Make Your Own … Bubbles

(Note: Do this activity outdoors.)

1/4 cup good quality liquid dishwashing detergent4 cups water

large container (for dipping the straw frame)

35″ (89 cm) length of cotton kite string

2 plastic drinking straws 7 3/4″ (19.7 cm) long

  1. In a bowl, mix the dishwashing detergent with the water and pour into the container.

  2. Thread one end of the string through each straw and tie both ends in a knot.

  3. Holding one straw with each hand, form a frame and put it into the solution. As you slowly take it out, a film will form on the frame (see illustration). Hold your arms out in front of you and slowly pull the frame to the side. The air will force the film off and make bubbles. You can change the bubble patterns by the way you move or shake the frame. To close off one large bubble, twist the frame towards you. The bubble will form a sphere and drift away.

Make Your Own … Baking-Soda Clay

2 cups baking soda

1 cup cornstarch

food coloring (optional)

1 1/4 cups water

  1. In a saucepan, mix the baking soda with the cornstarch.

  2. Stir a few drops of food coloring in the water, if desired, then add it to the mixture and stir. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously. When the mixture looks like moist mashed potatoes, remove the pan from the stove.

  3. Put the clay on a large plate and cover it with a damp cloth. As soon as the clay is cool enough to handle, knead it until it is smooth. It can be used several weeks if it is stored in a tightly closed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Make Your Own … Finger Paint

2 cups water

food coloring

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/3 cup warm water

  1. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups water and desired coloring to a boil.

  2. Put the cornstarch into a small bowl, dissolve it with 1/3 cup warm water, then gradually stir it into the boiling water. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil again. Then remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.

Photos by Welden Andersen, posed by models