Appalachia Games

Blowing Bubbles

Blowing bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a right of childhood. At some point, either at home or at school, children experience the joy of blowing bubbles.

According to the website, History of Bubble Blowers, bubble blowing as a child’s activity goes back to ancient times. The same website states the first patent for a bubble blower was in the early 1900s. (click here to see all the bubble world records-who knew!)

Blowing bubbles in appalachia


Bubble blowing solution is easy to make and you can make bubble blowers out of almost anything-straws, pipe cleaners, wire, even empty thread spools (Granny taught me that one).

So many things we teach our children pull us quickly back into our own childhood days. On the day I first taught the girls to blow bubbles, they were so small they got more solution in their mouths than on their wands. As I blew bubbles at them I marveled at the swirly colors and the way the bubbles reflected the sky, the trees, and the 2 prettiest chubby little faces I had ever seen. I thought wow how did I forget how much fun this is and why did I wait so many years to blow bubbles again.

Are you a bubble blower?




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  • Reply
    RB Redmond
    April 27, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    When I had my in-home daycare, I made my own “bubble juice.” I found that adding a few drops of glycerin to it, made the bubbles bigger, and they’d last longer – often long enough to sit on top of flowers and bushes, and in a small child’s hand. That made them very magical for the children.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Glynda P. Chambers
    April 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Tipper, the picture of Pearl Cable looks like someone I used to know years ago. You mentioned in the previous story about her that she had been an assistant to a Doctor at one time. Would that have been a Doctor in Sylva several years ago. Just curious.Would love to know if she is the one I’m thinking about. The one I knew worked for Dr. James Oliver in Sylva years ago and I remember her name was Pearl and I think she was from Bryson City or in that area. Was a very sweet woman always had a smile and a kind word for everyone.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    And I got so wrapped up in reading Don’s wonderfully illustrated story about Pearl Cable, I forgot to say that making “bubble stuff” with a squirt of dish soap in a cup of water, and twisting a little piece of wire into a loop for a “wand” for blowing bubbles was a delight of my childhood. Bet I’d enjoy it today, too.
    Hmmmm…maybe I’ll borrow a piece of wire from the goats’ fence and blow a few bubbles in honor of Pearl’s 93rd birthday!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Happy 93rd Birthday, Pearl! I hope you have a lovely day, and many happy returns!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    B Ruth: I do remember Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles. I couldn’t listen to it much because of the alcohol content. But Dean Martin had alcohol content too when he sang I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Big Happy Birthday wish to Pearl,
    today is mine too.
    I remember learning about blowing
    bubbles through mama’s old sewing
    spools. Probably took in as much
    as I blew out at first, but that
    solution helped clean me out!
    Thanks to Cindy for remembering my

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Happy Birthday, Pearl and Ken! Hope it’s one of your best ones yet! Tipper, yes, we love blowing bubbles too.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I always liked blowing bubbles.Was fun trying to catch them and ended up popping them, getting sticky on our hands.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    April 26, 2013 at 10:26 am

    and Happy Birthday Ms. Cable and many Happy Returns…
    There are two types of bubbles that I remember from youth. One here in East Tennessee and one from a Canton, NC dime store!
    First, I for sure went thru a aluminum dishpan full of the liquid bubble soap growing up…LOL As hard as I tried, (or didn’t try) to hold on to that last little bit in the bottle they got used up. I learned quick that you couldn’t add water to it as they wouldn’t work as well..
    Second, I had heard of these bubbles and some kids had them around where I lived. My parents never bought them as they were quite expensive…I think they were 15 cents…and liquid bubbles were 5 cents a bottle.
    They were plastic bubbles that came in a tube. They were two colors that I remember. Red and Blue. I always wanted a blue tube.
    They had to be purchased at a 5 and 10 cent store. Where as liquid bubbles could be bought at any little grocery store.
    When visiting my favorite Aunt in Canton, we went for a visit to the Canton five and dime.. Right there on one of the long counters was the blue plastic bubble tubes that I relished in my childish dreams…Sure enough and I didn’t aunt bought be a brand new big box of crayons and a tube of blue plastic bubbles….I was beside myself…I couldn’t wait to get home and try these new bubbles…They came with a plastic blower stick, tape attached to the tube. I opened it up, (kinda like toothpaste) got me a little clump and put on the end of the tube. Alas, my little bubble was a disaster, nothing, na-da. I learned real quick that you had to put a clump of the stuff to get a big bubble and keep pinching the plastic bubble as it thinned to keep it from popping and it couldn’t be reused it would wad up…They also were hard to blow up, well not as easy as liquid bubbles. The stuff would stick to and stain furniture clothes…uh-oh! Because it took so much to make a big bubble to pinch off and play with like a ball, it used up all the bubble plastic stuff. After that experience, I decided that those bubbles weren’t the fun that I expected. The new modern bubbles were not what I had dreamed about…
    I will never forget my aunt buying me my first tube of 1950’s plastic bubbles…and I cherish that memory.
    My Mother didn’t waste soap flakes on making soap bubbles very often, maybe once…They never worked good anyhow, like the liquid soap of today that I made my boys and grandchildens bubbles out of…
    Yes, Ed I do remember “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” Do you remember “Tiny Bubbles”…
    Does anyone remember the new invention, greatly advertised in comic books, old TV commercials of the fifties…Plastic Bubbles!
    Thanks Tipper, I know this is a long’in…but you asked…LOL

