Idea No.

24462

Fairy Science -6yr- Tinkerbell Meets Science

Award

Date

November 2013

From

Maria in Agoura Hills, CA., USA

Novermber 2013 Winner

Tinker Bell Party

Our daughter, Kimmy, ADORES Tinker Bell and science, and she is easily mesmerized by glitter.  To celebrate her spunk and spark, we created a ‘tinkering’ extravaganza for her sixth birthday.

INVITATIONS:  I photoshopped a 4 x 6 cartoon of my daughter flying beside Tinker Bell, then pasted this scene onto a 4.5 x 8 lime green card stock.  In the 2 inch overage, I placed the party information, including our main call to action: Fellow Tinkers, Let’s fly together to celebrate Kimmy’s 6th birthday; please come messy, not dressy!  With a gossamer purple ribbon, I attached this invitation to an OT magnifying glass.

DECORATIONS:  I divided my backyard into different sections:  The Meet and Greet Table, The Tinkering Station, and the Butterfly Buffet.  To save money, I purchased copious amounts of fairy and star ornaments after Christmas.  I hung these up by fishing wire like streamers from tree to tree; to imitate Tinker’s sparkle, I also strung small round mirrors, twinkling lights, and fairies in the tree branches, plus created some miniature fairy gardens, complete with small doors and windows, around the bases of the trees.  It was quite festive, like Christmas itself!   At the Meet and Greet Section, there was a glass patio table with three different sized terrariums.  Inside the terrariums, my daughter and I had created fairy-scapes from succulents and left over fish tank buildings. I also attached three flower-covered hula-hoops above the table and let them cascade with overstock silk fabrics, ribbons, and toy necklaces.  These hanging maypoles swayed, alighted in wonderful color. 

Attached to the chairs were satin ribbon bows and written on the table (with window markers) were sayings from Tink and female scientists. For the Buffet Section, I covered two tables with an embroidered comforter and then placed the serving platters on tree stumps.  The table also featured flowers in recycled glass jars, scattered glass pebbles, and smooth beach rocks with handwritten sayings (such as All it takes is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust).   Above this table, from the patio’s arbor, I strung blinking lights, dangled large silvery ornaments, and hung 3 foot cut-outs of Tinker Bell, her fairy friends, and my daughter; these figures, created in Photoshop and printed at Kinkos, were secured to foam core.  The figures were all dressed as scientists and I hot glued large butterfly wings to their backs.   

At the Tinkering Station, we created one ginormous lab table from three kid tables; this mega-table was covered with a bottom layer of verdant green fabric and a top layer of clear plastic; sandwiched between these layers were 5 x 8 pictures of scientific inventions created by female discoverers.  Several lunch trays, spray-painted purple, stood ready for the experiments, while the table was stocked with clear tubs of ingredients, large jars of glitter, and food coloring.  For seating, we spray-painted plastic milk crates (which I received for free from a local market) and made cushions from foam (cut from an old Ikea mattress).  We wrapped the foam in green velvet and Kimmy sprinkled them with glitter (Glitter, glitter, everywhere!  It was on guests’ legs and in their hair! Oops). 

COSTUMES:  Our whole family saw Kimmy’s birthday as the perfect opportunity to wear costumes. When the girls arrived, I greeted them as a messy fairy scientist:  My lab coat had been bedazzled with random spots of paint, I sported a pair of pink wings, and Kimmy had sprayed my hair and accidentally part of my face-- with colored glitter.  Meanwhile, my husband, a mad scientist, donned a freaky red wig, a jewelry encrusted lab coat, and a pair of fairy wings.  And even my 10 year old son tried his hand at creativity:  As our Elfin Prince, he wore a flowing Moroccan kaftan, a plastic, jeweled sword, and glitter-dipped flip flops.  (He refused the wings, but loved his elongated Elf ears).   Though the common thread was our 5 Tinker Bell pin on our costumes and our glitter, we looked like misfits from outer space, one stop short of Fairyland!  Luckily, Kimmy redeemed us by dressing in full Tinker Bell regalia.

