Everyone with kids knows the children are fascianted with bubbles. You dip the wand into a bottle, and then with just a gentle blow from your lips, a colorful, shiny orb appears. It gently floats in the air, until an exuberant toddler jumps up and gleefully pops it. Fun, cheap, and easy entertainment.
So, what’s better than bubbles? Super, giant, enormous bubbles, of course.
These giant bubbles are made with a special wand called the Bubble Thing. It’s essentially just a plastic tube with a circular cloth strap. You dip it in bubble solution, pull it gently through the air to make a giant bubble, and then slowly tighten the cloth strap so that the circle closes, releasing the bubble.
The wand isn’t enough, however. If you tried to make a bubble that big with just plain old soap and water, it would collapse under its own weight in most conditions. You have to add a small quantity of glycerin (a sugar substitute), which allows the bubbles to survive at much larger sizes. The official instructions call for 16 cups of water, 1 cup of soap, and 2 tablespoons of glycerin, although I have found that a half batch or even a quarter batch will make plenty of solution.
When I was a kid, our local art museum featured them at their yearly art fair. I hadn’t seen one since then, but it occurred to me that they might still make them. A quick google search, and I found that they were indeed still being sold, and quite cheaply – just $10. A couple of days later, it arrived in the mail, along with a package of glycerin. I just needed to provide dishsoap and water.
We had a hot sunny 4th of July here in the Boston area this year, so I decided it was a good time to bring it out and take it for a spin.
Believe it or not, these bubbles are actually small. If you have the right weather conditions (humidity helps), low wind, and a lot of practice, you can make truly enormous rings and tubes a dozen feet long.