Bubble Tray

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In this activity, learners use simple materials to create giant bubbles. Learners will explore what gives bubbles their shape, what makes them break or last, what causes the colors and patterns in the soap film, and why do they change? Use this activity to introduce the concepts of surface tension and interference.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Dawn™ or other dishwashing liquid
  • Glycerine
  • Tap water
  • A wire coat hanger
  • A shallow tub or tray about 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter such as a potted-plant drain dish, a pizza pan, or a catering tray
  • Yarn (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Diffraction and Interference
    • Light and Optics
      • Reflection and Refraction
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access