We ran into this last week. One child wanted to know how to make bubble soap. Another wanted to dry some herbs to make tea. There was a question about what causes nosebleeds. And all of these were when we were making a meal or in the car...far away from the internet.
Enter the "Wonder Why" board, described in Amanda Blake Soule and Stephen Soule's book, The Rhythm of Family. Right now, we use the whiteboard on the other side of our chalkboard for our "Wonder Why" board. It's easy for the children to add their questions and to erase them when we find the answer. My son could write his own questions, and those posed by my daughter had to be saved up in my memory for adding later. Once there is a spare moment, we dig up the answer together.
Today was a day where we had time to find the answer to how to make bubble soap. And the fun quickly moved from the computer to the kitchen, then to the table to make some impromptu bubble wands, then finally to outside to blow bubbles until our solution was gone.
Here's the recipe we found that worked well, courtesy of Homemade Bubble Solutions:
Mix 1/2 cup dishwashing soap (we used natureclean brand), 4.5 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin (we used Now Personal Care brand).We found putting all the ingredients in an ice cream pail and mixing with a whisk worked well. Then, the ice cream pail can be easily moved out the backyard.
We also learned that pipecleaners can be used to make bubble wands! They could be as simple or elaborate as one desired (my children put beads on their wand handles).