I'm forever blowing bubbles!

Material blowers


Year group:   year 1, 2 and year 3.

Learning objective: From National curriculum document.

  • Year 1- “describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials” and “Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties.”(EVERYDAY MATERIALS)

  • Year 2- “ Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials…”  (USES OF EVERYDAY MATERIALS).

  • Year 3- “Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials…” (PROPERTIES AND CHANGES OF MATERIALS).


Resources: variety of materials, including ankle socks, could include paper, card, tissue, felt, tinfoil, plastic. Small plastic bottles, one each or children will need one when working in a group. Elastic bands, good quality bubbles or washing up liquid. Scissors. Dish for holding the bubble mixture. Measuring tape to record length of bubble stream. Cylinder measure. Water. Ipad or camera to record the investigation.

Working scientifically:

  • KS1- asking simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.

  • Observe closely, using simple equipment.

  • Perform simple tasks.

  • Identify and classify.

  • Use observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.

  • LKS2- asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.

  • Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests.

  • Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables.

  • Using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.

  • Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

  • Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Cross curricular - maths, measuring and reading from a scale.

Length of activity: 60-90 minutes. Can be completed over 2 sessions.

Step by step:

1. The children to discuss and record on post it notes in mixed ability groups what material they think is going to be the best for making the blower, remind children about work they have done on the properties of materials and suitability. Have examples of the materials to be used on the table to aid discussion.

2. The children to make and record their prediction in a table-(pre-printed out for younger children).

3. Cut the bottom off the plastic bottle - adult help required here or children to have their bottles already cut for them - beware of sharp edges.

4. Decide which group will use which piece of material. Children to cut out circles of the materials to be used – (make enough of an over hang to allow the elastic band to be fitted securely around the bottom of the plastic bottle.

5. Ensure the material is fitted tightly and pour the correct amount of bubble mixture into a dish-for added maths experience ask the children to measure the amount of bubble mixture using a cylinder measure.

6. Add 1 part water to the bubble mixture, using ratio calculations.

7. Dip the bottle with material into the bubbles and start blowing-other children in the group record the length of bubble stream in one breaths blow. Repeat 4 times to get the longest length of the bubble stream. Record on a table-this will involve the groups discussing their findings.

8. When results are collected record on a bar chart to show the material that gives the longest bubble stream.


 Questions for children

  • What material do you think will produce the best bubbles and why?

  • Does it matter how much bubble liquid we use?

  • Do we have to have the same amount of blows each time?

  • What makes the bubbles?

  • Why do we need to have one breath per session-why can’t someone take more than one go at blowing?

  • How can we show our results?

Expected outcomes:  

  • Children will be able to discuss what made this a fair test.

  • Children will be able to name the best material for making the longest bubble stream and what are the properties of the best materials.

  • Children will be able to name the best way of representing the results and describe why this is.

Possible misconceptions:

  • That certain materials may not be/be waterproof.

  • That all the materials will produce bubbles.


free lessons, lesson, science, Science and Technology, Switched on Science

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