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 In DIY and Make-Do tutorials, Family

In my quest for summer activities to entertain the boys I started reminiscing about a foam making toy I had as a kid. It was sort of shaped like a big plastic lolly pop with terry cloth on one side. You dunked it in water, put a little bubble soap on it and then blew into a tube. It didn’t make regular soap bubbles, it made long foamy snakes. I remember how much I played with that thing and knew my boys would enjoy a toy like that. I really wanted to find one!

My usual Google search yielded no results…I don’t even know what that toy was called and I don’t think it was particularly popular at the time. So, I decided to try to make one, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. Finally after a few brainstorms, I came up with a super easy way to make your own! It doesn’t look anything like my childhood toy, but it works great!

Materials:
Plastic water bottle, empty
Scrap of terry cloth, such as an old wash cloth
Rubber band
Xacto knife
Bubble or dish soap
Small plate or flat lid

1) Using an Xacto knife, carefully cut the bottom off of a small water bottle.
2) Cover the bottom opening with a scrap of terry cloth and secure tightly with a rubber band.
3) Dampen terry cloth with a little water

4) Pour bubble or dish soap onto a plate and dip terry cloth end into soap.
5) Blow gently into top of bottle — have fun!

My kids had a blast with this outside, but it’d probably be fun in the bathtub as well. They decorated all of the outdoor furniture with foam and gave each other foam “hairstyles”. When you’re all done playing, hose everything and every body off!

(***BTW, shop update today!***)

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Showing 55 comments
  • Wendy

    OMG That looks fun! I think I might have to try that with my kids. We tried the idea you posted about the sponge balls today. They had a blast!

  • pomly

    Holy bubble snakes! I can’t wait to try this with the kids!

  • Sonia

    Absolutely neat idea ! Perfect for summer, outside, or for the rest of the year, in the bathtube ! Thanks so much for sharing the idea !
    Best wishes from France. *Ü*

  • Anna - Three Sneaky Bugs

    How terribly fun! Thanks for sharing.

  • Kristyn Knits

    love your blog betz!
    i’m going to use this idea next week when we host “cousin camp” at our house. my niece and nephew are coming for a week’s visit. the sponge balls and the foam-erator are now on my list of activities! Thanks!

  • Susan

    Okay, you just gave me another one! I have another birthday party this weekend, Betz. What would I do without you? Thank you:)

    Oh, and those look like some pretty pictures in your new book….can’t wait.

  • Heather

    awesome fun betz. great meeting up with you yesterday for coffee. hope to see you again soon.

  • Mytutorlist.com

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it! It looks like soooo much fun!

  • Stacey

    Totally trying this today with my toddler!

  • Because I said so...

    The kids and their friends are gathering supplies and we are going to make these in a few mintues! Woohoo…they were actually getting a little bored and you saved our afternoon! Thanks!
    Aimee

  • thesugarmonster

    That is so cool! I’ve passed the link along to a few moms I know! =)

  • Tif

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing. My kids will love this.
    —Tif

  • Anonymous

    they sell these here in Japan at the 100 yen stores. I’ve bought one for my daughter that is shaped like a hippo. Loads of fun.

    Chris

  • bill beaty

    GIANT ANTIGRAVITY TOOTHPASTE

    Wow, get a helium tank (balloon inflator,) then make flying white bubble snakes.

  • Crayl

    I am so going to go make this, right now!

  • Shelly G & Hope P

    Oh my goodness… that looks like a fun idea… I will have to make one for my daughter Hope… who is an absolute bubble hound:)

  • Renee

    That’s a great idea. So clever. :)

  • Lisa Clarke

    What a great idea! And with materials that I have laying around, besides! My boys are going to love this… Thanks :-)

  • flamehair

    Thanks for posting this! My kids are obsessed with bubble making and these bubble snakes look incredibly cool – I’m off to get supplies now. :)

  • Cecile

    Wonderful idea, and easy to make ! I need to try it this week end, here it’s quite hot in France.
    Thank you

  • Jennifer

    My kids aren’t so young anymore… but this looks like so much fun that I think we just might give it a try! Thanks for the directions.

  • snarflemarfle

    What a great toy! I made one yesterday and it kept my two year-old entertained at the kitchen sink while I cooked dinner and then he and daddy had a blast with it at bath time! I think I’ll send the directions with his grandparents this weekend so they can do it, too. (and I had a pretty good time showing him how it worked)

    BTW, found you through goodyblog.

