Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recycling At Its Most Fun: Making Bubble Snakes

I found this idea in Family Fun magazine and knew that we had to try it. It's a bubble blower you make from a plastic bottle. Here's what you do:

Gather your materials--
-a bottle (or 24. We don't drink bottled water. I have issues with it. I don't want to get on a soapbox here, if you drink bottled water, that's fine, it's just something we don't do at our house. So we called friends who do and asked them for some of theirs that were headed for the recycling bin. Of course we washed them, as we'll be placing our lips on them...)
-a rubber band
-a dish towel cut into a circle slightly larger than the opening you will cut
-a shallow dish containing dish detergent

And here's what you do:
Find your nearest teenager (get a load of that finger nail polish!) and enlist her help so that she won't be bored because "Ugh! It's soooo boring around here!" Have that teenager cut off the bottom of the bottle so that you can take a picture because contrary to how I try to live, I don't actually have 4 hands.

Place the circle of dishtowel over the end you just cut and secure with a rubber band. Make sure the rubber band pops off a couple of times so that your teenager can roll her eyes and declare everything in the world stupid.

Get the dishtowel wet. We used the hose. Be certain to threaten your teenager that if she sprays you and your fancy camera she won't see the light of day until she's forty.

Dunk the dishtowel into the detergent.

Now, blow gently into the bottle. You might want to keep one hand over the rubber band because if you blow too hard, the dishtowel pops off. It only took my teenager three tries to believe me and take my advice. How many more years until she actually thinks I'm smart? Oh yes, too many to count...

Then stand aside and watch as your teenager giggles and laughs and regresses to a simpler age. What comes out is a long "snake" of bubbles. It's quite cool. Although Mary prefers the term "bubble trunk", like an elephant's trunk to "bubble snake" because snakes are "icky."

We made several of these and my kids burned some daylight playing with them before everything devolved into a bubble/water fight.

I think we'll be making these at both birthday bashes this weekend. I'll probably have to head to Goodwill or the dollar store to buy some dishtowels though, as I don't want to deplete my rag bag.

Cost of this project: $0--although we might have to spend a few bucks on dishrags.
Fun level: 8.5
Watching your kids get along and act silly: worth every minute.

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