Blowing bubbles is a calming activity for children. As well as being calming, there are many other benefits to blowing bubbles. Sensory play with bubbles can involve all the sensory systems.
These suggestions give ideas on how to use bubbles to involve many of your child’s sensory systems:
Visual Sensory System Bubble Play
Make observations together. Ask your child questions such as “do you see the rainbow inside?”, “what colours do you see?”, “which one is the biggest?”, “how many bubbles can you count?”
Blow one bubble and watch together to see where it goes. Track it as it flies through the sky and see where it lands or when it pops.
Vestibular Sensory System Bubble Play
The vestibular system can be engaged through bubble play by running after the bubbles, making giant bubbles with large movements such as large circles and figure 8s. Here’s a recipe for making giant bubbles.
You can create a lot of bubbles at one time for kids to chase by using a bubble machine.
You can also blow bubbles along the ground or point a bubble machine towards the ground and have your child stomp them out.
Oral Sensory System Bubble Play
Make art and stimulate the oral sensory system at the same time by doing bubble painting.
Develop those oral muscles by blowing bubbles using different tools. Experiment with seeing how the impact of blowing softer or harder has on the size of the bubbles.
Practise gaining oral control by trying to stack bubbles on top of each other and create a bubble tower.
Another good way to increase oral sensory input is by using a bubble snake to blow the bubbles through.
Tactile Sensory System Bubble Play
Put the bubble mixture in a large tub and have kids explore with their hands, sponges, kitchen utensils, and scoops.
Catching bubbles is a good tactile sensory play activity.
Blowing bubbles using your own hand as the bubble wand is also great for tactile input. Kids can do this by dipping their hand in the bubble mixture and either blowing through their fist or by making a circle with their thumb and index finger and blowing through that.
Olfactory Sensory System Bubble Play
Blowing bubbles is a good activity for stimulating proprioception. Give your kids different tools for blowing the bubbles with. Some ideas:
- socks (blow bubbles through the sock)
- mesh tubing
- spaghetti strainer
- wire whisk
- pipe cleaners bent into different shapes
- seven straws taped together in a circle
- hula hoop for giant bubbles
- fly swatter
- empty toilet paper or paper towel roll
- bubble wands
- drinking straw
Another way to use bubble play for proprioception is to have your child imitate being a bubble themselves. Have them “fill their body up” with air, shape themselves into a bubble, then pretend to float away.
Auditory System Bubble Play
Have your child try popping the bubbles with different techniques such as clapping the bubble between their hands, poking the bubble, stomping on the bubble, or slapping the bubble to see what each sounds like.
If you are looking for other sensory activities for kids, join me for a free 5 part email series Sensory Solutions and Activities and get your Sensory System Behaviours Easy Reference Cards. Calming Lavender Scented Bubble Recipe