Research from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom revealed a clear link between a toddler’s ability to perform mouth movements required for lip licking and bubble blowing and the ability to acquire and develop language (Alcock, 2006).
Researchers looked at 120 toddlers and studied the link between language acquisition and oral development, hand gestures and pretend play. Their conclusions indicated that toddlers nearing age 2 who can perform complex oral movements, hand gestures and engage in pretend play, tend to have better language acquisition and development skills.
Playing with bubbles is a great way to interact with your children and encourage the skills observed in this study.
Our favorite bubble recipe is very simple and creates bubbles large and small:
6 C water
1 C Karo Light Corn Syrup
2 C clear dishwashing liquid
Mix water and Corn Syrup in large container. Slowly and gently add the dishwashing liquid taking care not to create bubbles.
Here are some ideas for expanding bubble play to encourage language and motor development:
Teach new vocabulary by modeling words, such as actions (blow, pop, catch, stomp, reach, jump), descriptions (big, little, shiny, sticky), and locations (up, down, on the grass, in the air).
Pop bubbles on different body parts (nose, hair, ears, fingers, elbows, etc.)
Help your child think of rhyming words and make up short poems about bubbles. (Bubbles, bubbles everywhere. On the grass, in my hair.)
Use different sizes and shapes of wands. Make your own from pipe cleaners, cookie cutters, or a fly swatter.