Messy Play with Soap Bubbles: Bubble Snakes

Most kids love a bit of messy play, and most kids love soap bubbles, too! This is a great opportunity to bond with your child and teach them new skills.

And don’t forget to take a look at the other six blog posts in the International Crafts for Kids series!

What is a bubble snake?

Blowing bubble snakes is a fun kids’ activity from the UK. They are made by taking a few household items – an old plastic bottle, an old (clean!) sock and some dish soap. It’s a wonderful thing to do in hot, summer weather in particular. Kids blow through the bottle and as if by magic a “bubble snake” appears out the other end.

You can make snakes really beautiful by using coloured powder or food colouring to turn them into brightly coloured snakes. Hours of messy fun for kids – but just make sure you supervise children under the age of five and remind them to blow out, not breathe in!

Soap Bubble Blowing for Kids

There’s lots to learn through blowing soap bubbles

Learning how to make bubbles and creating these bubble snakes is a great activity for kids between 5 and 8 years (with adult supervision). It’s great to develop their understanding of early scientific processes such as planning, investigation and observation.

It’s partly about using your imagination and using everyday items in new ways. It’s also about good motor skills and putting together the different pieces of the bubble snake “equipment”. Then there’s the fun and independence of making the bubbles and experimenting with different colour combinations.

Ingredients for soap bubbles for kids

The most important ingredient for this recipe is giving your child plenty of encouragement and freedom to play around with the colours and textures of the bubble mixture. Make them feel confident by letting them know that a bit of mess isn’t going to be a problem.

Next you need:

  • A large bowl or container to put the bubble mixture in
  • Some dish soap
  • A jug of water
  • An old plastic bottle
  • Sharp scissors  (an adult will need to cut through the plastic bottle)
  • An old clean sock
  • An elastic band or a piece of string
  • Some food colouring or non-toxic coloured powder
  • A bit of space

This activity is probably better done outside but otherwise just put down some old newspaper to catch the snake and any drips or splashes.

How to make bubbles

First make the “bubble snake maker”.

  • Take the plastic bottle and give it a good wash
  • Now cut the bottom off the bottle with the scissors. You’ll need to do this part for your child!
  • Take the old sock and place it over the cut off bottom of the bottle. You can secure it with the elastic band or a bit of string
  • Now it’s time to get bubbly. The messy part starts here.
  • Put a good squirt of dish soap into the bowl or container
  • Add a small splash of water to make the mixture a bit more liquid
  • Dip the sock end of the bubble maker into the liquid and give it a good soak
  • Lift the bubble maker out and give a good blow through the other end of the bottle

Once your little one has got the knack of making bubble snakes they can add some colour. By dropping different splashes of colour on to the sock the bubble snakes will come out like rainbows.

The bubble snake maker is finished when there is a stream of colourful bubbles either in your kitchen (use a plastic sheet to make cleaning up easy!) or up the garden and your soapy little one has got a big smile on their face. Don’t worry too much if you find they have got mud on their clothes from all the running around outside blowing bubbles, it’s easy to get out. Just let the mud dry, then scrub with a brush.

Once you’ve scrubbed, wash on a normal cycle with Surf excel. Just check the label for care details of the stained garment before cleaning the stain, and check the Stain Gang for more stain removal tips.

What are your favourite bubble-blowing activities?

What are your favourite games with soap bubbles for kids? Share your story with us here in a comment.