A messy, but clean activity? It’s a yes for me. Check out this bubble foam water table: the game-changing outdoor activity you need for summer. This epic combination of water and soap is one of the most beloved kids activity on the Internet.
What is bubble foam?
Bubble foam is the result of soap and water, blended together at high speeds (think blender or mixer). What happens when you create “extreme bubbles” is pure magic.
Nothing is better than bubble foam and if I could reach through my computer and I just show it to you, I know you’d see right away how special this stuff is… instead, I’m left with words to type on a screen (so let’s hope I can capture the magic in print).
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- Bubble bath or body wash (TEAR FREE)
- Optional: food coloring
- Water table
The most important word here is tear free. Please use tear free soap. Bubble foam goes everywhere and sometimes gets in little eyes. I made the mistake of using dish soap once. The bubbles were epic… but I’ll never forget how awful it was to rinse from my toddler’s eyes.
RELATED: Check out my super popular list of summer activities for toddlers and preschoolers!
Bubble foam recipe
Bubble foam follows a standard ratio: 2 to 1 water to bubble bath/tear free body wash. However much you decide to make, just follow that ratio.
Normally, I do 1 cup water + 1/2 cup soap (like in this indoor bubble foam activity with trucks). For this activity, I wanted to go rainbow so my kids and I made up a bunch of smaller batches of bubble foam.
For each color, I followed this recipe:
- 1/4 cup bubble bath
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 drops of food coloring
With a hand mixer, blender, or stand mixer, mix the ingredients until “stiff peaks” form – like you’re making soapy whipping cream.
You will need to mix for a few minutes to get it frothy and big. Don’t quit. Keep mixing.
Just like that, POOF – it goes from bubble bath and water to bubble foam. It’s magical. I repeated this four times to make four colors of bubble foam.
My photos got really washed out so you’ll just have to take my word for it that this table was full of red, yellow, blue, and green bubble foam. If you want to see some vibrant photos, check these out from Friends Art Lab.
Put the bubble foam in the water table
Usually, my kids play with bubble foam in the house. Here are some of the other ways we play with bubble foam:
There are so many ways to play with bubble foam. Once you have this recipe and how-to down, it unlocks a whole new world of play.
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Tip – How to keep the bubble foam water table alive
After about 45 mins, it looses it’s “fluff.” You can whisk it back into stiff peaks!
I have been known to bring my hand mixer outside on an extension cord JUST to fluff it back to life.
Just make sure to remove all the toys and utensils so you don’t accidentally blow out the motor of your hand mixer. Not that I would know…
How to clean up bubble foam at the end
The beauty of this activity: kids get clean messy.
They’ve basically taken a bath by the time they’re done playing with bubble foam, right?
Rinse kids off, hose out the bin. Once the bubbles have fully gone flat and back to water, I do try to tip the table and drain as much into a bucket or bowl that I can carry inside to minimize bubbles getting on our grass.
Frequently Asked Question
Food coloring is water soluble so it’s meant to “dissolve” when saturated with enough water. And that’s when it’s in concentrated form. In an activity like this, the coloring is diluted from the amount of water. Even if concentrated food coloring gets on clothing, just set it in cold water for a few hours and watch as the dye seeps out.
Bubble foam is not taste safe so use it wisely with kids who may mouth or try and eat it. You may want to wait until your child is out of the “licks everything” phase of toddlerhood. From there, the sky is the limit. The tweens in my neighborhood beg for bubble foam so you know it has mass appeal.
Not really. You need to make it and then use it ASAP. If it needs re-fluffing, hit it with the mixer or blender.