What is a Bubble Tube?
A bubble tube is a key piece of sensory equipment and it can play a vital role in the sensory development of many children, toddlers through teens. Even as an adult, I find them incredibly calming to watch. Due to their ability to both soothe the viewer and the eye-catching bubbles to keep attention, they feature in a wide number of sensory rooms and therapy practices. We use one that changes colors via a small remote and it has been a HUGE hit with the children we work with.
Additionally, we utilize mirrors placed in the corners surrounding the bubble tube to further the calming effects and allow children to practice informal eye gaze as they see themselves in the mirrors. As the bubbles move along the tube, the child has to choose whether to track them within the tube, in the reflection, or alternate. This is a great way to subtly work on visual motor skills.
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Read on to see my review of this inexpensive bubble tube; the pros, the cons, and what else to look for.
In short: We absolutely love this tube and I would buy another in a heartbeat.
The motor has a decent, quiet hum, which is relaxing on its own, though we typically play some ILS music with it to help set the tone. The remote still works, despite all the abuse it has received this past year. All of the colors still shine through beautifully.
We recently reconfigured our sensory space and it now has its own designated corner with mirrors in our little cave-like area alongside the color changing tap lights, a black light, fiber optic waterfall, and some wonderfully comfy bean bags. This is absolutely the star of our darkroom sensory space and many of the kiddos we see love to change the colors and then make the tap lights match.
The remote’s original batteries have still held up despite hours of daily use and constant color changes over 11 months of use.
Speaking of color changes the colors can be cycled through individually, set to “flash” to different colors on its own, or (my personal favorite) fade from one color to the next. The makes the entire area very serene and relaxed and every child my speech and occupational therapists work with love using it.
While this tube does come with little articulating plastic fish, we do not use them. For those that would want these in theirs, some of the other reviews of this bubble tube have some great advice on how to get them to move in it properly (see the Amazon link above to read them). I elected to use the articulating fish this came with in our ocean-themed water gem sensory tub along with some other fun little plastic aquatic animals.
I am very interested in putting it in a padded platform/stand and now the same listing on Amazon offers this! We originally planned on DIYing a padded platform. Though getting one specifically for it might be a better option right now. At almost 6 months pregnant, heavy lifting and building are sort of no-no’s for me right now. I plan on checking out the dimensions and seeing if it will fit in our space. It could be just the add-on we need to make this wonderful sensory tool even better!
While we have managed just fine up until now without the platform, there is always the risk of a kiddo tipping it over. The cap has a small hole in the top. So if it were to tip, the water would likely spill. The hole needs to be there though to allow the bubbles to move. DO NOT plug it up!
All in all, we really enjoy using a bubble tube! I definitely recommend getting one at a size that makes sense for your family and space. We wanted a bigger one and this one fits our needs perfectly.
Go on and get bubbly everyone!