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This is one of those fun activities that's quick, easy, and soooo open ended.  It took me around 10 minutes total to whip up this huge batch of bubbly, puffy, rainbow soap foam fun.  We've played with soap foam before, but just plain white bubbles so our baby could play too.  I decided it was time to add some color and feel the rainbow.  And since S is such a fan of bubbles, I decided to fill our entire sensory bin with the rainbow soap foam!


Don't you just want to dive right in?


You could make just two primary colors and make it into a color mixing lesson.


You could make it just a sensory activity by itself.


Or you could add some cars, as S did, and transform it into a rainbow car wash.


However you work it, there's something that's just so much fun about swirling a huge bunch of soap foam.


S worked the sensory angle by swirling and mixing.  She made foam mountains and crushed them.  She washed six cars exceedingly well.


And then herself.  And shortly thereafter a designated small area of the deck.  :)

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All in all, a great time with things on hand!  To make your own super puffy fluffy soap foam, you will need:

2 Tbsp of dish soap (we used Dawn Dish Soap) (I believe this is Washing Up Liquid in the UK?  Whatever soap you would use to wash your dishes)

1/4 cup water (please note if your tap water is especially hard or soft, you will need to substitute bottled water so that the soap will bubble well)

a mixer


In a bowl, add 2 Tbsp of dish soap and 1/4 cup of water.  Add food coloring or Colorations Liquid Watercolors (we used Liquid Watercolors here) to the mix if desired.  Mix on the highest possible setting for 1-2 minutes.  Your foam should be able to form stiff peaks that hold their shape.  Scoop it out into your container and repeat as necessary until you have the desired amount of foam!

**Please note that we used liquid watercolors and had no staining as liquid watercolors are washable.  If you use food coloring, you are very likely to have some staining as food coloring is not washable.**


Here is a translation of the recipe and directions for my Taiwanese readers:
只要把兩茶匙洗碗精加入四分之一杯的自來水再混入水性顏料或食用色素,就可以來場「彩虹觸感泡泡秀」囉!倘若你居住的區域水質比較硬的話,可用白開水來代替混合,以免影響泡泡的質感。此外,用食用色素上色的話,也許會留下污漬,可將泡泡舀入用過的盒中玩,遊戲結束後,用清水沖洗後再回收即可。


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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

Comments

  1. This is so cute! I'm going to try this.

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    1. Thanks, Shailynn!!! :) Hope you all have fun with it!

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    2. where do u get ur watercolors?

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    3. If you click on either of the "liquid watercolor" links above they will take you to online listings. We've bought ours from Discount School Supply and also from Amazon. Hope that helps!

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  2. We are totally trying this, like, tomorrow! I know the twins will love it!

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    1. Yay!!! They will be adorable little bubble babies. :)

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  3. Tried this today. My 5 & 2 year olds loved it. But I used our usual baby wash instead of dish detergent. I think it resulted in less stiff bubbles, but it still worked OK. The girls have sensitive skin and, well, you know, toddlers with their EATING stuff and getting it in their EYES. LOL! Thanks for the idea, it was a hit.

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    1. Awesome, Heather! Yes, that is a great idea if you've got smaller kiddos. S is old enough that she is very careful and safe with the bubbles. Glad you were able to still enjoy it in a safer way and that they loved it!!! :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Jaime! It was soooo beautiful!

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  5. I am such a sucker for an activity that involves gorgeous colours and you have sucked me right in!! Love this!

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    1. Mwhahahaha! We are addicted to color and rainbows because we feel the same way, Kate! :) :) :)

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  6. So beautiful! So fun looking! Can't wait to try with my son. I would love for you to link it up to my sensory play party today if you have a moment!
    http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/ultimate-sensory-play-party-linky-2/

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I will try to remember to grab a minute to link up today! :)

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  7. What else can u use if you don't have dye you mentioned?

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    1. The only two things I can think of that would work are Liquid Watercolors or Food Coloring/Dye. You could do plain white bubbles if you don't have any food coloring? You could also try washable paint - but I'm not sure if it would work...

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    2. Koolaid packages would work as well but note they will stain and don't wash out !!!!

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    3. We tried those and found that they made the bubbles super sticky - did you find that they were overly sticky when you tried it as well?

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  8. Ohhhhh! I've had this activity on our to-do list for a while now! You've made it look soooo amazing and inviting, Asia! We will definitely do this when the Hooligans return in the Fall! Thanks for sharing with us today!

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    1. Thank you, Jackie!!! I bet they'll love it. Foamy soapy fun is hard to beat. :)

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  9. Looks amazing! I think I missed it but are you mixing with a hand mixer?

