“Little Mabel blew a bubble, and it caused a lot of trouble…” so began our latest book selection, Bubble Trouble, by Margaret Mahy and Polly Dunbar. I first discovered this book at our local public library and initially thought it was a bit odd. I mean, the story is about a baby who is caught in a bubble (blown by his sister) and is wafted away. As he bobbles along, an eccentric array of townsfolk fearfully look on and plan how to get the baby down before he meets a terrible fate (yikes, right?). After an initial read, however, I realized how fabulous this book really is (the baby lands safety in mama’s arms), and both my son and I fell in love with it. The entire story is told is alliteration and rhyme and the vocabulary is fantastic. Thanks to this book, my son now knows the word: nefarious. Yep, a three year old knows the word, nefarious. During our meeting, the kids were very engaged in the reading of this book and I think the older babies even enjoyed looking at the quirky illustrations. I highly recommend this book.
As you might imagine, Bubble Trouble, called for the incorporation of bubbles as the theme of our meeting. Make bubbles we did, but not just any bubbles, GIANT bubbles surrounding each child. We reassured each child that they would not be wafted away in these bubbles like the baby in the book. To make the giant bubbles, we used a bubble solution that was made the day before and sat overnight to strengthen. Our bubble solution was based on the recipe on this blog: http://foreveryourprintsblog.com/diy-giant-bubbles/, but I multiplied it times five, so our recipe looked something like this:
50 cups of distilled water
5 cups of Dawn dish soap
1 and 1/4 cups glycerin
Although this recipe made quite a bit of solution, it’s supposed to get stronger with age, so we saved it after our meeting and plan to reuse. We let the solution sit covered overnight and poured it into a baby pool in the morning for our meeting. We used a medium sized hula hoop to create the bubbles. It took a few attempts to get the hula hoop well coated in the liquid and to get the feel for how quickly to pull the hoop up to create a bubble before it popped. It was a windy day, so that added a little challenge, but after a few attempts, we got it! Every kid who wanted to step into the soapy bubble pool got a giant bubble pulled up around them and over their heads. Most kids took a second turn and some a third or fourth turn. We captured most of the bubbles with the camera. The reactions of the kids were so cute when the bubbles popped too! Be sure to check out the slideshow below to see their expressions.
You’ll also notice in our photo slideshow that we had the bubble blower going during our meeting to distract the big kids during waiting times and/or times when we needed to set up/clean up. It also provided entertainment for our baby members.
After every child had a chance to stand in a giant bubble, it was time for snack. Coming up with an easy, healthy themed bubble snack was more challenging than expected, but in the end, we settled on bubble juice (apple juice mixed with seltzer water) and rice cakes. The carbonated water created bubbles in the juice (and watered it down a bit) and rice cakes have air bubble throughout and kind of resemble a big bubble overall. Most of the kids ate the rice cakes and I think most drank the juice, but it was interesting to see kids’ reactions as they drank the “bubble juice,” especially if this was their first time drinking a carbonated beverage. My son wasn’t a fan of the sensation, but other’s didn’t seem bothered by it.
After snack time, we had one more activity, not bubble-related, but definitely a perfect fit for our outdoor meeting. Our book club was nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and some of the 2 to 4 year olds in our group took on the challenge! (Don’t worry, the water wasn’t TOO cold for these little philanthropists!) We’ll be donating money on behalf of our book club to the ALS Association.
Giving is an important part of our book club. Every month, we donate the book and supplies from our meeting to an organization that supports low income families so that a child and his/her family may replicate in their home. Check back soon for the post about this month’s Book Club Pals donation. Also, check back later this week to read about our Very Hungry Caterpillar meeting; our activities were entirely focused on the concept of hunger and donating food to a food pantry.