Simple Spring Pleasures

Blue skies full of bird song, flowers and trees beginning to bud, the sun smiling down a little longer each day …it’s spring! This is the perfect time to get outdoors with your little ones and enjoy some of the simple pleasures of this beautiful season. Grab some binoculars (or tape together a pair of toilet paper tubes for an easy substitute) and take a walk around the neighborhood looking for birds and nests. Or spend a few hours in the morning getting down and dirty together in the yard. You may be surprised at the joy and satisfaction your little one can find in turning over soil, pulling weeds, and scattering radish or wildflower seeds in the newly tilled earth.

Another captivating spring endeavor – bubbles! This is a fantastic time of year for finding bubbles all around. In nature, your little one can investigate bubbles trapped under a thin layer of ice in a puddle, or burbling by in the run-off from a spring shower. Or for more bubble fun, make them yourself – the cooler, wetter days of spring make for perfect bubble-blowing conditions!

Here are a few tricks, tips, and activities to help you make bigger, more colorful, more exciting bubbles together. Don’t forget your camera! Bubbles make for great photo ops, too.

Make Your Own Super Bubbles
Make super-strong bubbles with the recipe we use here at the Children’s Museum of Denver in our Bubble Exhibit! You can add a drop of food coloring for extra fun.
You will need:

  • 2/3 cup Joy dishwashing soap
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerin (available in pharmacies or natural food stores)

For simple bubble wands, try twisting pipe cleaners into circles or ovals, or raid your recycling bin for plastic six-pack holders and produce baskets. Shapes like these create amazing multi-bubbles because they have multiple holes. Or use your imagination: together with your grandchild, go on a hunt around the house for plastic items with holes that you can try.

Create Bubble Art Together
This project can be a bit messy, so consider trying it outside on the sidewalk on a warm day.
You will need:

  • Bowls for bubble solution
  • Bubble solution
  • Tempera paints in multiple colors
  • Paper for your art

Set out one bowl for each color of paint you will use. Pour one cup of solution into each bowl, then add a teaspoon of tempera paint to each. Stir. Have your grandchild select a color and blow a bubble toward you. Your job is to “catch” the bubble, so it pops on the paper. The bursting bubble creates a unique splatter. Layer colors to make cool patterns. Switch roles and have fun seeing what designs you can create.

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