Pop the Bubbly: Cheap and Distracting Fun for Kids

16 Aug

You’ve been to the zoo, the farmer’s market, the fireworks, and the water park. You tried to start a fun summer school thing, but it never really took off after the nature walk lesson you planned where it took you a half hour just to get everyone sunscreened and bug-sprayed and the neighbor kid complained the whole time and no one could find the right shape of leaf to trace and you ended up getting them ice cream in the hopes that they would become lethargic enough to pass out on the sun-porch while you dabbed calomine lotion on your mosquito bites and cried to yourself.

If the only activity you’ve got left up your sleeve is crossing off the calendar days until school starts again, if  you started empathizing with Betty Draper when you watch Mad Men on Netflix Watch Instantly,  if you’ve found yourself yelling, “Godblessit, can I just finish my damn wine cooler?”,  then you are officially sick of your kids.

But worry not! Because there’s an old standby waiting patiently in your kitchen, ready to delight and distract those awful children so you can finally down your Tropical Hawaiian Splash.  Salvation has a name and  it’s called: homemade bubbles.

Bubbles dazzle the mind of both young and old. Especially when they float real high or when the elusive Double Bubble appears. They have an almost hypnotic effect on small children, leaving them in a dazed and (this is the part you’ll like) near-mute stage. The only thing they can manage to utter is, “Whoaaaaaa” as their tiny eyes dart back and forth at the bubble wonder. Additionally, they are cheap, easy to make, and relatively clean even though they create the ruse of messy unruliness for children, which adds to their appeal.

There are probably a few different variations on bubble recipes but the basic formula is: water, dishsoap, sugar. I recommend the following recipe from makeantakes.com:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dishsoap
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • an old milk jug and a tub of sorts

Combine the ingredients. Shake ’em all up in the old jug. Pour it in the tub and let it sit a minute whilst you gather your bubble blowing apparatus. For this you can use cookie cutters, the lid rings from mason jars, a fly swatter (to make tiny bubbles), the plastic rings from your six-pack, slotted spoons, or pipe cleaners and hangers bent into the shape you want your bubbles to be. Check out this awesome star shaped bubble wand made from hanger from the blog, CLEAN.

That’s all the steps. Mix. Shake. Bubble-Wand Make. Tell the children not to run in the road chasing bubbles in their bubble-fever. Then, grab the lawn chair with the drink holder, get comfortable, and soak in the final days of summer. The sunshine, the grass between your toes, and the bag of Doritos on your lap. The book you checked out of the library for own summer school lesson and the sunny pleasant feeling of dozing off while you read it.

And if the kids get bored before the ice cream truck rolls around the corner on one of it’s last loops of the year, tell them you didn’t want to bring it up before but Sponge Bob is trapped in the bubble mix and he needs to ride a bubble back to the sea.

So keep blowin’.

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