DIY Bubble Juice
I keep asking myself, "how does one entertain a two-year-old for hours on end, for weeks (months) at a time, without getting to go anywhere or see anyone?" There are many right answers to that question,* and one of them is "bubbles."
Bubbles are child entertainment magic (until they're not, of course), employed by this compassionate Southwest flight attendant to soothe a crying baby (old news can still be sweet!), and approximately a gazillion parents at Disneyland.**
True to form, my two-year-old is obsessed with bubbles. Obsessed. However — and I do not feel good admitting this — I really, really do not enjoy getting bubble juice all over my hands and person, and all over her hands, face, hair, clothes, and in her mouth when she "helps." I have no idea what's in these bubble solutions — especially the scented ones — and it makes me resist the bubble magic. I'm not a monster, we still blow bubbles, but I don't love it.
Plus, when you're buying bubble juice, the only way to get more is to buy new bottles when, say, your new coworker dumps the bottle of bubbles out on the ground. Making your own is a zero-waste solution. Excellent.
Make Your Own
Fortunately, my favorite librarian at the Vashon Library came to our rescue and has restored comprehensive joy to the pastime of bubble-blowing. She's done so by sharing a recipe for DIY Bubble Juice (adapted from Soap Bubble), and I'm sharing it here today so other parents who are making the most of quarantine togetherness*** can enjoy it too.
The original recipe is for a 2-liter bottle, but a) I didn't have one of those, and b) we're wanding it over here, so that seemed a bit excessive for our needs. So, if you're making juice for a bubble machine (I'd like one for Mother's Day, please) or bigger scale bubbles, multiply the following recipe by 4.
DIY Non-Toxic Bubble Juice Recipe
The following quantities are for a jam-jar-sized receptacle (16.5 fl. oz.)
1/8 teaspoon guar gum (I used Bob's Red Mill. It's going to last an eternity.)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (coincidentally, also Bob's Red Mill.)
1.5 tablespoons of dish soap (I used Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dish Soap. I suspect it will work with whatever you have, unless you're a super-duper bubble maker. In that case, please refer to SoapBubble for extra science.)
16-ish fl. oz. of water.
Measure guar gum and baking powder into the bottom of your clean jam jar. Add in the dish soap. Mix until dispersed, and then add water and mix gently to avoid foaming it up too much. Enjoy!
A big thank you to the Vashon Library and to Soap Bubble for making bubbles fun again! Not only do I feel better about what's in this juice, but we also get relief from having to buy new plastic bottles of bubbles. Hooray for zero waste!
*People joke about airport rules for drinking while in quarantine, but can we also extend "airport rules" to parenting? It's the wild west
out in here.
**Bonus points seem to be applied for novel methods of releasing said bubbles, as from a Mickey-shaped wand. I don't have any of these, but I've heard lore.
***I wish I could see reactions to this statement.