My Bubble Painting Was a Bust

As I fine-tune this year’s VBS materials, I’m searching for activities that go above and beyond a typical Sunday morning. Of course, I take to Pinterest for a round-up of all things creative!

One idea seemed appropriately simple but with just enough mess factor to make it a win. All we have to do is color bubbles with food coloring, blow them onto paper, and suddenly we have a super cute art project. Who doesn’t love bubbles in the summer? This was VBS gold.

If my years in children’s ministry have taught me anything, it’s to test EVERYthing. I gathered bubbles, food coloring, a jar for mixing, and a canvas that I neatly sharpied a Bible verse onto to give it a little purpose.

I started with red and discovered that one drop of food coloring in a seemingly small amount of bubble solution was not dramatic enough. The first bubble didn’t even leave a mark on the canvas. It should be noted that it took quite a few tries to even GET a substantial bubble and then catch it on the canvas. The first problem was solved by adding dish soap to pump up the dollar-store solution (steroids for bubbles?). As for the second…. Well, practice makes perfect for me, an adult. I can see how this might be a challenge for my youngest church kids.

I managed to get a few red bubbles, so I added more bubble solution, bubble ‘roids dish soap, and yellow food coloring to create an orange. These were even harder to see. I had more luck with the droplets of spray I got while trying to blow significant bubbles.

In a final attempt, I mixed a dark blue, but it was so faint on the canvas that it was practically invisible. Time to call it- an official craft fail. However, I hate to waste a canvas, so I attempted plan B. Watercolors!

That’s when it hit me- I shouldn’t have been using a canvas at all for water-based media. The watercolor paint didn’t stick at all! I knew better! Paper would’ve held the bubble color much better than my canvas.

However, since the colors were so faint and the act of blowing the bubbles and then trying to catch it on the paper was a little tricky, I’m still ruling this one out as a VBS project for our group.

I still refused to waste the canvas, though. Crayola markers to the rescue!

Simple dots, dashes, zig-zags, and curli-cues add up to make an impressive pattern. This wasn’t the art project I imagined, but it is something simple I can use for a Sunday school morning with any lesson…. And who doesn’t need more ever-ready, last-minute fallback crafts?

It’s not my best work, but hey, when the kids know they can do better than the teacher, that’s a special kind of inspiration. Right? Right….?

Bottom line: I call painting with bubbles a fail, but you might have better luck with it on paper. Give it a try! And maybe do it outdoors instead of at your kitchen table, especially if there are kids involved.

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