Make Your Own Foam Party

Over the years I have come up with many different youth ideas. Most of them are epic, I mean, epic ideas, but when I start to think about all of the stuff that it takes to make them come to reality I realize that they probably aren’t the best use of my time.

At my current church we have Youth Vacation Bible school that is sort of designed around these epic moments, so I have gotten to play a little more than I used to. This year I decided to finally try something that had been in my head a long time and make a giant soap foam pit.

For the youth I made a game out of the pit throwing balls down under the soap that they had to dig around and fish out. For the kids (when we did it a month later) we simply filled up the pit and let them play.

The best thing about this soap foam pit idea is how easy it is to set up compared to how memorable and cool looking it is. So here is how you do it.

  • 1146635_591312060918829_1284194552_nSet up tables in a 16×16 foot square (2 8 foot tables to a side)
  • For the kids version I staked down an 8 foot piece of floor board that I had cut to about a foot and a half so that the kids had an easier way into and out of the pit.
  • Cover the pit with a tarp (see the pictures).
  • Fill the pit with just enough water to coat the bottom to at most half and inch. You can do more if you want, but that should be enough. The reason why you want to put water in the pit is that it keeps it looking like you have foam longer. These easy homemade foam machines don’t put out as much as a big professional one and the foam disappears as people play in it so a nice covering of water helps the foam to spread out, and it is fun to play in too.
  • If you are doing the pit on grass and don’t mind your tables getting wet you don’t actually have to buy the tarp. The bubbles will sort of stick around in the square. If you are doing it this way I would suggest thinking about making the square smaller or adding a 4th bubble machine because of the disappearing factor.
  • Set up at least 2 (and I would suggest 3) foam making machines like you see in the youtube video (see link below).
  • I don’t know who that kid is in the video, but I sure am glad he came up with the idea. Basically all you need are some bungee cords, a towel, a trash can, and a shop vac that blows, not just suck. (You would be amazed how few people have these that go both ways, btw.) We just made an announcement in the bulletin and asked to borrow them.
  • You will need to start making the foam about 30 minutes before you plan to use it. Any earlier and it will disappear, any later and you won’t get the full effect that you are looking for.
  • Be sure to keep all of your electrical connections above ground and dry. We used card tables to get our shop vacs and plugs of the ground.
  • You will need to keep filling up the trash cans with water and bubbles. You may want to experiment before the big event just to be sure you know the optimal levels of each, and and what it looks like when it runs out of one or the other.

The youth loved the idea and having the game and competition helped break down some of the hesitation they would have had for jumping in. For children of course it was a blast. The parents had a good time standing and watching and taking pictures.

We also made a small pool of bubbles for the very little guys. We used a air mattress pump, a bucket, and a dish towel to create a mini effect.

10 thoughts on “Make Your Own Foam Party

  • May 25, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Great job! Blessings from New Zealand

  • June 1, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    So I saw this idea several months ago and thought it would be good for when we welcome our rising 6th graders into youth group. That happened today and it was epic! The foam pit we had was small, but that didn’t seem to matter. There was laughing and smiling and more important – memories being made as a group. We are already thinking about when to do it again and how to make it better. Thanks for all your great ideas – especially this one!

  • June 10, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    Omg this was soook helpful and the video is to thanks soo much

  • June 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Saw a version of this using hay bales as the sides instead of the tables. I think that is the way that I am going to go this year. Also, I discovered that if you don’t mind refilling the water and getting water everywhere you can make bubbles just as fast without the material on top. The material keeps the soap relatively dry, but without it it makes a pretty neat big bubble pool.

  • August 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    @Nailscars – try using a burlap fabric cover tied around the lip of a trash can. I got mine in a lawn section of a big box store and it worked great. It helped it from shooting up and allowed easy flow of foam out of the trash can.

  • February 19, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    We do professional foam parties and I enjoy seeing these types of articles. It makes me happy when people smile, laugh and have fun. Great job!

  • August 1, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Learned an important lesson this year when we made our bubble pit. There was a hole in our tarp so we didn’t get the inch or so of water in the bottom. This meant that the bubbles didn’t stick around as long. It was sort of a let down.

  • September 26, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    I don’t know if you still read posts to this article but….
    I am a race Creator in Thailand and I plan to make a foam pool as part of one of my races events. My question is, what is the best soap to use? I am concerned about reactions to the soap on skin and eyes.

    I hope you can help

  • September 27, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    We just use the cheapest stuff we can find. But if you are worried about eyes and such you could get some baby bubble bath. That should help with the irritation.


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