Mad Scientist Birthday

I’m just gonna go ahead and admit how much I love Pinterest.  I do.  I love it.  It is a resource that means I don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time I want to demonstrate a concept for my kids.  For instance, I have a board devoted to short science projects that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  My daughter just turned 5 and was very excited to help plan some experiments for her party.  We finally got to do the bouncy egg in vinegar experiment!  And the mentos in cola!  It was fabulous to get to knock all those experiments out as a form of entertainment.  And really, if you’re going to the effort- why not invite a group that will appreciate it with you?  We are planning on getting together for a Science Saturday event every few weeks as long as the weather holds.  There is no way we are doing these inside my house.

If you are looking to plan your own Mad Scientist birthday party for the 3-6 year old crowd here is how we did it:

First, we bought kid-size safety goggles from Lowe’s at $3 each to distribute among the guests.

Then we came up with this plan:img_6741

Additionally I had two ongoing experiments set up in the front yard.  The first was pans of baking soda and an ice cube tray of colored vinegar and eye-droppers.  The kids had lots of fun squeezing the vinegar out and watching it foam up and leave craters.  The second was two buckets full of water and a pile of objects.  This was the Sink or Float experiment- very simple, very engaging on a hot day.  I couldn’t be sure how many younger siblings were coming so my hope was that these would be some things they might embrace.

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Sink or Float

Bouncy Eggs

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Prepping the vinegar eggs

Frozen Hands

Self-Inflating Balloons

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Self-Inflating Balloon

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Mentos/Cola

Mentos and Cola

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Magic Milk

Magic Milk

Elephant Toothpaste

Lettuce Water Absorption

 

My daughter opted for a chocolate ice cream and sprinkles dessert which was super simple (bless her).  We also made this Green Gummy Worm Punch.  Everybody went home with their safety goggles and a bag of Rainbow Unicorn Poop silly putty.  By the way, the difference between silly putty and slime is that the silly putty requires a little bit more Borax.

Here are a few things we learned:

-Baking soda/vinegar will kill your grass.  Plan accordingly.

-Gel food coloring is not ideal for Magic Milk.  It sinks to the bottom and doesn’t want to come up again.  Don’t do it.

-Practice the Mentos/cola experiment before the party.  Hot glue or tape wrap several of them together because the reaction occurs as soon as you drop the Mento in the cola.  There isn’t time to drop several in and unless you get several in there at once the reaction is not that impressive.

-It is possible to soak the eggs in vinegar too long.  At 2 days they were just right.  At 3 days they were extremely swollen and not able to bounce anymore.

-The frozen hands would have been impressive if the fingers hadn’t all broken off instantly.  Save yourself some hassle and use molds that are going to work.

Happy sciencing!

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