Bubble Shapes

Math Science
Time 30 minutes
Age 5 & up
Group Size 4 or more
Tags 3D Shapes, Bubbles, Shapes,   more...
Soap Soap Bubbles Surface Tension

Have you ever seen a square bubble?

Are bubbles always round? Does a bubble look the same in the air as it does on the table, or in a soda bottle—or in a cube? Experiment with these materials and find out!


This activity should take place after the Bubbles activity from this curriculum.

Make a 3-D shape out of pipe cleaners. Some shapes you might try (see Figure 1). Test these shapes out in the soap bubble solution you have prepared.

Bubble Shapes

Suggested Materials

  • Large pipe cleaners (8-12 per team)
  • Several buckets of soap solution (See the Bubbles activity for instructions and ingredients)

Make it Matter

Opening Discussion

Ask your students what shapes they’ve seen when blowing bubbles. They’ve seen a bubble in the frame of their bubble maker—that was a flat sheet. They’ve seen bubbles flying through the air—those were more round. What might a bubble look like in containers and objects of different shapes? Show them the shape you made, and ask for their guesses as to what the bubbles inside of the 3-D shape might look like if you dipped it into bubble solution. After collecting their guesses, dip it in, and show them the results.

The Challenge

Create your own shapes and explore what the bubbles look like inside.


Make it Happen

Doing the Activity

  1. Have children work in pairs and ask them to create 2-3 different 3-D shapes out of the pipe cleaners. If your children are very young, you might make several 3-D shapes ahead of time, rather than challenge them to make their own shapes.
  2. Pass out the pipe cleaners, and have kids make their own cubes, tetrahedrons, pyramids, spirals, etc.
  3. Ask your students to dip their shapes into the buckets and pull them out to observe what happens. Stress that you would like them to just observe the bubbles inside of the shapes they created, and that they shouldn’t blow the bubbles out of the shapes. Encourage them to make drawings or write down descriptions of what they notice.

Make it Click

Let’s Talk About It

After 5–10 minutes of activity, if every team has made and tested at least 1 shape, stop your students and bring them together to share their observations with each other. What shapes were the bubbles? What else did they observe? This discussion should last no more than a few minutes.


Make it Better

Build On What They Talked About

Send them back to create more bubbles, carefully observing what they notice about their shapes. Ask them to now blow the bubbles out of the shapes. Will a bubble inside of a cube make a cube-shaped bubble when it is blown out? How about a pyramid?


  • After experimenting with these shapes, have another bubbles session where students again create giant bubbles outside, or create smaller bubbles on a covered table (see Suggestions form the Bubbles activity). What do they observe? What do they notice?
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