In Praise of Bubble Wrap

I had to laugh recently when I read an email about Bubble Wrap usage (and I will not share the link, because some uses are not too nice); but among the clever suggestions that made me smile are these:

  • Bubble wrapping underneath the wallpaper can prevent it hurting so much when you hit your head against the wall in frustration.
  • Shower curtain for free
  • New-age beaded car seats
  • Carry it around as an emergency air supply.
People have made bubble wrap inventions for years, and it's starting young. For the past four years, children entered a bubble wrap competition, and there were three winners for 2010! The third place winner, MaryAnn Bulawa (14), added it to a toilet tank to save energy and water during flushes ~ voila, a "Smart Toilet." The second place winner, Jared Mann (13), added some to his refrigerator to take up empty space in the refrigerator to save energy. He also used bubble wrap attached to the front of each shelf like little energy-saving curtains for his "Fridge Guard" to keep cold air in when the door opened.

The Grand Prize winner, Matthew Huber (13), pictured above, used each individual bubble in a strip of bubble wrap to test contaminated water for bacteria.
He described it as an inexpensive alternative to petri dishes, and he called it "Petri Bubbles." Such clever kids.

But I think there's nothing quite like popping bubble wrap with abandon. It's a stress reliever, and it can entertain children for hours, if you have enough of it. (I remember my niece Poleigh's children popping some of it in a hotel room while she, my sister, and I caught up on family news.)

It's easy to get addicted to bubble popping. For addicts, there is Virtual Bubble Wrap online; and there are other fun things to do at bubblewrap.com.

The most popular use for bubble wrap is, of course, for mailing gifts ~ especially at Christmas time. It's the perfect, squishy, cushion-y protector ~ if you can find some around that house that isn't already "popped flat."

The author of the blog post "7 Reasons" wrote about giving someone a "a large, fragile Christmas present" that was "covered with a substantial quantity of bubble wrap." The blogger added, "Within ten minutes, the gift had been discarded, and the recipient was clothed from head to toe in the bubble wrap, spinning, and shrieking with delight. She was 32. I believe she still has the bubble wrap."

On June 28, 2010, attendees at the State Fair Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey ~ 1,456 people ~ popped thirteen 500-foot rolls of bubble wrap in a mad frenzy of fun. I don't know who counted, but the Record Setter report said there were 2.4 million bubbles popped! What fun! (I am imagining all the increased neurotransmitter Dopamine production at the fair that day, as all these people enjoyed the thrill of bubble popping!)

I, for one, think that we should give children bubble wrap, and forget the regular gifts. I saw a cute video of a child that enjoyed the bubble wrap more than her Christmas gift ~ for more than an hour! And another of two children, Christmas 2010, popping the bubbly wrap, too!

Maybe the bubble wrap is, after all, a fun gift in and of itself! Once it's "all popped," it's useless (or at least, I couldn't find a use for it on the Internet ~ any ideas?); but bubble wrap is the very essence of living in the moment. It speaks to the child in all of us. (Maybe I will wrap at least one gift in bubble wrap for each grandchild this Christmas ~ and maybe for the adults! ~ to add to the fun after the gift is opened!)

I found an adorable idea for making a Christmas Bubble Wrap Calendar ~ a crazy advent calendar ~ to remind us that we are about to celebrate Christ's birth. Family members names or initials can be marked under each bubble, so they can take turns popping the bubbles in a count-down to Christmas day. It could be a new family tradition!

I found this picture of one that was placed in a "Christmas Countdown" frame. Or you can dress up the advent calendar with special stickers or Christmas pictures.

And from here, I could write about advent calendars ... but that is for another day. For now, I think I'll make the fun choice to go pop some virtual bubbles.


Sally Ferguson said...

I want to meet that 32 year old who decked herself in bubble wrap. She sounds like a fun friend!

Dawn Wilson said...

HA, Sally. You would pick that to comment on. Personally, I like the bubble wrap calendar.