Making your own scented bubble mix is a fun way to increase some smell exposures for children. Olfactory sense building exercises are not always easy to come by, often they sort of waft on in. They can be fun and “on purpose” though! Scented bubble mix is a great activity prior to meals to engage a range of sensory systems and prepare families for eating. Playing bubbles is a joyful movement activity that also increases motor skills. Adding smell to the mix helps kids appreciate a “big smell” and “little smell”. See this post on helping sensory kids try more vegetables for more information on how to prompt and play with sensory systems to improve eating skills.
DIY Bubble Mix Hacks
The trick to DIY bubble mix is to be aware that the ratio of ingredients depends on the moisture in the air! A funky fact that I’m sure even the Ubercorn would be impressed to learn. Sometimes bubbles can hang around for ages and seem robust and on other days they are really hard to blow – this can be due to air moisture. If your bubbles aren’t forming well…. try to add more of the ingredients to the water.
To add a scent to the bubbles the easiest way is to buy scented washing up liquid. In supermarkets in Australia, I have seen the following food scents lurking in the washing up liquid aisle; lemon, lime, lavender, orange, rhubarb and apple. Or, if you want to get tricky, gather some herbs and steep them in boiling water (until the water cools) and then use this as your base water for the recipe.
- Herbs (I used mint but you could use a range of different herbs like rosemary or basil too)
- Dishwashing Liquid (scented or unscented - I used an "original" scented dishwashing liquid to team with the mint smell)
- Glucose Syrup (known as light corn syrup in America) or Salt
- Save an old bubble wand that has run out of bubble mixture.
- Steep your herbs in 1 cup of boiling water. The longer they steep the more aroma you will get in your finished product.
- Add your scent-infused water to your bubble wand, 2 tbsp of glucose syrup and 4 tbsp of dishwashing liquid. Or if you are using salt instead of glucose syrup start with 1 tbsp and then see how you may need to adjust the mixture to get the optimum bubble.
What scents would work in bubble mixture for your kids?
Are your children sensitive to smells of new foods and places?