverage. I particularly look forward to her Thursday Amy's Notebook posts that highlight lots of great ideas from around the web.

Her post on bubble wands from Target's Dollar Spot and link to a DIY bubble solution recipe inspired a lot of fun here.

After a trip to Target's Dollar Spot for some giant bubble wands and glycerin ($2.69 for 4 ounces; they hold it behind the pharmacy counter at our Target so you have to ask for it; CVS puts it with the scar treatment ointments), we mixed up a gallon of Sparkle Power's homemade bubbles in an empty milk jug (tip to avoid a frothy mess while filling: first fill the jug with warm water; then add the dish soap and glycerin; roll or shake sealed jug gently to mix. Label the jug lest your family mistake the substance for beverages).

For our playgroup at the local spray park, Ranger and I loaded the car with two Target bubble wands ($1/each), a gallon of bubble mix, and a third giant SuperBubble wand from Toys R Us ($3, and don't bother- it's awful). The bubble wands were so easy to use that the toddlers (2 & 3 year olds) spent as much time playing with the bubbles as running through the water sprayers.

The glycerin makes the bubbles rather easy to produce and resilient. The wands have many openings, so they produce many bubbles with one swipe of the arm. We found that the yellow flower wand tended to produce a single giant cluster bubble, while the orange wand with the hearts and star border made lots of small to mid-sized individual bubbles.

The bubble solution has easily won the admiration of playgroup families and Ranger's grandparents.

I can't wait to try it with our Klutz Giant Bubble Maker. It might inspire us to make Mentor Mom's DIY mega bubble wand.

Thanks, Amy, for the great recommendations!


Chief Family Officer said...

I bookmarked Amy's post too, although I haven't tried it yet. Thanks for another positive review, I'm definitely doing this at some point!

Amy said...

Oh, that is just great! I am so glad you had fun with it. Sparkle Power is such a great blog and I have loved highlighting these bloggers in the notebook entry.

We have officially ran out of bubbles and I am making a second batch tomorrow. I did make the mistake of putting the dish soap in first and I had to wait for the bubbling to stop before I could add more water. That is a great tip.

Thank you so much for the link!! I really appreciate it!

Francie said...

We love the make-it-yourself bubble solution. We even made a huge batch last August for entertaining out-of-town guests with two small children, and at the end of the day had half a bucket remaining. (We use the Klutz "bubble thing" with a fabric loop that does indeed allow us to make giant bubbles -- as much fun for Daddy as for the kids!) I covered the bucket with a plastic grocery sack & the bubble solution remained good for weeks afterward. It may have even been better, as there would be less froth from the initial mixing process. I recommend this recipe and picking up a small bottle of glycerine at your local drug store!