Bubble Mix Engineering: Discovery at Home

What You'll Need:

  • Dish soap.
  • Warm water.
  • Sugar.
  • Syrup.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Other possible bubble solution ingredients (optional).
  • ½ cup measuring tool.
  • 1 teaspoon measuring tool.
  • Other measuring cups/spoons/tools as needed.
  • 2-4 small bowls/containers.
  • Bubble tools for testing (optional).
  • Paper.
  • Pencil.


  1. It’s time to experiment! Explore different mixtures to see what bubble solution works the best.
  2. In each bowl/container, mix together a different bubble solution recipe.
  3. Be sure to name, label, and record the solution’s recipe for each mixture.
    1. Example recipe: ½ cup warm water, ½ dish soap, 1 teaspoon of sugar. Be sure to mix gently trying not to create any small bubbles on the surface of the solution.
  4. When a solution is complete, be sure to test it. Example questions to ask during the testing phase:
    1. Is it easy to make bubbles or do they pop quickly?
    2. When the bubbles are flying through the air, do they last more than 3 seconds after they are formed and left the bubble tool?
    3. Are multiple bubbles able to be created with one stream of air?
  5. When testing, be sure that you are testing each solution in similar weather conditions. Is the wind blowing? Wind is a force that might push your bubble too hard or too far that the bubble pops. Even if it is the strongest bubble you’ve made, it might still break because of the wind.
  6. Gather your results and determine which solution is the best.

Ways to expand it:

Create a table or graph of your testing! You could use chalk on the ground outside to record.

What kids learn:

  • Density is what decides whether an object sinks or floats in water. If something is less dense than water, it floats. If something is more dense than water, it sinks.
  • Basic engineering skills. Engineers solve problems with constraints, in this case, limited materials and air pressure. They learn to solve problems by using the engineering design process: asking questions, coming up with solutions, building, testing and improving.
  • Fine motor skills. Kids practice using the small muscles in their hands later used for writing.
  • Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!
  • Interactions between materials. When mixing different materials together, kids learn how the combination acts before, during, and after the mixing. 
  • Sensory play! Sensory play that lets children touch, squeeze, smell and feel helps build connections in the brain.
  • Chemical reactions in action teach cause and effect.
  • Measuring ingredients helps children learn about volume, get familiar with numbers and encourages comparisons between small and large amounts, all important skills in learning math.  


  • Density. The weight and size of an object. A fluffy pillow has less density than a brick. A crayon has more density than a feather.
  • Constraint. A limitation or restriction. Materials, time, and space are common constraints. Real engineers have to work around constraints all the time!
  • Air pressure. The weight of air molecules. Air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. 
  • Force. Energy caused by a push, pull, or gravity.