10 Developmental Benefits of playing with Bubbles
3 min read
Bubbles… Simple, mesmerizing and can support your child’s development. How you ask? Let me show you the developmental benefits of playing with bubbles.
Developmental Benefits of playing with Bubbles
1. Visual tracking
What is it? Visual Tracking is the ability to control your eye movements when following objects.
Why is it important? It is essential in reading and assists with coordination, body awareness and postural control.
How to play? Simply blow the bubbles and encourage your little one to follow them with their eyes. They may go up, down, sideways. Bubbles can float fast or slow. Some will pop and they will need to shift their gaze to the next bubble.
2. Fine motor skills
What is it? It is the ability to complete tasks with the use of the small muscles in our hands and fingers.
Why is it important? Fine motor skills are used daily in most things that we do. They are used during playing, dressing, eating, writing, cutting, toileting. Basically anytime you use your hands.
How to play? Get your little one to pop the bubbles with their hands. They can pop it with their whole hand, pop it through clapping and smooshing it. Using your pointer finger to pop them.
If the child is a little older they can also strengthen their hand manipulation by using the wand and dipping it into the bubble lotion.
3. Hand eye coordination skills
What is it? It’s the ability for the eyes and the hands to work together to complete specific movements.
Why is it important? This skill is necessary for activities such as dressing, writing, throwing, catching a ball and playing with toys.
How to play? As your little one pops the bubbles or uses the bubble wand, they strengthen their hand eye coordination skills.
4. Oral motor skills
What is it? It’s the movements of the muscles in the mouth, jaw, tongue, lips and cheeks.
Why is it important? The coordination of these muscles is needed for speech and feeding.
How to play? Give your little one the opportunity to use the wand to blow the bubbles.
If your little one struggles with blowing get them to blow a bubble that is already blown and sitting on the wand.
5. Tactile fun
What is it? Tactile (touch) sense is one out of our 8 body senses. It receives information through the skin and provides information about temperature, pressure, vibration, size, texture and pain.
Why is it important? Tactile information gives us essential information for body awareness and motor planning. It also helps us to understand our surroundings, to feel safe and assist with the development of both fine and gross motor skills.
How to play? Bubbles are sticky and wet. When your child touches them or it pops on their skin, their tactile system reads and interprets that information. It provides them with information about the texture and the location of where the bubble popped.
6. Helps to calm & organize
What is it? The act of calming & organizing the child’s body is the result of the use of the proprioceptive sense when blowing bubbles.
Proprioceptive sense is found in body’s joints, muscles and ligaments. It is activated when these parts are being stretched and compressed.
How to play? The act of blowing bubbles stretches the muscles of the mouth. This movement stimulates the proprioceptive sense which is calming and organizing for the body.
7. Gross motor skills
What is it? It is the ability to skillfully use your large body muscles to complete movements.
Why is it important? Gross motor skills can be used while walking, running, hopping, jumping, climbing etc.
How to play? Create a ‘Bubble Storm’ by blowing bubbles all around them. To pop the bubbles they have to:
- Stand on tip toes to reach the bubbles
- Practice their balance by stomping the bubbles with their feet
- Jump on the bubbles to squish them
- They may also need to run to catch up to them
8. Identify body parts
Why is it important? It helps with body awareness and cognitive skill development.
How to play? Instruct your child to pop the bubbles with their finger, whole hand, elbow, head, knee or foot.
9. Listenning skills
What is it? Being able to hear what someone is saying and respond appropriately.
Why is it important? Being a good listener is important in all environments including home and school.
How to play? While playing provide your child some instructions and wait for them to respond. If they don’t respond, repeat the direction or get their attention by getting down to their level and touching their shoulder.
Some instructions can include:
- “Pop these bubbles with your finger”
- “Lets jump and pop these bubbles”
- ” There are bubbles behind you. See if you can pop it with your nose?”
10. Social skills
What is it? Figuring out how to play with friends.
How to play? Simply involve more kids in the games. Depending on their age you can guide them or back away and let them play by themselves.
Babies and kids of any age can gain benefits of playing with bubbles. Babies will be involved in watching. As they grow they can get more involved by popping them.
If you are looking for a more advanced bubble fun check out my bubble snake activity.
Have fun and enjoy the magic of bubbles!