Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy. This is a non-fiction picture book that very briefly tells the history of bubble gum.
Did you know that it was created by an accountant who worked at the candy factory? He had no experience with candymaking! Do you know why bubble gum is traditionally pink? Because it was the only color of food dye the inventor had on hand! Fascinating right? This was an excellent book filled with interesting facts about gum. Both 2nd graders and Kindergartners were completely enthralled which I believe is a testament to how good it is.
After the story, I gave each child a piece of gum with one rule: "I don't want to see your gum until we practice blowing bubbles". Then I read them another story called The Bubble Gum Kid by Stu Smith about a boy named Billy Bob Glum who blew a bubble so big he floated into the sky. At the end of the story, I told the kids it was time to practice our bubble blowing skills. Obviously, I was the best. One kid told me it was because I had a bigger tongue. Truthfully, I think it is because I had 5 gumballs and they only had one. The kids were totally impressed...especially when my giant bubble popped and stuck to my nose.
As I said, I also did a lesson using soap bubbles. This lesson was NOT as successful. I was unaware of the chaos that bubbles can cause amongst 6 year olds. Throw in a freezie pop and you have a nightmare on your hands. Kids were losing their shit and I very nearly lost mine.
I really hate getting messy. It's all well and good when I'm appropriately dressed to be messy, but it gives me a lot of anxiety when I am not. Well, I should have thought about this before offering to open 18 bottles of bubbles. It is nearly impossible for six year olds to get that slimy bubble wand out of the bottle so I did it. And then had nowhere to wipe my hands so I had to wipe them on my own pants (although I was tempted to wipe it on the kids. Kidding! Kind of). Between the mess and kids running all over the place, I was getting a bit frazzled. My assistant could apparently see that on my face and quickly suggested we move our party indoors. Thank God! The bubbles were closed up tight and sent home and I was finally free to wash my hands.
I will definitely be revisiting the bubble gum theme in the future, but I'll leave the soap bubbles to a braver soul.