Properties of Matter

Bubble Bounce

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • Water
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Bubble wand or rigid loop
  • Clean cotton or wool gloves


  1. Mix one part washing-up liquid to three parts water in a cup. Stir and leave it to stand. Use the loop to blow large bubbles.
  2. Let one fall onto your bare hand. What happens? Put the gloves on and let one fall on your gloved hand.

Results and Explanation

When a bubble hits your bare hand it will pop. But if it falls on your glove you should be able to hold it and bounce it. Bubbles are incredibly thin films of soap, held together by surface tension. Oil or tiny particles on your hand affect the film, breaking it at once, but the soft, clean fibres of your glove do not.

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