In Now It Is SummerEileen Spinelli gently encourages young readers to take delight in all the joys that surround them in the summer — dancing fireflies, sunny beaches, peaches fresh from the orchard, blowing bubbles — and find deep contentment in their present reality.

Interior illustration by Mary Newell DePalma from Now It Is Summer.

“Now it is summer.
There are soap bubbles to blow
and a beach ball to bounce
across the sand.”

Encourage young readers to get into the spirit of this lovely book with a fun, bubbly art project.

A friendly word of warning: like many summertime activities, this one can be pretty messy and is best enjoyed out of doors.

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  • Bubble solution (store bought or homemade — see recipe below)
  • Nontoxic, washable paint or food coloring
  • Straws
  • Bubble wands
  • Disposable cups
  • Paper

Step 1: Mix bubble solution with paint or food coloring. (I used poster paint with a ratio of approximately 2 parts bubble solution to 1 part paint). Add more or less paint or food coloring depending on how dark you would like the prints to be.

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Step 2: Using a straw, stir the paint into the bubble solution until thoroughly mixed.

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Step 3: Repeat the process until you have a cup of bubble paint in each color you would like to use.

Step 4: Dip the straw into the bubble paint mixture and blow — like you would into a cup of milk you want to make frothy. Make sure not to suck on the straw or you will get a very nasty taste in your mouth. Keep blowing bubbles into the cup until the bubbles come up over the lip of the cup.

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Step 5: Right before the bubbles overflow, stop blowing and press a piece of paper onto the foaming bubbles on top of the cup. Keep the paper flat so you do not distort the image. Repeat this process as many times as you would like until you get your desired look. If you mix and match bubble colors on a page you will get a very interesting print, since overlapping bubbles will create new colors.

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Alternate Steps 4 and 5: You can also take bubble wands and have kids blow paint bubbles onto a piece of paper to create interesting patterns. This method works better if you use a lighter-weight colorant, such as food coloring, since the thickness of a poster paint solution is often too heavy for a bubble to form this way.

Step 6: Let artwork dry and hang it up and enjoy. You now have a preserved piece of summer you can keep all winter.


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Recipe for Simple Homemade Bubble Solution:

Mix 2 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of dish soap, stirring gently and thoroughly — being careful not to shake or stir roughly to prevent frothing — until the solution is completely blended together. (See? Simple!)

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