Outdoor Play Idea for a Cold Day: Freezing Bubbles

Try blowing bubbles outdoors on a cold day and watch them freeze

Laura @inspiremyplay

Founder of @inspiremyplay, Early Years teacher for 11 years and mummy to three gorgeous girls. I'm passionate about about the benefits of play in early childhood.

Have you tried blowing bubbles on a cold day? This is such a magical experience to do with little ones! If you get a cold morning then it is well worth bracing the weather to blow bubbles and watch them freeze together!

Outdoor play brings so many benefits for young children physically, socially and emotionally:  

  • It improves physical health: Outdoor play creates space for children to run, jump, and engage in other physical activities that are essential for developing strong muscles and bones.  
  • It enhances creativity and imagination: When children are playing outside, they are free to use their imagination and create their own games and activities. This can help to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills.  
  • It builds social skills: Outdoor play allows children to interact with their peers and learn valuable social skills such as sharing, cooperation, and communication.  
  • It reduces stress: Being outside in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well-being in both children and adults.  
  • It boosts self-confidence: When children are given the opportunity to explore and take risks in a safe environment, they learn to trust their own abilities and become more self-confident. 

Often we only think about encouraging outdoor play when the weather is warm and sunny, but there is so much to be learnt about the world around us by experiencing the outdoors in all conditions and all weathers.

Frozen Bubbles

This activity is the perfect reason to get outside together on a cold day and explore the effects that freezing temperatures have on the world around us. It works best when the temperature is around -2 or -3 degrees Celsius. You’ll need a bubble wand or you can make your own using a pipe cleaner shaped into a circle and attached to a stick or pencil.

To make your own bubble mixture, you will need:  

  • 1 tablespoon of dish soap,
  •  6 tablespoons of water, 
  •  1 teaspoon of glycerine.

Don’t worry if you don’t have glycerine. This is optional, but does help your bubbles last longer before popping, which is helpful for this activity as you want them to have time to freeze. Gently stir the mixture together, being careful not to make it too frothy. Now, it's time to blow some bubbles!

Have you tried blowing bubbles on a cold day?

Not all of the bubbles will land in tact but when they do watch them closely as they freeze. The video below was filmed using a time lapse but it doesn’t take long in real time for a bubble to turn cloudy and freeze. This can be a magical experience for children, as they watch the bubbles change from a liquid to a solid. Take some time to observe the frozen bubbles closely with your child and talk about what they are seeing. 

One of the many benefits of outdoor play is that it allows children to explore and learn about the natural world in a hands-on way. Blowing bubbles and watching them freeze is a perfect example of this, as children can observe how the freezing temperature affects the bubbles. They can see how the bubble's shape changes and how its colour changes as well.  Blowing bubbles and watching them freeze is great fun and simple to do. So, the next time you have a cold snap, give it a try with your little ones!

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