Physical activity and book fun: Bubbles

Read a book about bubbles and create some active fun for kids of all ages.

What child or adult does not like to play with bubbles? Michigan State University Extension suggests using bubbles to encourage reading and physical activity. Children need 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Physical activity can be fun, and bubbles naturally lead to movement which can encourage small and large motor skills in children. Reading is a wonderful way to bond with a child and when you can extend the lessons beyond the book the meaning goes much deeper. Reading a book and including an extension activity helps children to make connections at many levels. Reading about bubbles will hopefully lead to lots of fun. 

Pop! A Book About Bubbles (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage one) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and Margaret Miller is a book that includes information about the science of bubbles and a bubble recipe. Another book, Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy is about a young girl whose bubble gets away from her with her baby brother inside. The story is told with repeating rhymes as the baby brother floats inside the bubble until he safely returns to solid ground. Either option will hopefully peak an interest in having some fun with bubbles.

No matter if you purchase bubbles or create your own at home, fun is sure to follow. Part of the fun will include getting some of the 60 minutes of physical activity for your child. A child will use small motor skills to grip the bubble handle and to blow the bubbles. Large motor skills will be used as children jump and run to chase floating bubbles.

Here are five easy bubble game ideas from Alex Toys:

  1. Bubble pop – Race to see who can pop the most bubbles in a given amount of time. Fifteen to 30 seconds is usually plenty of time, especially if you’re the one blowing the bubbles! For a little variety, have children pop the bubbles without using their hands.
  2. Bubble blow – Who can blow the biggest bubble? Using a bubble wand, see who can blow the biggest bubble without popping it.
  3. Bubble blast – With just one breath, see who can blow the most bubbles.
  4. Bubble float – Have the kids attempt to keep their bubble floating in the air the longest by blowing gently underneath it. This can be tricky, as you have to be careful with how hard you are blowing so you don’t pop the bubble.
  5. Bubble race – This game is similar to bubble float, but instead of just floating their bubble, the kids must blow their bubble along the race track and across the finish line. It can be as easy as racing across the yard, or you could even create your own curvy race track with sidewalk chalk on the driveway.

To take your bubble fun one step further, you may want to try bubble painting. This will also help with small motor skills. This is an idea from but is great for anyone with kids. Pour one cup of solution into a bowl and add a teaspoon of tempera paint to each. Stir. Have your child blow a bubble toward you. Your job is to "catch" the bubble, so it pops on the paper. The bursting bubble creates a unique splatter.

Enjoy an afternoon with books and fun as you explore all the fun that can be had with bubbles. Encourage your children to move during their time with bubbles so they will get their needed physical activity, but also enjoy the opportunity to snuggle close while reading a book.

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