The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.

Giant Bubble Science Activity

Giant Bubble Science

No matter your age, there is something mesmerizing about bubbles. Their shape, the swirling rainbows of color, the excitement of watching them pop. It’s all science!

What makes a great bubble? We have a recipe that creates the optimal surface tension for the perfect bubble. While all bubbles are fun there’s nothing quite like a GIANT bubble and we’ll teach you how to make a wand that delivers some whoppers!

The Recipe

What you need:

  • Dish soap
  • Glycerin (available at some drug stores or order online)
  • Water

Mix together:

  • ½ cup dish detergent
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 4 Tablespoons glycerin

This is just one recipe. There are many different versions. Experiment and see which one works best for you. We have found those that use glycerin perform best.

Making the Wand

Just like bubble solution recipes, there are a lot of different ways to make giant bubble wands. Here’s the directions for one version from


  • 3/8″ dowel rods – I bought 36″ long rods then cut them in half to make two 18″ rods.
  • 0.8″ eye ring screws
  • 1/8″ 100% cotton rope
  • 2 small or 1 large washer


Start with the dowel rods. I found it was cheaper to by a 36″ long rod then cut it in half to make two 18″ rods. 18″ long rods for the wand seemed to be an optimal length. If you’re making a larger quantities as a party favor or for a large group and you want to save some money, you can try making the wands with 12″ long rods.Once the wooden rods have been sized, add the eye ring screws to the end of the rods. You will need one eye ring screw for each rod. To make this process easier, we used a very small drill to create a guide hole. This allows the eye ring screw to twist in much easier and quicker.

Next, cut a piece of cotton rope. We cut ours to about 36″-42″ which made for a nice size bubble yet still easy enough to handle. Before tying the rope to the rods add the washer(s) onto the cotton rope. Don’t tie them on just string them on. You want them to be able to shift and move as the rods are pulled apart when making a bubble.

Tie one end of the cotton rope onto one of the eye rings attached to a rod. String the cotton rope through the other rod then back to the one with the tied end. Tie the second end of the rope to the same (first) rod.

That’s it! You just made yourself a giant bubble wand.


Training and Professional Development – April

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Activities & Resources for Programs – April

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Activities Video: dna activities for kids - Yahoo Search Results Video Search Results This video designed for kids is a fun/exciting way to introduce DNA to children. In this video kids will learn facts all about DNA, what it is made of, chromosomes, traits and much...

Activities & Resources for Programs – March

Activities & Resources for Programs – March

Activities Mathematics & Probability Science Activity: Asked to get an estimate for the famed mathematical constant, Pi, you might do what the ancient Greeks did: Divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter. Or you can estimate Pi by a less conventional...