The Perfect $30 Gift for Any Kid, at Any Age, for Any Occasion
Last June I impulsively invited my daughter’s entire kindergarten class to our backyard for an end-of-year party. (I think I was in the throes of sheer relief of having made it through our first year of school, and in Covid-times, no less.) The party theme was prompted by my kid: Sprinkles and Bubbles. Sprinkles on the donuts we bought, and bubbles … everywhere. It was a good excuse to pick up a gadget I’ve long coveted: the bubble machine.
A bubble machine is exactly what it sounds like: a gadget that does the messy part of bubble-blowing: dipping wands in a big reservoir of bubble liquid, and blowing air through. Think: All the bubbles, none of the sticky spills. I read through reviews and did some research, and ended up with a basic $30 model.
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I filled the reservoir and turned it on, but to our delight, it worked flawlessly: issuing a rapid, iridescent stream of perfect bubbles. It ran quietly through our entire party, and after that it was a regular feature on our back deck all summer long. It was fun to turn it on while friends were over with their kids, but it wasn’t reserved just for adults: my husband’s graduate students giggled over it during a summer lunch.
And it hasn’t been limited to the outdoors, either. We’ve plugged it in at bath time, where it makes a regular Tuesday bath feel rather magical.
Like this light, this little machine is that rare thing: an inexpensive gift that is an easy choice for almost any kid or family. You could present it to a set of siblings at practically any age, up to at least 8 years old if not older — it’s perfectly fun, delightful, and a welcome addition to a family’s outdoor gear. It’s not a toy they’ll get bored of or outgrow to be thrown away in a few months.
Cubby: A Weekly Newsletter for Families at Home
Whether you need smart solutions or fresh ideas, our editors at Kitchn and Apartment Therapy are here with our best meal plans, organizing and design tips, toy recommendations, and more.