Bubble Prints

Popping bubbles delight while composing delicate prints. Create with science and color while magnifying your child’s visual acuity and audio perception.


Be sure the kids do not sip the bubble mixture.  To avoid this, adults can poke a few holes in the top end of the straw with a safety pin or needle.  Also, food coloring can stain. It can be washed off of hands but is tougher to get out of clothing. Cover up and choose a work surface that’s ok to catch any spills.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 10 to 12 drops of liquid food coloring of your choice, such as this found on Amazon. Use more if you'd like, intense colors will give the best results.
  3. ¼ cup liquid dishwashing detergent like the kind found here.
  4. ¼ cup liquid starch. We use the non-aerosol "spray starch" used for ironing here.
  5. Sugar, 2-3 Tablespoons. Refined, also known as white sugar found here will preserve your bubble coloring's integrity. Any kind of sugar you have, even raw, brown sugar like this does the job too.
  6. Small metal or plastic bowl to contain above ingredients. We use a bowl with a lid like these, so the mixture can be stored for additional use.
  7. White paper large enough to cover the bowl’s edge. White construction paper like the kind found here works best because it absorbs color easily. But letter-sized office paper can do in a pinch. Tissue paper is too soft and will fall apart.
  8. Drinking straws. We prefer wide "milkshake" straws like these because they blow bigger bubbles quickly, but thinner straws will do fine as well.
  9. Safety-pin or needle - For adults only, to poke holes in straws
  1. Let your child measure and mix the water, liquid detergent, liquid starch, and food coloring together with a spoon in the bowl.  It’s an excellent time to talk with them about measuring, materials, colors, and the changes they see.
  2. Adults, take your safety pin and poke a hole a few inches from the top of each straw. This will prevent any accidental sipping.
  3. Now, using a straw with a hole poked in its top, ask you child to blow bubbles directly in the mixing bowl.
  4. Keep on blowing those bubbles until they a make an interesting shape above the rim of the bowl. If the bubbles pop too quickly, add more sugar to prolong their life.
  5. Adults, carefully and slowly place a sheet of paper on top the bubbles, so that it rests on top of the bowl rim. Listen as the bubbles softly go pop against the paper.
  6. After about 30 seconds, when the popping ends, let your child to peel away their Bubble Print from the top of the bowl.
  7. Skilly-spark: Take some time to discuss their print’s design, the lines, shapes and patterns their bubbles have made-- by themselves!-- on the paper.
  8. Repeat on the same sheet of paper or make new Bubble Prints to your child’s content!  


Keep the fun going
  • Use dry Bubble Prints as personalized drawing paper, stationery, or gift wrap.
  • To explore color mixing with your child, prepare two or three bowls of differently colored bubble mixture. For instance, use red, blue and yellow food coloring.  Make bubble prints with each the colors and talk about how they combine to create new colors.
  • For Bubble Prints with a twist, use colored paper, like construction paper, newspaper, or brown wrapping paper to make prints. Color mixing can come into play here too!