Bubbularium: See the Colors in Bubbles

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With little more than a flashlight, a straw, and a plastic lid, make an observatory so you can see the amazing colors in bubbles. Learn about how light travels in waves and how the frequency of a light wave determines which color you see. The activity also has a recipe for "bubble juice" so you'll have some bubbles to work with.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • small clear plastic lid (from yogurt or margarine container)
  • clear plastic tape
  • flashlight that works
  • spoon
  • straw
  • room you can make dark
  • 1 gallon water (for Bubble Juice)
  • 2/3 cup dishwashing soap (for Bubble Juice)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color

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


  • Murphy, Pat ; Klages, Ellen ; Shore, Linda


  • All rights reserved, The Exploratorium, 1998