Play Recipe: Giant Reusable Bubbles

Sometimes an activity has no other purpose than to be awesome. This one definitely falls into that category- it was an accidental discovery that was so much fun that our whole family spent an entire afternoon getting gooey together- no screens in sight. So if your family is in need of some together time, whip up a batch of these reusable bubbles- I guarantee there will be lots of “oohs” and “aahs” and plenty of giggles, too!

DIY Reusable Bubbles from Twodaloo

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Giant Reusable Bubbles

Yesterday I posted about our super stretchy galaxy slime that I whipped up for our night sky theme. If you read that post, you may remember me mentioning that there are nuances to slime-making…small changes in the proportions of your ingredients create vastly different outcomes in the consistency of your slime. The classic base recipe for the slime we created calls for equal parts of Sta-Flo Liquid Starch and Elmer’s Clear School Glue. What I found is that I didn’t need that much liquid starch to create a stretchy slime- adding more Sta-Flo than needed produced a substance that was more rubbery than slimy or stretchy- otherwise known as GAK!

Gak

The first batch of slime I made had this rubbery consistency, so I set it aside and made some more, which is what ended up in our galaxy photo shoot.  However, I was glad I didn’t toss the first batch, because it turns out that Sydney much preferred the rubbery gak to the sticky slime.  At some point during her play, she managed to get some air trapped in the gak, making a small bubble, and when she asked me to do it again, a lightbulb went on. I figured out a super easy way to do it, and check out the results!

Reusable Bubbles!

You can make small bubbles.

Reusable bubbles!!

You can make medium-sized bubbles.

Giant Reusable Bubbles!

OR you can make GIANT bubbles!! Whoa.

Fun, right? Ready to make your own?

Make Some Gak!

Ok, first you’ll need to make your own gak. So click HERE to hop on over to our galaxy slime post and get the details on the recipe.  Be sure to read both the ingredients AND the details on how to get your slime/gak to bond together- if you don’t do it like I describe you may end up with a lumpy mess. Now, as you are adding your small increments of Sta-Flo, you are going to want to do a little “stretch test” to be sure you have the right consistency. You can make bubbles out of slime, but they won’t hold their shape as well as gak bubbles, and they don’t last very long. Now, for your little test, I want you to simply grab a little pinch of your  goo blob and pull straight up.

Slime

If your substance does this, you’ve got slime. Super stretchy and AWESOME but not the best for bubbles. Set some aside to play with later and then knead in some more Sta-Flo and give it another go.

Stretch test: Gak

If your substance does this, you’re good to go! It will still have some stretch (as shown at the beginning of the post) but it is much more likely to break during the pinch test. Now, once you’ve got a good gak going on, I want you to go find a straw. We have a ton of plastic straws of different shapes and sizes from our arsenal of straw and smoothie cups. Hard straws work best to penetrate the gak, and while we got all sizes to work, we had the best luck with larger, wider straws like the one pictured below.

Straw in a ball of gak

Now, take a ball of your gak, stick your straw in it, and blow! It will take some finesse (just like blowing a bubble with bubblegum does) and you’ll want to pinch the gak around the straw to be sure you don’t leak air, but once you get the hang of it, you’re golden ;)

Reusable bubbles!

Here’s Daddy demonstrating the formation of a perfect gak bubble. Once you’ve blown one up, hand it over to the nearest child, and let the giggles commence. Our littles aren’t quite able to make the bubbles themselves, but older kids could certainly take on the task! Oh, and this is common sense, but gak made with glue and starch is not for eating. So skip this activity if you have littles that still taste sensory play materials, or at least save it for when they are a little older, ‘k?

Giant Reusable bubble
This is actually a slime bubble, but we made it the same way. You can see how much better the gak bubbles hold their shape by comparing the different photos. Once they pop, squish them into a ball and blow ‘em up again!

I hope you enjoyed our little “just for fun” activity! You can see more of our sensory play ideas by checking out our gallery HERE.

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Comments

  1. Zaskia Foster says:

    HI…This activity looks super cool. What is Sta-Flo? I live in South – Africa. We dont have that product here? And csn I use glue thst is ment for srts and crafts or like wood glue?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Zaskia! Sta-Flo is a liquid starch mixture- click on the Amazon links in the post to see what it looks like. I’m not sure what alternatives are available to you in South Africa…you might try experimenting with other brands of liquid starch if you can find them mixed with glue. The glue that is most commonly used is school glue (kid-safe)- I’m not sure that you’d want to use a glue that was meant for anything else because I’m not sure it would be safe for touching. Hope that helps!

