Are you looking for things for kids to do outside when it’s cold? Freezing bubbles are a family favorite. Mowglis boys’ overnight camp understands the importance of keeping your child active even in the coldest months, filling our blog with ideas to get you through to spring. Frozen bubbles offer a popular outdoor activity for kids of all ages during sub-freezing temperatures. It requires little time and materials to accomplish and combines science with nature – our favorite boys’ summer camp combination.
Dive Out in the Deep Freeze for Fun with Frozen Bubbles
Bundle up and head outside. A day below 20 F with minimal wind offers the ideal environment – the colder, the better. Seek out suitable bubble solution containers: A small amount of soap in a tiny dish will quickly freeze outside, so we recommend larger containers for storing bubble solution. Figuring out the ideal outdoor temperature and bubble-blowing techniques requires trial and error – something our summer campers excel at – so be prepared for lots of experimentation.
Making the Best Frozen Bubble Solution
You can make a bubble solution using everyday household products:
- 1 cup very warm water
- 2-3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons dish soap
Standard bubble solution doesn’t provide the thickness and strength required for frozen bubbles – and the sugar in our recipe enhances crystal formation. Mix the first three ingredients in a plastic container with a lid until nearly transparent. Add the dish soap last and stir gently to prevent foaming.
Frozen Bubble Tips and Tricks
It may take several attempts to freeze a bubble successfully – don’t give up! It’s worth the effort. To make the process easier, we offer these suggestions:
- If you don’t have any bubble wands, you can use a straw to blow bubbles.
- Allow the bubble solution to chill slightly (but not freeze) before blowing bubbles.
- Use ample solution and blow bubbles slowly, experimenting with bubble sizes.
- Aim your bubble wand for a gentle landing on a nearby surface – bubbles that freeze when airborne tend to burst on impact.
- If using a straw, detach bubbles quickly before they start freezing.
- Experiment with different surfaces: snow, decking, tables, or catching them with your bubble wand. How long do bubbles take to freeze on each surface?
- Try an old squeeze bottle or bubble blower instead – what happens when you ‘blow’ bubbles with this? They’ll freeze faster. Why? The air inside is colder than your breath.
- Rather than blowing bubbles, let the solution freeze on the wand, testing different widths and shapes.
- Once the bubble has frozen, try popping the bubble. It will tear.
- Blow on the popped/torn bubble and watch the pieces float away.
- Observe the frozen bubble without popping it. What happens?
- Take breaks to warm up in between bubble-blowing experimentation sessions.
Freezing Bubbles Doubles as an Outdoor Activity and Science Lesson
Bubbles freeze differently than a lake or puddle, starting when the edges come in contact with snow or ice. Water freezes in a systematic progression, called the freeze front, from these touch points, moving toward the body’s interior. However, when bubbles come into contact with snow or ice, crystals rapidly appear, moving around on the bubble’s surface to form distinct patterns, dubbed ‘the snow globe effect’ by scientists. Why? As bubbles freeze, each crystal forms a freeze front. Liquid portions keep moving, tearing apart ice crystals until freezing through. Though appearing as a single layer when frozen, there are actually three bubble layers. Only the middle, a layer of water, freezes. The surface and interior layer of bubble solution do not. Temperature impacts crystal formation, changing from leaf-shaped crystals in warmer temperatures to snowflake patterns in frigid weather.
Break Away from the Screen with Help from Camp Mowglis
From things for kids to do outside when it’s cold to tech-free activities your child can enjoy all summer long, Camp Mowglis has you covered. Dive into new and exciting adventures with help from our overnight summer camp for boys. Contact us at 603-744-8095 to make reservations for the upcoming camping season today.