$2 stress reducer


You’ve got to love bubbles.  You just have to.  They are fun.  They are lighthearted.  They make people smile – sometimes even laugh.  Best of all, they are cheap.

I teach bubble etiquette to my students.  The rules are simple.

  1. You cannot pop someone else’s bubble without their permission.
  2. Your bubbles cannot district or bother someone else.

That gets rid of so many arguments.  And works oh-so-well.

On finals day (I started this with my community college chemistry students) I told them that I knew about an amazing stress reliever.  It was guaranteed (guaranteed by whom and for what?) to lower their stress, thus allowing them to do better on the all-important final exam.

To prepare for this I bought tiny bottle of bubbles (yes, you can buy them at Dollar Tree) and teacher stickers (these too).  I put one sticker on each bottle.


My students thought I was crazy – and I probably was.  I passed out one bottle per student but they were not allowed to touch them.  Next I taught bubble etiquette.  Then they began.  Hesitant at first, my room was soon full of laughter, giggles and guffaws.  I could feel the stress level decrease.

It works because, in part, bubble have a great PR firm.  Everyone likes bubbles.  It’s not like I brought in a clown or balloons (both of which strike fear in some people).  I brought in bubbles.

When you blow bubbles, you have to take in a big breath and blow it out slowly.  Repeat. Repeat, repeat. Even  if you took away he fun (why would you?), the deep breathing would force you to relax.  The visual of bubbles tends to make people smile – and smiles release both endorphins and serotonin.  Both have a positive impact on you.

So take a trip to Dollar Tree.  Get some bubble and stickers.  And teach your students, your friends, your family how to relax.


Valentine Science

The dollar store never ceases to amaze me.  I can always find something unique and interesting to use to teach science.

Today’s science is self-inflating balloons.  Have you seen them? They look  like this:

With a package of 4 for $1, think of the science you can do for only 25 cents!

Here’s some of what I did:

  1. conservation of mass
  2. stoichiometry
  3. exothermic/endothermic reactions
  4. evidence of chemical reactions
  5. balancing equations
  6. scientific “method”

These have an  incredible WOW factor.  They are shocking, unexpected, noisy and the perfect answer to the student who asks “are we going to blow stuff up today?”

You can also buy these at Oriental Trading online for a little more money.  I stock up with I see them at my local Dollar Tree – usually around Valentine’s Day (heart shaped) and Easter (egg shaped).

What do you think?!