Introduction: Dry Ice Bubble Project for Kids

About: Army Vet. I love learning & being creative. I am back!
This is a dry ice project that kids should have a lot of fun with! In addition to having fun, they'll also learn the science behind dry ice. My son had a lot of fun playing around with it - but you need to be extremely careful so you and the kids don't get hurt. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide - the same gas we exhale out when breathing. It's also used to carbonate drinks and make soda. You'll need a nice pair of thick insulated gloves for handling the dry ice and you can also use tongs. When dry ice "melts," (it doesn't technically melt - but you know what I mean) rather than becoming a liquid, it changes directly from a solid to a gas. The process is called sublimation - and you can see it happen!

Warning: Dry ice is dangerously cold and you should not let your skin or body come in direct contact with it. It's also a good idea to be in a well-ventilated area - even better, you can do it outside. You can get frost bite if you're not careful. When buying it, do not place it in an airtight enclosed container - leave it open a crack. It's also a good idea to wear safety goggles. Please be safe and exercise caution with this - especially doing this with the kids. Have fun and do this at your own risk! For more dry ice safety information, you can read about it here.

Here is a super short video demonstration of it in action! This one in the video was a small bubble - but it was still cool to see it pop!

Step 1: Materials for Dry Ice Project

  • Dry Ice - it can be purchased at some major grocery chains (I bought mine at a Super Walmart) - it costs about $1-1.30/lb. more or less - you might want to call the store to verify that they sell it
  • Bowl & Cup
  • Long piece of scrap material about an inch thick by 10 inches long
  • Dish Soap
  • Safety Gloves
  • Water

Step 2: Dry Ice and Bowl

The first thing you'll need to do is put a chunk or small piece of dry ice into the bowl. The bowl we used is a  normal-sized bowl - feel free to use a larger one for an even bigger bubble!

After putting the chunk of dry ice into the bowl, then add some plain water to the bowl - fill it up 1/2 to about 3/4 of the way full. You'll see the sublimation process occurring.

Step 3: Forming the Bubble

Now, pour some soap into your cup or glass - and dilute it with water and mix it up. Then, put your piece of material in it and let it soak up the soapy water. Pull out the material and use it to go around the rim of your bowl to coat the rim with the soapy water mixture.

After that, quickly dip the material back into the soapy water and hold it out with two hands and run the material across the bowl (see images). After you do this, you will see the beginning of the bubble forming. Just wait for it to get bigger and bigger. If it doesn't work the first time, just do it again. You may need to add a little more soap to your soapy water mix. If it still doesn't work, you may need to add a little more water and/or another chunk of dry ice to the bowl. Then, it will work!

If you dump your soapy water mix directly into the bowl - you'll get hundreds to thousands of little soap bubbles. Kids like to play around with that too!

Step 4:

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