Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jeb's birthday party

Jeb had REALLY wanted a sleepover party for his birthday, but we thought his 5-7 year old friends might be a little bit young for that. I had to come up with an idea that would top the coolness of a sleepover party, and what almost-6-year-old can resist a science experiment party??

He invited 5 boys (he requested that the party be for big boys, and that it start at 2:00, just like his friend's party did a few weeks before his). It took a couple of moments, but the couple of little sisters that showed up were also welcomed to the party :) All 5 of his friends came to the party, and when the last boy arrived, Jeb looked around and exclaimed "This is all of my friends!!!" He was thrilled that everyone could make it!

It was a pretty easy and budget friendly party to put together and we had great results! I got a lot of the ideas from She had a lot of great science experiments, and we used her idea of giving the kids a science book that had the recipes for all of the experiments, as well as a section that explains the science behind each experiment. Instead of gift bags of the little junky toys, we had empty gift bags and a bunch of zip top bags. For each experiment, we let the kids mix their own, then after they had played with it for a few minutes, we put it in a zip top bag and put it in their take-home bag.

I took all of the ingredients (baking soda, borax, cornstarch, etc) and put them in cylindrical vases to look like they were in a lab, and filled some oil bottles with colored water for some added sciency-ness.

We made flubber, which combines borax, glue, and water, to create a rubbery substance

We microwaved ivory soap to watch it expand

Then we passed it out for the kids to play with

Putting dry ice into juice makes a sparkling juice, as well as getting a lot of oohs and ahhs from the kids as they watched it fog all over the table

Then we did dry ice in a jar of water and dish soap, which made the soap bubble up over the jar, and work like a hand sanitizer. It went around the table a couple of times and was still bubbling over the top of the jar.

For his dessert, he wanted me to recreate the picture I had hand drawn on the invitations of a beaker with a puff of smoke coming out the top with a 6 inside it. I used reusable push-pop containers and put a piece of cake swirled with natural food dyes, some orange and green swirled frosting with slime green sprinkles (also all natural) and then cotton candy-the dye-full kind because it's a lot harder to find dye free cotton candy that doesn't cost a fortune! Sticking a number 6 candle inside and surrounding it with cotton candy 'smoke' was a hit!

I have a lot of great pictures of the experiments, but in the interest of not putting other people's kids all over the internet, I skipped over a few. We also mixed cornstarch and water to make a liquid that flows when you move your finger through it slowly, but resists when you move your finger quickly, and put balloons filled with baking soda over water bottles with vinegar and watched as they mixed and inflated the balloon. We made lava lamps by putting oil, water, and food dye into water bottles and tossing some broken alka seltzer pieces into it. We had also put the ingredients for home made ice cream into zip top bags and let the kids shake it up to serve with dessert.

After dessert, we went outside and mixed baking soda and vinegar in a zip top bag and watched the bags expand and then explode. That was a big hit!

And even though the kitchen and dining room looked like a flour factory had exploded, it was all quickly mopped up and all the party supplies went back into the pantry. Overall, everyone had a great time!

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