Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cheap Toddler Games: Bubbles And Rhymes

Here’s a quick, easy,mostly free toddler game anyone can do. All you need are some bubbles and bubble wands. If you can, try to buy Gymboree bubbles as those last longer allowing for toddlers to pounce on the bubbles and pop the bubbles with glee. The Gymboree bubble solution costs between $3-$6 and can be found at their clothing stores or activity centers. However, the drugstore brand Magic Bubble works almost as well as the Gymboree bubbles for half the cost. If you are really itching to spend some money, invest in a bubble machine which run around $20 to $30.

As for bubble wands, this time of year most drugstores sell assortments of wands for around $5. The only reason I suggest making the investment is they have mini bubble wands that yield a ton of small bubbles.

However, before you break out the bubbles, first do the following rhyme with your toddler, but omit the bubble lines at the end. Run through the rhyme a few times so they start to learn the movements. This rhyme also teaches the concepts of high and low and body awareness in relation to height. Plus, it gets little bodies moving and burns energy.

Each word in the rhyme gets a clap. The rhyme’s movements are pretty self explanatory. When it’s time to go fast, clap fast, when the rhyme says to go slow, clap slow etc...

Once you add the bubbles into the mix, encourage your toddler to chase them down. Depending on your toddler’s energy and interest level you can stretch this activity out for 20 minutes or more (although, fair warning, it may involve repeating the rhyme several times).

Clap, clap, clap

Clap your hands high

Clap your hands low

Clap your hands fast

Clap ‘em real slow

Clap ‘em by your ear

Clap ‘em by your toes

Clap your hands quiet

Clap your hands loud

Now let’s clap some bubbles


Clap, clap, clap

Note 1: I am fearless and blow bubbles in the living room. I have not had any permanent stains, but sometimes the bubble solution leaves soap skid marks in the rug that come out once we steam clean the carpet. If you don’t own a steam cleaner, this may be an activity to do in the basement or outside on a calm day.

Note 2: This toddler activity is great for mixed age groups. Babies will enjoy clapping and watching the bubbles even if the finer points of the rhyme pass them by.

Photo Credit: Tinah via Morgue File

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