Huge bubbles delight both adults and kids |

Huge bubbles delight both adults and kids

Jeanne McGovern

I don’t necessarily agree with the modern notion that bigger is better. But when it comes to bubbles, I admit that gigantic, enormous, behemoth bubbles can’t be beat.

I’m not talking about bubble-gum bubbles (I despise chewing gum), and I’m not talking about bubbles over things like football stadiums and swimming pools (I’m sort of the outdoorsy-type). I’m talking about the kind of bubbles that you start with soap and water and create with a wand.

With two small children, I’ve become quite the bubble aficionado. When the kids were very young, a few tiny bubbles in the bathtub was enough to make them smile; in the toddler years, those brightly colored plastic containers with the small plastic wands did the trick. Preschool brought bigger containers and bigger wands, some in the shape of stars and flowers.

Now that we’re all grown up ” ages 7 and 4 ” we’ve graduated to “Monstrous, Huge, Unbelievably BIG Bubbles.”

A friend and fellow mother introduced my family to the Klutz guidebook of the same name. A 40-page, step-by-step manual to making truly phenomenal bubbles (the ones pictured can be up to several feet long and as big around!), the book has all you need to know about the art and science of bubble-making. Did you know, for example, that there are only three kinds of soap ” Ultra Dawn (blue) is No. 1 ” that make “real” bubbles? Or that homemade bubble juice should not be thrown out after use; “It just gets better with time,” the authors implore. And have you ever wondered what weather conditions make for perfect bubble-making? (Hint: A hot, dry, desert is a poor place to blow bubbles.)

Of course all this fine information is for naught without the proper bubble-blowing device. And those little plastic wands are a thing of the past. We now use a “Bubble Thing,” which came with our book (available at or local toy stores). A simple plastic tube with a fabric loop that slides back and forth to actually create the bubble, this contraption is serious fun on the run. Literally, you just dip the Thing into a bucket of bubble juice, let it drip, and begin walking. Soon enough you’re being trailed by a giant elongated bubble. Slide the fabric loop closed and the bubble is set free ” to float and morph through the air.

It’s very cool. So cool, in fact, that it was the highlight of a recent two-week vacation we took across the West, where on every stop we whipped up a batch of juice and let the bubbles fly, much to the delight of friends, cousins and strangers.

The soapy fun seems nowhere close to ending. As the kids get older ” and more proficient at bubble-making ” our handy guidebook has pages on such advance maneuvers as “bare-handed bubbles,” “bubble in a bubble,” and “stick your finger through a bubble,” as well as information about inventing your own bubble-making device, the grandfather of bubbles (Joseph A. F. Plateau, aka Mr. Bubble), and an astrophysicist who defines the galaxies as being like a “bubble bath.”

Who said science can’t be fun?