Kids love blowing bubbles so learning, while you play, doesn’t get any better with this easy to set up geometric bubble STEM activity. Awesome summer STEM with easy-going activity kids already love. Explore surface tension while you blow bubbles! Make your own homemade bubble solution too! There’s nothing better than fun science at any time of the year.
I love how playful science can be for young kids without even going into depth with the science concepts involved. Bubble blowing is a fun example of chemistry! Bubbles are a wondrous thing for kids. Chasing after them, blowing them, watching the light reflect a rainbow of colors…
I think it’s awesome that we can share simple science with kids with ordinary, everyday materials. This special geometric bubbles activity combines a bit of math, engineering, and science as well. Build your own geometric bubble wands and explore geometric bubble shapes.
What is STEM for Kids?
Over the years, my son and I have greatly enjoyed building our science knowledge with more than 100 fantastic STEM activities and counting. We have explored so many areas, including engineering, coding, physical science, chemistry, biology, geology and more.
Our STEM activities have become some of our favorite projects of all time! Read on to learn more about STEM education, STEM careers, and starting a STEM program with young children at home or in the classroom.
What does STEM stand for?
STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM stands for hands-on learning that applies to the world around us.
STEM activities build and teach creativity, problem-solving, life skills, ingenuity, resourcefulness, patience, and curiosity. STEM is what will shape the future as our world grows and changes.
STEM learning is everywhere and in everything we do and live, from the natural world around us to the tablets in our hands. STEM builds inventors! Read more about What is STEM here.
QUICK CHEMISTRY FOR KIDS
What is chemistry? Let’s keep it essential for our younger or junior scientists! Chemistry is all about how different materials are put together and how they are made up, including atoms and molecules. It’s also how these materials act under different conditions. Chemistry is often a base for physics, so you will see overlap!
What might you experiment with within chemistry? How about bubbles? Bubble science is a fun and playful way to explore chemistry and surface tension. Explore how adding different substances (like corn syrup or glycerin) to water affects its surface tension and the quality of bubbles formed.
Kids can learn about the states of matter (liquid, gas) through bubbles. The bubble solution is a liquid, and when it is blown into the air, it transforms into a thin film (bubble) with air trapped inside, representing a gas.
Geometric Bubble Activity
A few quick supplies and you are good to go. You can use a pre-made bubble solution or make your own homemade bubble solution recipe.
YOU WILL NEED
- Pipe cleaners
- Bubble solution
- Shallow Pan
HOW TO MAKE BUBBLE SHAPES
Can you blow geometric shape bubbles? Let’s find out!
Use your pipe cleaners to form different shapes from bubbles. You can either make your shapes 2D or 3D.
If you make your shapes 3D, you can use them as a structure for making shaped bubbles, otherwise…
Bubbles will come out round no matter what shape the wand is.
- Want to make bouncing bubbles?
- Want to stick a skewer through a bubble without popping it?
- Want to blow bubbles out of weird objects?
To check out more bubble science, click here.
Ask your kids if they think the bubbles will all come out the same shape or if they think they will come out in different shapes. Most young kids will say that the bubbles will come out in the same shape as the bubble wand.
Science with young kids is all about asking questions! Encourage questions, exploration, and self-discovery!
What are Geometric Shapes?
Kids are introduced to Geometric shapes as basic two-dimensional figures early on to help them understand spatial relationships, symmetry, and basic mathematical concepts.
Here are some popular geometric shapes for kids:
Circle: A simple closed curve where all points are equidistant from the center.
Square: A four-sided polygon with all sides of equal length and all interior angles at 90 degrees.
Triangle: A three-sided polygon with various types, including equilateral (all sides and angles equal), isosceles (two sides and two angles equal), and scalene (all sides and angles different).
Rectangle: A four-sided polygon with opposite sides of equal length and all interior angles at 90 degrees.
Oval: Similar to a circle but stretched horizontally or vertically, creating an elongated shape.
Pentagon: A five-sided polygon with five interior angles and five sides.
Hexagon: A six-sided polygon with six interior angles and six sides.
Octagon: An eight-sided polygon with eight interior angles and eight sides.
Heart: A symmetrical shape that resembles a heart symbol.
Star: A shape with five or more points and symmetrical arms extending from a central point.
What are bubbles?
Bubbles are thin liquid films enclosing a pocket of air or other gas. They can be made from a water and soap mixture or other liquids with appropriate properties (including the addition of glycerin or corn syrup). The film of a bubble is made up of water molecules (in the case of soap bubbles) and is very flexible, allowing it to trap the air inside. Did you know a bubble has three “walls” like a sandwich? The outer walls are a thin layer of soap with a layer of water sandwiched in between them.
How are bubbles formed?
Bubbles are formed when air (or another gas) is blown into a liquid that contains soap or other substances that lower the liquid’s surface tension. Surface tension is the force that holds the molecules of a liquid together, creating a thin, elastic “skin” on its surface. Blowing air into the soapy water stretches the surface tension of the water mixture to form a sphere, creating a bubble.
Why are bubbles round?
Bubbles are round because the sphere is the shape with the least amount of surface area for a given volume. In nature, many things try to minimize energy, and a sphere is the most energy-efficient shape for enclosing a given volume of air.
Bubbles can be easily popped by touching them or when they come into contact with dry surfaces. This happens because the water in the bubble film evaporates (remember the sandwich from above), causing the film to thin and break. When the bubble pops, the air inside is released into the atmosphere.
Try bouncing bubbles for a neat bubble science activity!
Can Bubbles Be Different Shapes?
Did you find that your bubbles always ended up being blown into a sphere shape? Why is that? It’s all due to surface tension.
Learn more about surface tension of water!
A bubble is formed when air gets trapped inside the bubble solution. The air tries to push its way out of the bubble, but the liquid in the bubble solution wants the least amount of surface area, due to the clinging properties of liquid molecules.
Water molecules prefer bonding with other water molecules, so water gathers in drops instead of spreading out.
A sphere is the least amount of surface area for the volume of what is contained inside the sphere (in this case, air). So bubbles will always form circles no matter the shape of the bubble wand.
More Fun Science Activities
- Egg In Vinegar Experiment
- Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiment
- Skittles Experiment
- Magic Milk Science Experiment
- Fizzing Science Experiments
- Cool Water Experiments
Printable STEM Pack for Kids
80+ Doable Engineering Projects in one convenient pack!
- Full instructions with sample images
- Activity-specific instruction sheets
- Data Collection Sheets
- Questions for Reflection
- Architecture Building Cards: Try the tallest tower challenge
- Bridge Building Cards: Explore different types of bridges to build your own.
- Paper Chain STEM Challenge: Who can make the longest chain? Great icebreaker or quick challenge!
- 3 Little Pigs Architectural Pack: Design a house that won’t blow away!
- Great marshmallow challenge: A classic challenge kids love!
- Real-world STEM challenge lesson but don’t know where to start? Our easy-to-follow template shows the steps!
- What’s the difference between a scientist and an engineer?
- Crossword and word search with engineering vocabulary.
- Engineering vocabulary cards
- Design a one-of-a-kind invention and write about it with this 5-page activity!