I love bubbles. They're inexpensive, they're fun, and they give you and your kids another reason to get outside. Kids love them too. I've seen kids who have probably hundreds of electronic, expensive toys actually put down the Nintendo DS to spend hours running around the backyard enjoying the simple pleasure of a big bubble wand.
I decided to round up as many bubble toys as I could find and have my two-year-old son and five-year-old daughter play product testers.
Here's what we liked, and what we didn't.
- Placo Toys Turbo Bubble Gun
The good: It's easy to put together, it lets you attach the bubble container to the gun, so you don't have to keep dipping it, and it makes nice streams of floaty bubbles easily.
The bad: Might not be for moms who object to "guns" though this doesn't really look like one.
Where to get it: Target (stores only), $6.60 on clearance.
- Holographic Bubbles
The good: It's got a super-cool holographic effect when you wear the included 3-D glasses, and joy of joys, it doesn't require batteries.
The bad: My daughter lost the glasses in about 3.2 seconds.
Where to get it: Toys R Us, $5.99
- Hello Kitty Bubble Bellie
The good: It's cute.
The bad: Too much packaging that's difficult to open;it's tricky to get the right amount of solution flowing to even create bubbles, and when you do, the stream runs out in seconds.
Where to get it Target, stores only, $6.99
- Thomas the Tank Engine Bubble Bellie
The good: It's a nice likeness of Thomas, unlike a lot of inexpensive toys.
The bad: Everything that's wrong with the Hello Kitty version, plus the noise made my two-year-old son cry.
Where to get it: Target, stores only, $6.99
- Squeeze 'n Blow Pop-Up Bubbles
The good: It looks so nice with cute Nickelodeon characters -- you can unscrew the kid-friendly cap, and a bubble wand pops up when you squeeze the bottle gently.
The bad: Half the stuff spilled out when I tore off the seal (on second thought, perhaps getting this stuff ready on my hundred-year-old, family heirloom dining table might not have been the best idea). The same thing happened every time I tried to squeeze it to make the wand pop up. And the wand never got enough solution on it to actually, you know, make a bubble.
Where to get it: Target, stores only, $2.08 on clearance
Does your toddler like bubbles? What's his favorite bubble toy?