On a whim last summer, I bought Westley a bubble gun. It was my attempt at a compromise on the whole toy gun issue.
The bubble gun was an instant hit. We picked it up on the way to a picnic, which is the perfect bubble-gun venue. Westley enchanted several other children (and a few adults) by being able to blow a zillion, chase-able, pop-able bubbles by pulling a trigger.
But you know another great bubble spot? The bathtub.
The bubble shouldn't be submerged in water, but otherwise, it's a perfect tub toy—especially for those epic mostly-playtime baths. Bubble bath makes the best bubble-blowing solution ever, and if you get soap all over the bathroom, so what? Plus, you can pretend you're Ernie singing to Rubber Ducky.
(Did anyone else wonder where those floating bubbles in Ernie's bathroom came from? It drove me crazy when I was a child watching Sesame Street. Even my bubbliest bubble baths didn't come with floating bubbles!)
Oh, and I think the bubble gun was $6.00 at the drugstore. The only thing better than good clean fun is good clean fun on the cheap.