Science Party -6yr- Eggcellent Eggsperiment
Amy in Pittsburgh, PA USA
My son wanted a "science" party for his 6th birthday (his name for the concoctions and "potions" he dreams up). So, thanks to many ideas from this site, this is the plan...
1.Invitations: On contact paper, we placed a neon green piece of paper cut out in the shape of a test tube and printed with the words "Ooze on over to ............'s Laboratory for his 6th birthday party" and on the other side were the party details. Above the test tube cut-out, we placed several punched out holes to look like bubbles. We placed another sheet of contact paper on top of this. (Actually, we used self-laminating paper, but I think clear contact paper would work too.) We then cut out the test tube a bit beyond the lines of the green paper and with a "lip" at the top so that it looked like a real test tube. We made them to fit in a regular legal sized envelope.
2.Decor: The colors are neon green and silver. We bought silver tablecloths (orientaltrading.com) and are using star-shaped plain silver mylar and regular neon green balloons around the room--just floating at the ceiling with ribbon hanging down so we can reach them. I plan to print simple circle and line molecule shapes on them with a sharpie marker (molecule diagram ideas were found on www.office.microsoft.com/clipart). For a centerpiece for our food table we are using several beakers and test tubes filled with green food colored water and placing dry ice pellets in them just before the party for effect. The dinnerware is green and silver and the cups are plain, clear, plastic cups that I drew "beaker" markings on...like 10 ml, 20 ml, etc. There are many signs for the walls that say things like "radioactive" "Caution" "biohazard" etc. with the appropriate clip art to match that I made on my computer. The front door will have a sign that reads "WARNING: You are now entering .............'s secret lab: Enter at your own risk!"
3.Games/Activities: As kids arrive they will recieve a "lab coat"--made from white kitchen garbage bags with lapels, pockets with pens and nametags that say Dr. Joe, Prof. Sally, etc. The nametags are also color coded to seperate them into "Lab teams" as I will explain later. Then they will be directed to 2 tables: Magnet Mania or Build a Molecule where they can play with magnets and various household items to see which they can pick up with the magnet, or to make molecule models with toothpicks and "Dot" candy. When all the kids are there, we will divide into "Lab Teams" by the color on their nametags and start the experiments. They will move in 3 lab teams of 4 children around to the 6 different experiment tables. I also have a dinosaur pinata for the end of the party.
Insta-Snow: From stevespanglerscience.com--it's a polymer that looks like dust but puffs up into "instant snow" with water. Fun to watch and neat to play in.
Oodles of Ooze: "Oobleck" colored green to make and play in (oobleck is cornstarch and water...if you've never tried to make it you really should. It's very "cool"!) Milky Fireworks: Put whole milk into a plate of some sort until the whole bottom is covered with milk. Add drops of food coloring near the center being careful not to stir them. Ask the kids to put a clean q-tip in the center. Nothing happens. Add a bit of "Dawn" dish detergent to the end of the q-tip and then dip it in. The food coloring takes off! Fun to watch.
Balloon Blast: Put some vinegar in the bottom of an empty 2 liter soda bottle. Using a straw or a funnel, put a tablespoon or two of baking soda into a flat balloon. Put the mouth of the balloon over the neck of the soda bottle, keeping the baking soda in the balloon and the balloon hanging over the edge of the bottle so that it doesn't go into the bottle. Then, when the balloon mouth is sealed over the top of the soda bottle, lift the balloon, pour the baking soda in, shake it a bit and watch the balloon blow up all by itself!
Rocket Launcher: Tape a toilet paper holder to a paper plate by cutting 4 slits in the bottom of the tp holder, folding them out and taping to the paper plate. Have kids put a bit of baking soda in the center of a bit of tissue paper. Fold and twist to make it a packet. Put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in a film canister (the clear type with a snap on lid works best.) Put the baking soda packet in and quickly put the lid on the film canister, shake it a bit and drop into the tp "launcher". Stand back and watch it fly!
Eggcellent Eggsperiment: Have kids try to push a hardboiled egg into a jar (we used starbucks frappacino drink jars). When they can't do it without squishing the egg, light a strip of paper on fire (PARENTS DO THE LIGHTING!!!!) and drop it into the jar. Immediately place the egg on top and it will drop in by itself. (If things aren't going too smoothly, try wiping a bit of vegetable oil on the lip of the jar.)
5. Cake: I am making a test tube cake from 2 frozen Sara Lee poundcakes put end to end. Trim a bit from the middle to make them meet flush in the middle and then use the extra to form a lip at the top. We are going to icing the bottom 2/3 neon green with some neon green m & m's for bubbles on the top 1/3 which will be white. In addition, I plan to make some chocolate cupcakes in silver liners, frosted neon green (found some neon colored food coloring at the supermarket)and with pretzel stick and "Dot" candy "molecules" built in 3-D on top.
6. Food: We are having an afternoon party with no need for a meal, but I will also have, along with cake and ice cream, "molecule" fruit salad--cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon scooped out with a melon baller, pretzel sticks and soda to snack on.
7.Goodie Bags: The kids will go home with neon green sacks with test tube and rocket clip art on them. In them will be their pinata candy, Koolaid powdered drink packets that changes color when you mix it, silly putty, magnifying glasses, nerds candy--no offense to real scientists out there; it's just my son's favorite candy--and "science books". I put together a little booklet with the instructions on how to do all the above experiments and the science behind why they work. All of that info and the exact directions and measurements can be found on stevespanglerscience.com under "experiments". With a lot of adult help, I hope that this will be a memorable birthday party and learning experience, too!
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