Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles Bath

Bubbles times four!

Materials Used:
  1. Bubble bath
  2. Underwater bubbles (i.e. water beads)
  3. Bubble machine
  4. Bubbles, Bubbles book
First I filled the bath with our usual bubble bath (we like Johnson's Baby Bath Bedtime or Target's equivalent up&up Nighttime Baby Bath for the calming lavender scent).  

Pssst!  The secret to making a bath extra bubbly is to have it empty of kids while filling.  Start the water, squeeze in your bath bubbles, and then leave it alone to fill. 

I did add a little neon blue food color - it's just such a fun water color.

Then I poured in 3 (three!) containers of clear water beads that I purchased at the dollar store.

These were to be the big secret in the bath.  Literally.  Those things are invisible in the water.  More on that later.  I also set out clear plastic cups and various scoops to be used to collect and play with the beads.

Then I fired up the newly purchased bubble machine, with great hopes.  You see, I've bought many bubble machines.  They are amazing.  Until a child knocks them over, spilling bubble solution onto the fan, and the machine no longer works.  Big buzz kill.  This machine is touted as "No Spill", so I'm hoping it lives up to its promise.  So hoping!  The other bonus is I bought this on clearance from Target.

The final step was setting out the Bubbles, Bubbles book.  I found this in the dollar spot at Target.  Have I mentioned I like Target?  I believe I have.

When I called the girls to come for a "surprise bath", they came running.  Even though the bubble machine was whirring, and bubbles were bouncing out, that was the last thing they noticed.  They were so busy just looking.  To be fair, I did set the machine up high on top of the shower walls.  I wasn't ready to test the no-spill claim or to have the machine immersed in the bath.

And then the girls got in the bath.  And felt something, a lot of something, squishy.  What is that?  Underwater bubbles!

The girls searched for the water beads, caught bubbles from the air, and dumped water on the floor.  Wait, that last item was not on the agenda.  Most of the cups were removed from the tub, thanks to baby Blue.

Here's a look:

After a short time the bubble machine started creating jumbo bubbles that never left the top of the machine.  Bummer.  I found that by wiping the solution off the top of the machine, it would perk back up.  But I had to do this repeatedly.  Next time we run it I will use a different brand of bubble solution and see if we have the same result.  I still have hope.
As the bath was winding down, I left with Blue to dress her in her pajamas, challenging the other girls to find as many of the underwater bubbles as possible.  When I returned Yellow was proud to show me that she had collected a full cup of water beads.  Good, but 3-1=2 means that there were at least two more cups worth in that bath!  At that point the girls were tired of trying to find water beads, so everyone cleared out.  I scooped out as many of the beads as I could.  They just kept coming, but I couldn't see them.

Check this out: here is the tub water after many, many scoops of water beads have been removed.  Do you see the beads that are left?  Neither did I.

Next I set the straining spoon over the drain and let the water out.  Now do you see the remaining water beads?
Here are my thoughts on the water beads:

  • Do not put clear beads in the tub - they disappear, get squished and break, and could accidentally be drained.
  • Colored beads could be fun in the tub, as long as your water is clear or a contrasting color.  We'll have to confirm this at another time.
  • Although non-toxic, watch children closely so that they do not ingest the beads.  It just seems like a bad idea.  I was pleasantly surprised that none of my kids, not even 1YO Blue, put the beads in their mouth.  I think the squishy texture was a turn-off.
There are plenty ideas online of how to play with water beads.  I plan to try some of them out and share the results.

What have you done with water beads?

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