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Make bubble solution at home. They make much better bubbles than store bought brands and are decidedly cheaper. My baby loves playing with bubbles! Both Joy(r) or Dawn(r) dishwashing detergents make the best bubbles, The average range of formula's is 10 parts water to one part soap, depending on the degree of local water mineralization. Ultra Joy(r) and Ultra Dawn(r) are more sudsy, so less is required, maybe 15 or 20 parts water to one part soap. Mix well and allow to sit for a day or so to stabilize.
Mix 59 mL (1/4 cup) liquid soap, 15 mL (1 tbl) glycerine, 1.89 L
(8 cups) water. You can also use store-bought bubble solution and
dilute it with water.
How long a bubble lasts is dependent on how long it can stay wet. Glycerin will slow down the drying time extensively, as will glucose, i.e., Karo(r) syrup (corn sugar syrup). Solutions with glycerin keep better over longer periods of time, but sugar and gelatin are less expensive and one or the other is probably already in your kitchen. Again, the amount added varies with climate and water, but start experimenting with around .10 parts gelatin, or .25 parts Karo(r) syrup, sugar, or glycerin in the above formula. Most sources quote solutions within the above ranges.
variation is given by Professor Bubbles , who provides a very
serious resource for bubble fans and practitioners. The formula
is an especially stout mixture for very big bubbles, and uses 2
parts detergent, 4 parts glycerin, and 1 part white Karo(r)
syrup. This is a serious bubble-making formula!
Because of the Karo(r) syrup, use of homemade formulas will have to have adult supervision so that your little one doesn't drink it!. [The consequences won't be fatal, but the ensuing intestinal cramps and diarrhea can be emotionally upsetting to a small child and be messy for a parent to clean up, as well as adding to the laundry load.]
Other bubble-making devices to try: Making bubbles with a canned food container opened at both ends with a kitchen appliance that cuts through the steel hem where the adhesive is applied by the food manufacturer. This will leave a non-cutting edge on each end of the can. Dip the can into the soapy solution so that you get a soap "window" across one end when you pull it out. Blow gently on the other end to form a bubble. You can use wider tubes such as coffee cans to make still bigger bubbles. The plastic cartons from fruits like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries sold at the supermarkets will produce hundreds of bubbles with a mere waft of the child's hand, thus increasing her sense of power over her immediate environment which will increase her enjoyment of her play. (Smaller bubbles last longer too!)