Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Science Party!

A few months ago, ads over there <<== pointed me towards a company that sends scientists to birthday parties.  I knew how much fun special birthdays could be for little kids (I was a party hostess in my younger years), so I was excited to check into it for Lil J.  However, they only are for kids ages 4+ and not easy on the budget.  I decided then that I was going to throw J a science themed second birthday, and it turned out fantastic!  We all had a lot of fun.  I'll break it down for you.

Best idea ever: We had the party in a local park.  I reserved tables ahead so that I wasn't worried about not finding free tables on a potentially busy Saturday in the park.  I also liked the idea of the park since I didn't have to clean my house either before or after.  Cost - depends on your city/county policy.

Free play on the playground while all of the guests arrived.

Goo!!  1 box cornstarch + water + food coloring (we used 4 different colors) ~ $1.50.  We used some extra party bowls, spoons, and cups.  Good gooey fun for ~7-10 kids!

Bottle Rockets!!  Some PVC pipes and fittings from local hardware store ~$10 (but you could save for future use make this cost more reasonable) + 4 bottles of Diet Coke for $5 (not the best deal out there, but I wasn't going to "shop around") + water + bike pump (hopefully, you have one of these on hand - or could borrow one from a neighbor).  And, please, do not launch bottle rockets unless people (especially the kids) are more than ten feet away from the launcher.

Big and Lil J launching the rockets

Our guests gathered at a distance to watch the rockets launch.  Surprisingly, they all sat very, very still and were well behaved.  Though they stayed put, they squealed with delight each time a rocket took off.  We had two little boys (J and his best friend) who got the biggest kick out of running to retrieve the fallen bottles.

The Cake:

Dr. Penguin, PhD. - 1 box Funfetti cake + Fondant (1 bag mini marshmallows + 0.75 bag powder sugar + some vegetable shortening + food coloring) + buttercream frosting + 2 hours of time (that's the most difficult part).  Yes, I use box cake - these are two year olds.  There were no complaints.

Our Little Scientist
(Grandma made J his own lab coat!)

Optional Party Favors:
Colored Safety Goggles - this was more for fun than safety.  You can search the web for "Child Goggles" and find your favorite.
Disposable Lab Coats - though cornstarch is water soluble, we decided to give these to our guests to protect their clothing - and make them look like mini scientists.
Lab clipboards - we found mini clipboards and a bag of pencils in the $1 aisle at Target.  I cut computer paper in half, and voila, a fun place to make science notes.

Party On!

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