There are many toys that can support development for children of all ages and abilities. Bubbles are universally loved by children of all ages and bring out the child in many adults. Occasionally adults need ‘permission’ to be silly and sometimes need support to get started. Below are some simple ways that bubbles can help children develop skills such as eye-hand coordination, visual tracking, imitating sounds, word imitation and vocalization. These are ideas to just get started. Use your imagination and remember what it was like when you were young and allowed to chase bubbles.
Skills that are worked on: Vocalizations, imitation of words/sounds, imitating oral motor movements, visual tracking, eye hand coordination
• Start by saying “bubbles” and blow the bubbles yourself to gain your child’s attention. Model the word ‘pop’ as you pop the bubbles. Accept any vocalization or request for ‘more’. Encourage her to pop the bubbles. (Imitation of sounds/words, vocalization).
• Ask your child, “Do you want to blow the bubbles?” and hand him the wand. Encourage him to imitate your blowing (Imitating oral motor movements). Your child may not have the adequate breath control to blow, or may not have learned to do that yet. You can blow on his hand to model blowing or put his hand on your lips to feel the air come out. Encourage your child to blow and repeat the words ‘bubble’ or ‘blow’. (Imitation of words).
• You can teach your child the concept of ‘all gone’ as the bubbles pop.
• You can introduce the concept of ‘more’. Ask your child “Do you want more?” Encourage your child to say ‘more’.
• You can talk about ‘big and little’ bubbles and bubbles going ‘up and down’.
• Blow some bubbles up and away from your child to encourage him to visually track the bubbles (visual tracking) and use their fingers to pop them (eye hand coordination).
Other Play Ideas:
1. Use a variety of wands of different sizes and shapes. You can make your own with straws, string or pipe cleaners.
2. Try blowing larger bubbles or 1-2 at a time and encourage your child to use her pointer finger to pop or ‘clap’ the bubbles for a variation.
3. You can make your own bubble solution by mixing half of a cup of dishwashing soap, one cup of water and a teaspoon of sugar.