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Cable! 🙂
    I too remember blowing bubbles through old wooden thread spools.
    Who else remembers the little plastic birds you could nearly fill with water, then blow through to make a warbling sound? Did you ever put bubble soap in them? The result – a somewhat lower sounding warble and fairy bubbles!!

  • Reply
    Charles Fletcher
    April 26, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Great story Don. Brings back memories of the Cable family. When the people had to relocate from Fontana one of the Cable family relocated to Haywood County. Pat Cable moved to Canton and worked in the paper mill . After WW-11 I worked with one of his sons, Charles. We were fishing buddies and when we were fishing in our boat Charles would point out places where he remembered as a child. Charles was my age and only a couple of years younger than Pearl . Enjoyed the story.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Happy Birthday, Pearl! May you have a wonderful day and many more!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Such a great memory you tapped today! I always loved blowing bubbles, sometimes the silly shapes were fun. My granddaughter and I have fun with this activity. I’m still fascinated with bubbles when they appear while walking in a carnival or some outdoor fun. Thanks for a great start of my day!

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    April 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Love bubbles!! Got to thinking. Have you ever gotten a hole of a piece of bubblegum that made the best bubbles ever? When the bubble popped it would cover your entire face.
    Happy Birthday Miss Pearl!! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    Gina S
    April 26, 2013 at 8:17 am

    The grands and I shared many times with bubble wands and solution. I don’t know who had the most fun, but suspect I did because of my added joy in watching their faces. When I look back, I recall a sink with only cold water that stood on the back porch of my Lincoln County grandparents home. Grandmama used it to clean produce from the garden while Grandpa used it to clean his hands after outside work. A small enamel bowl hung from a nail above and to one side. On a shelf rested a bar of Ivory soap. When I followed Grandmama out there, she would frequently soap her hands then cup them together and blow bubbles for me to watch or sometimes to pop. My grandparents’ little home held few amenities, but lives forever in my memory as a place of deep contentment. Wish a very happy birthday to Mrs. Cable.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 26, 2013 at 8:09 am

    There’s a definite “Sense of Wonder” in blowing bubbles and seeing their multi-faceted beauty float for awhile, land and burst. And one of the most important aspects of learning is that we maintain that “sense of wonder,” that deep inquisitiveness that keeps us alert, searching and open to ideas and learning. In this respect, don’t we all need to keep blowing bubbles, figuratively?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

    First Happy Birthday Mrs. Cable I wish you joy.
    Bubbles were so much fun for me, we also used anything and everything to make them. We would run out of the store bought variety and my momma would make us more with dish soap. So much fun!

  • Reply
    Bob and Inez Jones
    April 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Cable! I enjoyed reading the old post about you. Amazing story! May God bless you with another year of health and happiness.Inez jones

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 26, 2013 at 7:27 am

    And those are still two of the prettiest faces I’ve ever seen, though no longer chubby.
    Happy 93rd birthday to Pearl, I remember Pearl, we meet her some time back.
    Also a happy birthday to long time Blind Pig reader, Ken.
    Yes, soap bubbles are such fun and make rainbow colors in the sun.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 26, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Happy Birthday Miss Pearl!! May the Bluebird of Happiness call on you today!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 7:11 am

    The best place ever to blow bubbles is in a boat on a lake. I used to go fishing with Alex and while he fished I would blow bubbles and the breeze would often carry them out of sight. Yeah, I am pretty easily entertained.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 26, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I’m forever blowing bubbles,
    Pretty bubbles in the air,
    They fly so high,
    Nearly reach the sky,
    Then like my dreams
    They fade and die.
    Fortune’s always hiding,
    I’ve looked everywhere,
    I’m forever blowing bubbles,
    Pretty bubbles in the air.
    When shadows creep,
    When I’m asleep,
    To lands of hope I stray!
    Bet you don’t remember that!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I’ll just bet those were two of the prettiest chubby little faces you had ever seen reflected in those bubbles, Tipper!
    Happy birthday Mrs Cable!

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