Bubble Snake Science Experiment – Bottle Bubbles
Blow a boat-load of bubbles that make an incredible, soapy serpent. You can even color them!
The Bubble Snake Science Experiment
Blow a boatload of beautiful bubbles that connect to make an incredible, soapy serpent! Add food coloring to your bubble blower to make rainbow bubble snakes in this super fun, hands-on bubble activity from Steve Spangler Science.
It’s time to change how you think about bubbles — you know, those ordinary bubbles that float away as individual, sadly single spheres of soap and water. Sometimes (if you’re lucky), you might achieve a whole bunch of bubbles in one cluster. Such luck seems random, though, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could create fabulous rainbow bubble snakes out of a few household ingredients like a little dish soap, an empty water bottle, an old sock and a few drops of food coloring? Steve Spangler Science has found a spectacular way to create entire bottle bubble snakes that will wow your family and friends and are sure to bring on those ooohs and ahhhs! Read on: We will teach you how to make bubble snakes in all the colors of the rainbow in this fun and easy bubble snake experiment.
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Making the Bubble Solution
1) Pour 2-3 tablespoons of bubble solution or dish soap into a cup or bowl.
- The original Dawn® dish soap tends to work the best for homemade bubble solutions.
- If you are making a bubble solution, consider adding glycerin. Glycerin gives the bubble extra strength. You can also substitute Karo syrup for glycerin. Note: Perfectly good bubbles can be made without adding glycerin, but adding glycerin keeps the water from evaporating and makes the bubbles much stronger and longer lasting.
2) Add about 9 oz of water to the cup or bowl.
- Good quality water that doesn’t contain high levels of iron or minerals is the best. Distilled water is highly recommended.
3) Stir well and let the solution sit undisturbed for up to 24 hours before use. The bonds in the bubble solution will strengthen creating a super solution.
Making the Snakes
Find a clean, empty plastic bottle. While a 16 or 20 oz bottle will work the best, feel free to try any size bottle you want.
Using a pair of box-cutters (and adult supervision), carefully cut the bottom off of the plastic bottle.
Cover the freshly-cut hole with a piece of fabric that is similar to a washcloth or cotton sock. Use a rubber band to keep the fabric in place.
If you want colored bubbles, find some liquid food coloring in your favorite color(s). Add a few drops of the food coloring to the fabric on the end of your bottle.
Dip the fabric-covered end of the bottle into the bowl of bubble solution.
Blow into the mouth of the plastic bottle. Before you know it, you’ll be creating Bubble Snakes like a pro!
How Does It Work
Although bubbles are seem quite simple, they’re actually a great demonstration in chemistry. Bubbles form because of the surface tension of water. The hydrogen atoms in one water molecule are attracted to oxygen atoms in other water molecules. Because they like each other so much, they cling together. So why are bubbles round? Physicists will tell you that bubbles enclose the maximum volume of air in the minimum amount of bubble solution, which is why they are always round.
When you blow air through your bubble snake maker in this bubble snake experiment, you are creating hundreds, even thousands, of tiny bubbles. As the air wiggles through the fabric, bubbles are continuously being made. The bubbles attach to each other when they come out of the fabric. It’s all thanks to the same hydrogen bonds that make bubbles possible!
Science Fair Connection
Snake bubbles are pretty cool. They alone don’t necessarily make a science fair project, however. You can create a science fair project by identifying a variable (or something that changes) within this snake bubble experiment. Let’s take a look at some of the variable options that might work:
• Try using different sized bottles. How does this affect the length or the duration of the bubbles?
• Try different types of bubble solutions. Do some solutions work better than others? Why?
• Try blowing through the bottle in different ways. Do bubbles look different when you blow gently? How about when you blow quickly?
Those are just a few ideas, but you aren’t limit to those! Try coming up with different variable ideas and give ‘em a try. Remember, you can only change one thing at a time. If you are testing different bottle sizes, make sure that the other factors remain the same!
Bubble Snakes at Steve Spangler Science
As you can see, it only takes a few simple ingredients to make a fun, hands-on science activity that demonstrates principles of air science and chemistry. Imagine what else you could learn with our other online science experiments! This bubble blower experiment is only the beginning — we have great ideas for science projects and engaging science experiments for kids that can be done at home or at school. You’ve seen how easy and fun it can be to create bottle bubbles — check out our other easy experiments for learning opportunities about density, food science, forces and motion and more!