With a toddler in the house, the ability to whip up a bubble solution on the fly with ingredients from your pantry is a boon. It means mom can mix up a quick batch of bubble solution while said toddler naps without ever having to leave home (although the solution works best after it has been aged overnight). Anyone who has had to hang on to a curious toddler with a mind of his own and the uncanny ability to squirm out of your grip will understand how shopping with a toddler in tow can sometimes be a physical challenge. Even if you don’t have kids, having a stash of bubble solution on hand for when your nephew, niece or godchild comes to visit will transform you into a total rock star in their eyes. Fashion bubble wands out of cookie cutters, twisted wire hangers or pipe cleaners (I must report that with pipe cleaners, you need to really soak them completely with solution for them to work), straws and other things you may already have at home! I’ve found that this solution works well in a bubble blowing machine. When you’re using a bubble wand or cookie cutter, it does takes a little practice and experimenting (take a longer breath before you blow) to get really impressively large bubbles. Basically, you can’t apply the same bubble-blowing techniques you use with store-bought solutions. Larger wands are also likely to give you one large, strong bubble. Smaller wands will result in a series of smaller bubbles. I would say that homemade and store-bought solutions offer different bubble blowing experiences and I am not suggesting that you should only confine yourself to one or the other.
Bubble solution recipes are broadly divided between bubble solutions that utilise light corn syrup and solutions that utilise glycerine. Both ingredients are supposed to make stronger bubbles with greater staying power. I’m sharing an adaptation of the recipe I like best. The bubbles are remarkably resilient. We blanketed our terrace with bubbles with our first batch and the bubbles kept my son, T (who rates the Sesame Street video about blowing and counting bubbles among his current top two) giggly and happily amused. He has greater success with generating bubbles with a homemade solution than a store-bought one. When the weather is bad or T is feeling under the weather, we take our bubble wands into the shower (remembering to line the floor with non-slip bathmats because the bubble solution makes it slippery) and fill it with bubbles just before T takes his evening bath.
Adapted from here. The type of dish washing detergent does seem to make a difference. I’ve found that the regular yellow Mama Lemon creates better bubbles than the green anti-bacterial one. Glycerine is used in fondants to keep them soft and pliable. In Singapore, you can get glycerine at Phoon Huat.
Makes a little over 1 litre
720ml (3 cups) water
3 tsp castor sugar
240ml (1 cup) dish washing detergent
180ml (¾ cup) glycerine
Simply combine all the ingredients. Stir gently to combine. Let the solution stand overnight for optimum performance.