Bubble blowing techniques. A workshop of unusual tricks and games to enjoy while blowing bubbles.
After mixing up the bubble blowing solution, fill a custard cup or shallow dish with the solution. The first time you use the blowing cone, submerge it for 30 seconds in the liquid so that it absorbs enough of the solution (Fig.1).
After this you will only need to submerge it for a couple of seconds. When you retrieve the cone tilt is slightly and tap it on the side of the dish to remove the excess solution. Start blowing the bubble downward. You will notice that the bubble drips excess solution at the start.
As the bubble grows you will observe that it becomes more buoyant and you will be able to lift the blowing tube to a horizontal position (Fig. 2).
This is because the warm air from your lungs is filling the bubble making it weigh less.
When the bubble gets really large you will notice that it wants to rise as if it was a balloon filled with helium gas (Fig. 3).
This is because the bubble is now filled with a large volume of warm air, surrounded with cooler air. If you are outdoors it may even become uncontrollable. I recommend that if you want to blow really large bubbles, start indoors with the windows closed so that you can learn to control the bubble. Even the slightest draft will try to move a large bubble. It is more difficult to control large bubbles than small ones.
When the bubble is the size you want, you can separate it from the cone by rapidly flipping the cone up or down (Fig. 4).
Do not pull the cone straight away from the bubble as it will be more likely to burst.
Entertaining things to do with bubbles
Measuring a bubble
A bubble can be measured outdoors on a sunny day by measuring the shadow (Fig. 5).
Using the sun is better than a light bulb because a nearby light bulb will cast a shadow larger than the bubble. Light coming from the sun is parallel and the shadow cast will be the same size as the bubble. If the sun is low, the shadow will be oval shaped. Measure the shadow at its narrowest width.
Keeping a bubble aloft
You can hold a contest to see who can keep a bubble in the air the longest or guide the bubble to a finish line (Fig. 6).
The best bubbles for this are small ones that have plenty of soap solution. If the bubbles form drops of water they are heavy and require help by blowing from underneath to keep them airborne. These bubbles should be about the size of a softball.
Do you know that you can freeze a bubble. Wait until the fan in your refrigerator freezer is not running. before attempting to do the following. Wet a plate and blow a bubble on the plate (Fig. 7).
Open the freezer door and place the bubble as far back in the freezer as possible away from the door. After about two minutes open the freezer door very slowly as any draft will immediately destroy the bubble. Removing the bubble from the freezer will cause it to collapse.
Bubbles made with the bubble formula containing linseed are less fragile than those made only with soap.
Build a UFO
Frighten your friends and neighbors with your very own UFO.
This can only be done on a cool, calm dark night. Blow a really large bubble. I suggest that you use the formula containing linseed. When you release the bubble it will rise because it is filled with warm air surrounded by the cool night air. When it gains altitude shine a powerful flashlight into it and it will reflect unusual rings of color which can be mistaken for a UFO (Fig. 8).
Use your imagination
The rest is up to you. Invent games, improved bubble formula and blowing tubes. Good luck and clean up the mess in the kitchen when you finish.
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