ACTIVITIES:  The girls began their adventure at the Meet and Greet table, where my son, our Elfin Prince, stood as a devoted apprentice. Here the girls decorated wands, then ‘tinkered’ by creating their own bubble blowers out of OT pipe cleaners and beaded jewels.  After 20 minutes, I told the girls that they needed to ‘earn’ their wings (from the Dollar Store):  The girls made colored bubble potions from assorted ingredients (e.g. different dish soaps in powder and liquid forms, glitters, glycerin, and food coloring).   The goal was to see which mixtures worked best. Though the Tinkerers were ultimately doused in glitter and completely soaked, they looked refreshed beneath the hot July sun!  Next, the girls embarked upon a scavenger hunt.  I said, Tinker Bell is a creator, a ‘tinkerer.’  She likes to collect ‘found objects’ at Pixie Hollow to make inventions. Let’s find our own objects.  I handed the girls a picture of baking soda (BASE) and a picture of vinegar (ACID).  The girls delighted in finding these items in our greenbelt and even discovered glittered fairy ornaments along the way. For their efforts, they earned their wings and tutus, and spent some time twirling on the lawn amidst a steady stream of bubbles.

We then ventured to the TINKERING LAB to make inventions.  Using baking soda, glitter galore, and vinegar, the girls marveled at the fantastic explosions of color and begged to do the same experiment over and over until all the ingredients had been spent.  I told them that they had just used an acid and a base to make a CHEMICAL REACTION, and this was our word for the day. We soon turned our attention to making another chemical reaction.  My husband told the girls that they must return to the forest to find lost objects for their next invention. This time we gave them a picture of borax, glue, glitter, and corn starch.  We also gave them a map, for these items were located further down the greenbelt. Along the way, we said that they might encounter glitter rocks and they should take those items, too.  (Luckily, we have understanding neighbors, for the girls were squealing and laughing so loudly that they could be literally heard a block away).  In the midst of their fun, they found the objects; they also cracked open the rocks, made from salt dough and glitter, and discovered little rings and glass pebbles (again from OT).  Once they had caught their breath, they measured and mixed their found ingredients to make bouncy balls.  (This easy, effective recipe can be Googled). 

Amazed at the results, the girls punctuated their surprise by a chorus of wows, whoas, and woo hoos.  As they measured how high their ball could bounce, they enthusiastically shouted the mantra, CHEMICAL REACTION!    After bouncing their balls, the girls implored us to do more inventions. We gave them a bunch of ingredients flour, sand, cornstarch, baby oil and glitter then invited the girls to come up with their own pixie dust.  We had created pictorial charts that suggested ‘ideal’ mixes, such as flour and a few drops of baby oil plus glitter, but the girls ended up making gooey, glittery concoctions and named them accordingly: snail slime, pirate bubble gum, monster boogers, etc. al.  They then received a lidded science flask to contain their motley creations. By this time, the girls were hungry.  Before they got their food, they sang happy birthday to Kimmy, who couldn't wait to eat her homemade, self-sprinkled cupcake.

DESSERT:  We decided to not have cake because there were so many sweet treats to enjoy, but we made cupcakes that the girls sprinkled and decorated with candied flowers and gum drops.

FOOD: The girls and their parents feasted on high tea cucumber sandwiches {Pixie Winter Crunches}, corn muffins with hotdogs in the center {fairy cushions}, and jelly-cream cheese pockets made from Pillsbury crescent rolls {Tinker Swirls}. They also had fruit wands (skewered grapes, melons, and strawberries topped by a slice of star-shaped watermelon), fresh vegetables with assorted dips, and multiple desserts (fairy shaped cookies, self-sprinkled cupcakes, and ‘elfin’ sweet bread).  For drinks, I offered Pixie Elixir (lemonade with a glow in the dark stick and some dry ice for a magical effect), mint iced tea, and water. My husband added his special concoctions, some Sangria and wine, for the parents.

FAVORS:  After our feast, the kids enjoyed free play by running all over, finding hidden fairies, and popping bubbles.  I had other activities planned (i.e., more tinkering by building/painting bird houses and creating a fairy from a wooden peg), but instead gave these items to the children as party gifts. Besides their costume of fairy wings and tutus, the children received Tinker Bell puzzles, OT bubbles, and Tinker Bell kaleidoscopes. To take home this booty, I provided a burlap bag (used to carry small groceries) and embellished the bag with purple, green, and yellow ribbons, plus a large button of a fairy, crafted by my family. We also attached a glittered gift tag on which we wrote, Thanks for making Kimmy’s day so special!  In the end, it was a beautiful day spent with family and friends. The girls pleaded to stay longer, and Kimmy still recounts every minute of her extravaganza.  It was truly a tinkering collision of science and pixie wishes!

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