  2. Zaskia Foster says:

    HI…This activity looks super cool. What is Sta-Flo? I live in South – Africa. We dont have that product here? And can I use glue that is ment for arts and crafts or like wood glue?

    • Helen Behan says:

      Hope someone can answer the question above. I am in the UK and we don’t have Sta-Flo either. Is there something else I can use instead? This looks really cool x

      • I think you can order liquid starch from amazon and ebay :)

        • Stephanie says:

          Thanks Kat ;) Helen you may have to Google around and see what alternatives you can come up with- I know some have used alternate brands of liquid starch but there have been differing reports of how effective they are. You can also make slime using borax, laundry detergent, and even psyllium fiber supplement- just look up slime recipes and find one that works for your family!

    • Stephanie says:

      Unfortunately Zaskia this particular recipe won’t work unless you use the brands I specified in the post- Sta-Flo has an added ingredient that causes the bonding action to happen with the glue, so other brands of liquid starches don’t work. There are a few different ways to make slime though that are floating around the internet, so hopefully you can find one that works for you! Thanks for reading!

    • Do you have borax? I have done something similar with borax and glue, maybe some water? Unfortunately, I don’t remember the recipe. You could try small batches and see what happens.

  3. I’m looking at this and wanting so much to make bubble prints with it. Do you think it would???

  4. As a cake decorator, I can tell you that the food coloring idea is not a good one because all of the colors stain fingers, clothing and anything else that may be the least porous. If you use this instead of the liquid water colors, you are apt to have stains on anything it touches, so think carefully before deciding to use it, please. I am going to make this with the help of my grandchildren ( 6 and 7) who are coming across country for their summer visit to Nana and Grandpa. It will be a fun thing to take outside to meet the neighbor kids. We are new in our neighborhood so it should be interesting to see how this idea works.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Barbara! I think that’s a perfect idea for meeting new kids- a great icebreaker! What I’ve found using food coloring is that once it is mixed in well with the glue and other ingredients it doesn’t transfer onto hands or surfaces- it becomes encapsulated in the slime/gak after the chemical reaction takes place, just like the liquid watercolors do. Otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it at all! The trick to minimizing your contact with the staining colors is to use a spoon to stir at first until the substance gets too dense and sticky to stir, then diving in with your hands to knead. All the details are in the Galaxy Slime post that is linked in this one. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your grandchildren!

  5. Hi just want to know what was used for color? This is so cool we usually do starch and glue for a super cool goo my girls love it!!!! :-) thanks

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Enith! If you click over to the recipe in our Galaxy Slime post (its linked in this one), you can see what we used and all the details. This blue was created with liquid watercolors and blue glitter. You can also use food coloring- whatever you have on hand!

  6. This is such a cute idea! Pinning it to my outdoor play ideas and we’ll definitely be doing it this summer!

  7. Borax can be used to make slime/gak. I don’t remember the ratios, but add borax powder to warm water. Then add drops of the solution to colored glue and stir. Continue adding and stirring until it comes together. Knead and play!

  8. Can the substance be stored and reused at a later date (like Playdoh)? If so, should it be refrigerated?

  9. Sandra Lena Johnson says:

    I have grandchildren, ages, 3, 6, 8,9,10 and 10. Everyone one of them would love the Galaxy Slime and of course the Giant Usable Bubbles. Thanks for a great website.

  10. Rosella says:

    Is there a way to make this in super small porportions…like a hand full?

  11. Hi, my name is Eliana. I loved this! Unfortunately I’m from Uruguay and we don’t those products. Could you tell me what Sta Flo is? so maybe I can find a similar.
    Thanks

  12. My daughter has been asking for re-usable bubbles after seeing a commercial for something like this…for $20! I’ll give this a try instead!

  13. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on net as compared to books,
    as I found this article at this web site.

  14. THis looks so fun! My daughter loves the little tubes of plastic bubbles that you put on a tiny straw and blow. She would absolutely love this. Thanks for the super fun idea.

  15. Help please. I tried this with Elmer’s clear glue & Sta-Flo and there seems to be too much Sta-Flo, it’s just floating around the sides. I know the easy answer is to put in less Sta-flo, but I only put in a little over a 1/2 cup. After a lot of work I was able to get a small bubble, but it popped.
    Thanks

  16. We’ve been having SO much fun with the GAK-blowing bubbles, oozing , rolling out -SOOOO many possibilities! ….5 days later it is getting a little “stiff”… Is there any way to “revive” ( soften ) it? Or do we just make a new batch?

  17. Danielle says:

    Can this be made with white elmers glue?

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