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How to make better bubbles, finger paint, and playdough

How to make bubble mixKids love bubbles, and paint, and playdough.

They love to watch bubbles float by, try to catch them, and blow them as far as possible.

They love to spread their fingers in paint and make pictures of their favourite things (or just a big paint-mess on a page for little kids).

They love to stretch and sculpt playdough into fun shapes and make pretend cookies or pizza with it.

And as far as kids’ activities go – these are pretty cheap ways to have a lot of fun. Especially if you know the recipes to make your own bubbles, paint, and playdough!

Bubble Mix

A simple dishwashing soap solution and a wire loop can make bubbles a great fun way to enjoy the outdoors and revel in the beauty of nature!

If you don’t have any wire handy, use a coat hanger that you can bend into a circle, or heart-shape (to be a bit different).

If you want to try a bubble recipe, this is a ‘scientific’ one from Questacon

  • 3 parts dishwashing liquid (Morning Fresh works well)
  • 7 parts hot water
  • 1 part glycerol (or sugar)

The glycerol helps the bubble to last longer, by preventing them from drying out. Glycerol is available from pharmacies and some supermarkets. If you cannot get any glycerol, use sugar instead.

Finger  Paints

This recipe for finger paints is easy as, so much cheaper, and it’s edible (one less thing to worry about). Adults need to do the first part on the stove – kids can help with colouring the ‘paint’.

You need:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • food colouring (easy colours are red, blue, & yellow, but blue & yellow mixed makes green, and red & blue mixed makes purple)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  2. Remove boiling water from heat and add cornflour mixture.
  3. Return to heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Boil until the mixture is clear and thick (about 1 minute). Remove from heat.
  5. As the mixture is cooling, divide into separate bowls and add food colouring. Let the children carefully mix in the colouring.

Now you’ll just have to find ways to store all your child’s new artwork after they use up all the paint!


This is a totally simple recipe for playdough.

You need:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ cup oil
  • food colouring / Edicol dye
  • water


  1. Add the oil to the flour and mix.
  2. Mix the food colouring or Edicol dye with water and add to the oil / flour mixture until it forms a soft dough.

The best part is, this recipe is safe if eaten by little mouths! Give your child things to stick in the dough (paddle-pop sticks, straws etc.), things to pound with (like a toy mallet), and things to make impressions with (jar lids, cookie cutters, or bottle caps).


Your kids will love playing with these cool, homemade toys – and they’ll no doubt love helping to make them too!  Find more great activity ideas in our Things to Do Hub, and share any ideas you might have with other mums in our forum.

Image credit: alenkasm/123RF Stock Photo

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