  • Mindful Momma

    What a blast! I made those almost immediately after reading your post and my boys loved them! I hope you don’t mind, but I passed the idea along through my blog!

  • Lisa

    My three youngest boys were amazed by this new bubble trick (and at 17, 17 and 13, they are not easily amazed) when I tried it out this morning! What fun. I can’t wait until my grandson is old enough to play!

  • Inspired Tokens

    This looks so fun! I’ll have to remember this one for when my little grandkids visit! I love the idea of fun and play …wash it all away!

  • bubbletruck.com

    Great bubble fun. Bubbles are always a fun inexpensive way to entertain kids
    Sonny
    bubbletruck.com

  • Dena Berg (SugarShop)

    OMG, I am so trying this with my little guy. He is a bubble mak’en freak! :) Thanks for the awesome idea!

  • Heather

    This is terrific! Our daughter is at camp and our son is bored silly without his bestest playmate, so we’ll make these tomorrow to add some spice to a dull week! Thanks so much!

  • jan

    This is what summer is all about –simple joys! Thanks for sharing the fun!

  • Mendy at Modern Charm

    So fun! Great for the bathtub!

  • Meredith

    Thank you so much for this idea. My kids love it. It’s a really windy day here today and the bubble clouds are blowing all over the place. Keeping them busy so i can get some blogging time in! Love your stuff and your ideas! Meredith

  • Georgia

    What a great idea…wee’ll be giving it a go.

  • heathers

    I want one!
    What a great idea, thanks for the instructions.

  • Adam and Megan's Mom

    awesome! my two year old is loving this!

  • Sherry

    I can’t wait to try this! Tomorrow for the “4th” would be a great day to start playing with bubbles! I think I’d better make enough bubble blowers for me and dad too!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Sherry

  • Siri

    This is great! Thank you!

  • Cocukla Cocuk

    super,lovely. We’ll try with our children

  • Meryl

    What a great idea! I made a few of these for my little sister and baby niece this weekend–they had a lot of fun!

  • Piseco

    We made these today, and they were amazingly fun! Thank you for a fantastic summer idea.

  • Angie

    Totally a neat idea! Can’t wait to share this with grandsons!

  • Megan

    What a great idea! We made these yesterday and posted about it here, linking to your blog. Thanks for sharing!
    http://myplumpudding.blogspot.com/
    2008/07/foam-erator.html

  • seemommysew

    my boys are going to love this! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    what a great idea us mums need more mums like you to show us how to show our kids that you dont have to have lots of money spent on them to have fun with home made toys thankyou very much this was my first time on but not my last

  • Heather

    We LOVED this – thanks for sharing!

    http://hickoryspringsfarm.blogspot.com/2008/07/foam-fun.html

  • Dana

    I am so going to do this!! So simple and free! Love it!

  • Martha

    i’m so going to do this with my brownie troop when it gets warmer.

  • AbcHobby.it

    wow… wonderful idea!! you’re a genius!!

    hugs from italy
    elisabetta

  • Cocukla Cocuk

    I remember that great project from last year. I will do it with my child

  • cozynblue

    Hi there. I enjoy the neat things you have on your blog!! I’m always looking for ways to keep my nephews, who live with me, entertained withou having to fork over a lot of money. I saw the write up in Family Mag(my favorite subscriptions) and I hope you don’t mind if I put this on my blog to keep for future reference. Thanx

  • Anonymous

    I was reading your blog for my own crafty interests and happened to click on this tutorial.

    My son is autistic and fascinated with water play. I quickly put this together for bath tonight. Not only did it disrupt some of his OCD bath time rituals it also motivated him to learn to blow! Thank you so much!

  • Mountain Mama

    I randomly came across this post the other night and we made these today. Fabbo!

    A word of warning: make sure to tell the littlies to take their mouths away from the bottle neck before inhaling for the next blow. My 4yo learnt this the hard way.

  • Kids Matter

    I just wanted to let you know that I will be linking back to this from the blog I maintain sor the Child Care Council of KY. Please visit our blog at
    http://www.kidsmatter1.blogspot.com

    This is a great idea!

    Angie

  • sophistimom

    Love this idea! You have created the perfect summertime birthday activity. Can’t wait to try this with my kids.

  • Melaney

    Just did this in the bath with my 3yo and 1yo daughters. They LOVED it! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Elsie

    This is such a cool idea, even I had fun playing with it. My granddaugter loves it.

    I did a post about it on my kids party blog and linked to your post here. Hope that is ok with you?

    Thank you for sharing this idea with all.

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