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    1. You could do either - we have a KitchenAid. :)

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  10. I didn't have a bin as large as yours but I filled two plastic shoe boxes with two colours each and my kids had a blast! Made for some great pictures. When they were finished my oldest daughter asked when we could do it again. Thank you!

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    1. What a great solution, Heather! I'm so glad to hear they love it!!! And I bet the photos are awesome. :)

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  11. How long do the bubbles last? Have an event going on and would like to try this. I would have to transport this though.

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    1. Hi Adelita,

      Hmmm, I don't know that I would trust them to transport well. I'd worry that the vibrations of the car would cause them to deflate. If you were to try, I would have a backup in case they don't make it. Is there any way you could bring the supplies and a hand beater to the site?

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  12. Trying this with my granddaughter tonight. So excited, she is going to love it!!

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    1. Oh yay!!!! I just know she is going to have lots of rainbowy soapy fun!!!

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  13. Can you use tear-free baby wash?

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    1. Great question, Kara! I suspect so? It's definitely worth trying! So long as the baby wash you use gets nice and foamy, I think it should be just fine. Let me know if it works! :)

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    2. I'll try it this weekend & Let everyone know :-)

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    3. Did the tear-free baby wash work well? I'm so curious!

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  14. This was a huge hit here today! my 4 and 5 year old (both home sick) absolutely loved this and it killed a whole hour from the start of the process (which they wanted to help with and loved) to the end result of a soupy mess that took all of five minutes to clean up. VERY fun :) thanks for sharing!!!

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    1. YAY! I love it! I hope they are both feeling better soon and thanks so much for the awesome comment! :) :) :)

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  15. I can't wait to do this tonight after carving pumpkins with my boys - ages 4 & "nearly 2"...they're going to LOVE it! :)

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    1. Yay! And such a fun way to clean up post pumpkin carving!!!! :)

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  16. So I don't have kids and I don't babysit or anything but I really want to make this... for myself... to play in. Plus there's some awesome photo potential here! Your pictures are gorgeous!

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    1. Hahahahaha! That's awesome, Kelsey! No age limit on having fun. :)

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  17. Well we did this, it didn't last very long. Baby really enjoyed it, but it all dissolved away within 15 minutes, felt like a waste of dish soap. We did a large bin took quite a lot. If I were to do it again I would just use regular bubble bath to make the bubbles, I think it would have more staying power. Or just give him an actual bubble bath and put colors in it.

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    1. Very interesting! Ours (and other who have tried it) had it last for around an hour or more - did you use dish soap and beat it on high for 2-3 minutes? And for sure those are alternatives to try! Just curious why you had such a different experience! :)

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  18. Can they bathe in this? I mean is it safe enough?

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    1. Well I suppose different people will give you different answers on that one! But Liquid Watercolors are non-toxic (as is food coloring if you go that route). The soap we used was dish soap, but you could always sub bubble bath and I bet if you whipped it the same way it would do the same thing. So my personal opinion would be that it would be fine - but again, you'd have to decide for yourself. :)

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  19. Loved your post, your pics and details for the recipe. Will definitely try this at home with my little one!!

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  20. Hi thanks for the great idea. My girls loved it. For those in Oz we cant get Dawn so I tried blast dish liquid. It foamed up well but deflated a little after 5-10 min but remained foamy enough to continue playing with. My 5yr old wanted some things to accompany the play so we added some clear plastic cups, a disposable piping bag, spoons and some glitter sprinkles. Not quite the sensory experience it was but they had a fantastic time making up delicious ice cream sundaes, cupcakes and custard

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    1. Ohhh, I love that idea! We have never played with piping bags before - now I really want to! That's so sweet - what a delightful bake shop they must have had! So glad they loved it and thanks for the idea to use piping bags!!!!

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  21. Tried this with my 4yo brother today. We used some weird "green" dishwashing liquid that didn't last very long (in bubble form) but he loved it!

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    1. Oh bummers about it not lasting long, but awesome that he loved it! Did it just not foam well? I wonder if it needed more time in the mixer? It's so funny to me how different soaps are!!!!

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  22. Super fun idea. Kids love to play in bubbles.

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    1. Thank you, Candy CanDo! Bubbles are always fun!!!!

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  23. is it bad that i am 16 and i really want to do this

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    1. Hahahaha - no, Emma! I had fun playing with it and I am 33. ;)

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    2. I am definitely doing this for my 18th birthday tomorrow!
      If you're passionate about something, do it! Age is no restriction!

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    3. Hahahaha - that's awesome Stephanie! Happy birthday!

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  24. This cured our cabin fever in a big way, thank you! My 3 year old spent hours with it. He loves to cook, so his favorite part was actually mixing each batch. It can use up a lot of soap, and his sensitive skin was very itchy after playing in it in the tub, but it is fun, cheap, easy and so versatile. He tied it in to a book we got from the library, Monsters Love Colors, where the monsters squish colors to mix them.

