Wednesday, April 15, 2015

June's Mad Scientist 4th Birthday Party

We had June's 4th birthday party on Saturday!

(Invitation edited [poorly] to remove personal info)

June's been super into science experiments lately. JP got her a science kit for Christmas and we've done nearly all the experiments that come suggested in the kit. We've also done a few that I've found on the internet. So we decided to have a science themed birthday party! 

We invited a handful of her friends from her class and the neighborhood. They all showed up and things quickly turned chaotic as the girls ran through the house playing with toys. I had only just put Bennett down for an emergency nap a bit before and it was a birthday miracle that he slept through the racket.


Around the time that shouting started and questions of who was sharing what started, I suggested we get down to business with our first science experiment. First we had the girls put on 'lab coats' made out of men's white undershirts and Sharpie markers. I had also bought some kid-size protective goggles that came in a bunch of different colors. The kids looked SO CUTE running around in their matching gear.

The first experiment was elephant toothpaste.

Each kid got a water bottle filled with 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide. We squirted a bit of Dove soap in there, and then let the kids pick what color food dye and glitter they wanted for their 'toothpaste.' Each kid emptied a packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsp) into a dixie cup, and added 1/4 cup warm water. They stirred it up, then poured it into their water bottle using a little funnel. We kept all of this in a little roasting pan.

The ingredients have a reaction to foam up and bubble out of the water bottle. It's a really satisfying reaction, you know what I mean? I was so nervous about supervising and hoping it worked (even though I'd done a test run) that I didn't get to see June's reaction up close, but I love the pictures!

This one was a crowd pleaser! I think the girls really liked it (June later told me this was her favorite experiment) and it was so cool that the foam was warm from the reaction. I think even the parents were interested to see the experiment! 

The next experiment was fizzy rocks

I bought some small plastic bug finger puppets with my crippling addiction to Amazon Prime. Then I poured a bunch of baking soda into a bowl and added a very small amount of water at a time until it was almost a paste. (I also added a bit of purple food coloring.) You want it to still be crumbly, just wet enough to hold together if you force it to. I then covered the bugs in the baking soda until they looked like little rocks. I laid them out on wax paper on a pan to dry out for a day or two.

The experiment involved giving each girl an "egg," which they squirted with vinegar using bath toys. This caused the balls to fizz up, which was kind of fun on its own, but it also slowly revealed the bug inside. There were 6 different types of bugs, so you heard the girls exclaiming which bugs they were finding inside.

I love this picture because it gives a good shot at June's goggles and lab coat.

The last experiment was view-only for the kids. We did the old Diet-Coke-and-Mentos experiment, where you dump a full tube of Mentos into a 2-liter of soda and watch it erupt. The trick is getting out of the way before you get soaked because the effect is instant.

My friend Shannon captured this funny action shot:

We did that one twice because it was so fast. 

Then everyone came inside and ate lunch. We picked up food for the 'main course' but made fruit salad and a veggie tray as a side. When I say "we" I should say "Judy" because she was the reason we had everything together on time. Amazingly she spent all day Friday cutting, peeling, baking and generally being awesome while I was working. 

Judy baked the cake and I decorated it, so the end result was a joint effort. 

Even though we went for the Mad Scientist theme, June told me she really wanted a Princess cake, so we went with that as the secondary theme. (Tertiary theme being My Little Pony, followed by Chaos.)

I made the 'towers' out of cupcakes and sugar cones but they threatened to tip off since the cake wasn't perfectly flat on top. We ended up with little pieces of graham crackers keeping them level but it lasted until cake cutting time!

June placed the princesses and ponies, then took about 6 close-up photos of them.

Then the kids played for a while before it was time to open presents!

Bennett woke up around the time for cake and he proceeded to happily follow the girls around for the rest of the party.

We said by to the friends as they left, making sure they took their bug and protective goggles with them.

I think it was a really successful and fun birthday party! I had been a little nervous about the experiments going well (and hoping June had a great time, of course) and I was really relieved and happy at how well it had gone!

Happy Birthday, JuneBug!

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