I can’t remember the last time it rained. Let me repeat: it has been weeks without rain. In Seattle. Not only that, the temperatures have been far higher than the typical Seattle summer, with strings of days with temperatures in the nineties and even over one hundred. Typical summers here see temperatures in the 65-75 degree range, with a few odd days in the eighties. Maybe two or three days (usually in August) we might reach ninety degrees. This weather is unheard of for us and, as no one has air conditioning here, we are all suffering.
I’ve been getting creative in finding ways to cool us all down and keep the kids entertained at the same time. You can only do so much kiddie pool/sprinkler in the backyard before the novelty wears off. There is also a limit to how many popsicles (i.e. how much sugar) I’m willing to let them ingest in a day.
I stumbled upon this post on Pinterest for making Soapy Sea Foam and got inspired. It seemed like a new twist on water play that the girls could do indoors when it was too hot to go outside and play (at least for their wussy mom and baby brother).
Our “foam” didn’t seem to be nearly as bubbly as the original post. The author recommends using distilled water for better foam, which I will try next time. She also used her Kitchen Aid mixer, which I will also try (we used a hand mixer this time). The girls enjoyed that they could be a part of measuring out the ingredients and mixing up the foam. I liked that all the ingredients were things we already had on-hand, making this possible as a spur-of-the-moment activity.
I ended up making two batches for each of the girls and adding purple water colors of Eleanor and green for Zoey. I think I needed to be more heavy-handed with the watercolors though, as the end results were a very pale blue and green.
After a few minutes of playing around in the bubbles, I added a couple ice cubes to each girl’s bowl and told them to “find the hidden treasure.” I used plastic, reusable ice cubes so as to not dilute the foam, but later added a real ice cube as well. Since the foam was in metal bowls, the ice chilled the bowls and, subsequently, all the bubbles. This made it a great “cool down” activity for the kids, as well as an additional sensory component.
Here’s the TL:DR version:
What you need:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup Dawn dish soap
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Liquid watercolors (optional)
Dump it all in a bowl together and mix until foamy.
Use distilled water
Use a Kitchen Aid or other stand mixer
Go heavy with the watercolors
Pour into metal bowls and add ice cubes for a “chill factor”
Hide small toys in the foam for the kiddos to find