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    1. Oh I'm so glad he loved it! Boo about the sensitive skin - I suspect though even if you used a gentler soap, it would still dry his skin out.

      What a clever little guy - I love it!!!!

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    2. When you are done with the bubbles, rinse him off in the tub and rub him down with a little coconut oil and the itchies will stay away! :)

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  25. I wonder if it'd work with an immersion blender? :)

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    1. Hmm, I'd think so? Try it and let us know if it works! I don't have one to try it myself. :)

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  26. Does the food coloring dye the tub?

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    1. We didn't use food coloring here, but we have with other activities and have never had trouble with staining. Hope that helps!

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  27. Dif this with food dye. Kids loved it! I have a 5 & 2 year old. It was hard to get them to keep it in the bucket & dyed spots on my floor, their skin, & tracked it on my carpet has well. But had a blast & its expected to get stains when you have kids.

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    1. Ahhh! Yes, this is why we love liquid watercolors so much. Food dye is a hard one because it can stain so easily. Boo. Well I am glad that they had a blast and that you, like us, aren't too bothered by stains. :)

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  28. My son's and my hands are stained with green food coloring and I'm not happy about this. It looked good and my son was delighted to see the results, but I won't be doing this again. Sorry, but some of us do get bothered by stains. I'm busy enough as it is and now have to spend extra time scrubbing out stains.

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    1. I'm sorry! This is why we recommend using liquid watercolors - they are washable. So sorry about the stains!!!!

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    2. she did warn in the post about potential staining when using food coloring.

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    3. Yep, any time you use a dye like food coloring, there is definitely the risk of staining. :)

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  29. This looks great! Can't wait to try it for a photoshoot with my sons. If our bubbles last long enough I'll also do it in the summer when we have friends over for our annual Messy Outdoor Art party....

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    1. That sounds so awesome, Denise!!! I love it!

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  30. Not sure if this was already answered, sorry if it was, but roughly how long did the bubbles last for you? I saw a few comments saying it lost texture or didn't last as long. I plan on following the exact recipe with identical ingredients, so I was wondering about yours. Also, I was planning on buying a jug of water (cheaper) do you know if spring, drinking, or distilled water would render different outcomes? Any I should get in particular

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    1. They lasted around an hour - but over time got less fluffy. It is most fluffy for the first 10-15 minutes, but continued to be fun for S for about an hour. I'd say for the last 30 minutes it was more like a bubble bath amount of bubbles vs. the very stiff foam you see in the photos (that was the first 15 or so minutes). I'm sure that they would each have a different outcome - the biggest issue I've heard is that people who have overly hard or overly soft tap water can't get it to foam well. I'd say any - maybe spring or drinking? Those are probably closest to the regular tap water we used. Hope you enjoy it! :)

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  31. Did this today and my children 5 and 2 had a ball.

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    1. Yay!!! I am so happy to hear it!!! :) :) :)

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  32. Love, love this! I'd have never thought to whip up bubbles in the mixer. Pinned and sharing in an upcoming bubbles roundup. So fun! My kids will love it.

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  33. Margaret HarrisonJune 4, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Is this safe to bathe in?

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    1. That's up to you. It's dish soap - so it could dry out or irritate skin. An alternative would be to substitute whatever body wash or bubble bath you'd normally use for the dish soap in the recipe above. Hope that helps!

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  34. Way Cool! Wish we would have had this in our tome for our kids & grandchildren! Ron

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  35. Well I tried this with my (recently turned) two year old. I really thought it was going to be a blast. I couldn't find my hand mixer at the time, so I decided to use a blender-type machine which was readily available. I read in another post that added just a little corn starch will help keep the foaming shape, so I added just a couple table spoons per batch. I did use dawn and just a couple dabs of food coloring. It took about ten mins to throw together in a large bowl and by the time we took it outside after those ten mins, it was one wet, soapy mess. 90% of it was water at that point. :( I'm not sure if it was the non-use of the Hand mixer, the corn starch, or what. He played for about five mins and decided he would rather play with his cars. I will try again another day and this time with use a hand mixer and cut out the corn starch and see what happens. :)

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    1. Oh noooo. I am so sorry!!! What a huge bummer. I have never tried it with a blender - I suspect that part of the problem was that it was having trouble getting enough air to make some nice foam. :( I hope you will give it a try again with the hand mixer. Our recipe definitely works with one - I've tried it tons of times and thousands of readers have sent photos, so you should be good!

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Well, hello there!



Welcome to Fun at Home with Kids! I'm Asia, a teacher (M. Ed) turned SAHM mom to two young kids: X and S. Around here we like to do a little bit of everything - science, art, crafts, sensory play, and small world play. Click here to read more about us!

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