Bubble Snakes (Bubble Blower) - Cover Image

Bubble Snakes (Bubble Blower)

Blow a boat-load of bubbles that make an incredible, soapy serpent. You can even color them!

Bubbles usually only come as individual spheres of soap and water. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can get a whole bunch of bubbles in one cluster… but it always seems random. Luckily, we’ve found a spectacular way to create entires snakes made of bubbles and teach you how to make them in all the colors of the rainbow!

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Experiment Materials

  • Empty 16 oz plastic bottle
  • Bubble solution or dish soap
  • Box cutters
  • Piece of fabric (similar to a washcloth or sock)
  • Liquid food coloring
  • Bowl of water

Experiment Videos

Experiment

Bubble Snakes (Bubble Blower) - Step 1

1

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.

2

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.

Bubble Snakes (Bubble Blower) - Step 3

3

Using a pair of box-cutters (and adult supervision), carefully cut the bottom off of the plastic bottle.

Bubble Snakes (Bubble Blower) - Step 4

4

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.

Bubble Snakes (Bubble Blower) - Step 5

5

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.

6

Dip the fabric-covered end of the bottle into the bowl of bubble solution.

Bubble Snakes (Bubble Blower) - Cover Image

7

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

Bubbles form because of the surface tension of water.  Hydrogen atoms in one water molecule are attracted to oxygen atoms in other water molecules.  They like each other so much, they cling together.  So why are bubbles round?  The 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, you are creating hundreds 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

Creating Snake Bubbles is pretty cool, but it isn’t a science fair project. You can create a science fair project by identifying a variable, or something that changes, in this 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 duration of the bubbles?
  • Try different types of bubble solutions.  Do some work better than others? Why?
  • Try blowing through the bottle in different ways.  Do bubbles look different when you blow gently than when you blow quickly?

That’s just a couple of ideas, but you aren’t limit to those! Try coming up with different ideas of variables and give them a try.  Remember, you can only change one thing at a time.  If you are testing different sizes of bottles, make sure that the other factors are remaining the same!