Bubble blowing is a fun indoor or outdoor activity for children of all ages! Bubbles are an excellent tool to promote skills in speech, language, vision, sensory and motor development.
Fine motor skills. Kids have the opportunity to practice pinching the skinny wand, coordinating two hands to hold the bottle and dip, holding the blower with a pencil-like grasp, opening and closing the bottle, and using hands in different ways to pop the bubbles (poke with index finger, “squeeze” to grab bubbles with the whole hand, use two hands to clap the bubbles).
Visual tracking skills. Follow where the bubbles go. Some are fast and some are slow; some are high and some are low. (These are language concepts too!)
Eye/hand coordination. It takes serious practice to link up what the eyes and hands are doing in order to accurately dip and blow with a wand.
Sensory processing skills. Bubbles are wet. and slimy. and sticky. They feel funny. The physical act of blowing can be a very effective way to help children organize, calm, and focus their bodies.
Oral motor skills. Blowing bubbles is good exercise for little mouths, but it can be hard work! Blowing at bubbles that have already been blown and are sitting on the end of the wand can also be easier than straight-up blowing through the wand.
Social and communication skills. Kids can ask or sign for “more” and establish eye contact when doing so. And if playing in a group, they can practice taking turns, attending jointly and keeping personal space between their bodies so they don’t bump into or knock each other over.
Gross motor skills. What an easy way to get kids to reach way up high, stand on their tippie toes, squat, jump, run, stomp, and kick.
Identifying body parts. Pop with your finger, your elbow, your knee, or your nose!
Speech skills. /b/, /p/ and /w/, (those formed in the front of the mouth with the lips) are early speech sounds that are naturally prompted during bubble play. A few examples include “Bubbles!” “Bye-bye bubbles!” and “Pop!”
Following directions. You can give them directions on how to pop the bubbles with each turn (clap them, poke them, squeeze them, jump on them, etc.) either one at a time or by telling them a popping sequence (first poke, then squeeze, then clap). Or they can follow the directions to a turn-taking sequence (first Johnny pops, then Caitlin, then Danny). The possibilities for directions are endless.
Language and cognitive skills. You can teach toddlers and preschoolers how to understand and describe where the bubbles are and what they’re doing by pointing things out when they happen. “The bubbles are going up (or down)” “They’re going fast (or slow).” “There’s a bubble in front of (or behind) you.” “I see one next to you.” “There’s one above (or below) your head.” “It’s to your right (or left).”
While you enjoy these bubbles with your child, know that you are also teaching them so many good things!
Things to do at home this summer – BHPT. https://www.bhpt.org.uk/family-blog/things-to-do-at-home-this-summer/