Kids are curious creatures, especially when it comes to hands-on experiments. These scientific birthday party ideas for kids combine fun and education. Children will have the opportunity to practice motor skills, observe and predict stimulating experiments. The best part? (They won’t even know they’re learning.)
Scientific Birthday Party Idea #1: Decorations
Get the kids excited about experimenting by setting the theme of the party with decorations. Float a solar system from the ceiling and fill the room with color-filled test tubes. Create a candy station for kids to enjoy by filling test tubes and jars with different types of shapes and colors. Label the candy jars with science-themed words such as “Potential Energy Pellettes”. Before the experiments begin, feed the kids on blue tablecloths with space plates and napkins. Add funky twisty straws to their drinks for a science-like look! Have fun making test tube cookies before the party for the kids to enjoy.
Scientific Birthday Party Idea #2: Time to Experiment
- Experiment #1 – Oobleck: Teach children the concept of solids and liquids by making a hands-on creation called Oobleck. Oobleck is both a solid and a liquid, acting like a liquid when being poured or lightly played with, and acting like a solid when force is acted upon it. For a bowl of Oobleck, you will need 1.5 cups of corn starch, 1 cup of water and 8 drops of food coloring. Learn how to make Oobleck and the clean-up process with these step-by-step instructions!
- Experiment #2 – Fizzzz: Teach children how solids and liquids can combine to form a gas with this cool baking soda experiment. Test the children’s senses as they smell, touch and see the reaction of a solid and a liquid fizzing into a gas. All you need is a tin muffin pan, small bowls, an eye dropper, baking soda and vinegar. Follow these instructions to keep the kids engaged. You can even theme your baking soda fizz for the season. Check out these seasonal baking soda ideas.
- Experiment #3 – Let’s bring the Weather Inside: Create an indoor tornado! Start of by playing a video of a tornado and tell the kids they will be creating their own. This will get them excited to start the experiment. All you need for one tornado is 2 two-liter bottles, a metal washer, duct tape, water, glitter and themed table scatter for “debri”. Learn how to make the device that will generate your tornado and fascinate the children. Explain the vortex and debri that flies around as they swirl around their creations. Don’t forget about rainclouds! Before beginning this experiment, explain the creation of rain and how it forms. Then, notice their faces lighting up as they interact with the materials. Of course, there are many ways to re-create rain clouds, but this is the simplest way! For one raincloud, you need a large vase with a good sized opening, shaving cream, food coloring, water and table scatter to enhance the theme! Fill the vase with water, put in your table scatter, and spray a large cloud of shaving cream on top of the water. Simply drop the food coloring onto the cloud of shaving cream and watch as the color rains down onto the table scatter at the bottom of the vase.
- Experiment #4 – Ant Farm: Ant farms are some of the most interesting things to watch! Order an ant farm and set up the farm a week before the party. Kids will enjoy watching the ants build tunnels and transform their space. Ants will carry small chunks of their home and make different formations in the material. We suggest purchasing a gel ant farm. Gel ant farms are safe, easy to set up, and are one of the few ant farms that don’t require feeding the ants! Nothing is needed except a pair of eyes to watch this amazing visual!
- Experiment #5 – Elephant Toothpaste: Children will love this hands-on activity! Have all the ingredients ready and allow them to combine them to create a fun foam called elephant toothpaste! All you need to create this fun foam is dry active yeast, warm water, 20 volume 6% solution hydrogen peroxide (typically found at a beauty supply store, drug store, or Amazon.com), dawn dish soap, a funnel, a narrow necked bottle, food coloring, glitter and a pan to catch the foam. After creating the masterpiece by following these instructions, foam will ooze out of the bottle, replicating the look of toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube. But, this foam is so thick, it looks like an elephant could use it! We suggest putting small creatures like dinosaurs into the foam pan. This allows the kids to play with the foam. Mention that the yeast is a catalyst and speeds up the hydrogen peroxide’s release of oxygen. The gas that has formed then releases and combines with the soap to create foam! Have the children touch the bottle after the foam has oozed out and they will notice the bottle is warm.
- Experiment #6: Dancing Fruit: For the dancing fruit experiment, gather raisins, clear carbonated soda (Sprite works well) and two tall clear containers or vases. Have one container full of water, and the other container full of carbonated soda. Before dropping the raisins into the two different containers, have the kids guess what will happen. They will see that the raisins dropped into the carbonated soda, will dance! But, the raisins in the water, will float straight to the bottom of the container. Learn about carbonation and density so you can explain the experiment to kids!
- Experiment #7: Dissolve Candy: Kids will be able to see the science of dissolving in action with this experiment. Have them place M&Ms into a Petri dish of water. Eventually, the “M” will break off the M&M and the color will dissolve into the water. You will notice the “M” will eventually float by itself in the water. This is cool to watch and creates fun, visual colors. Teach the children why this dissolving process takes place by reading about dissolving candy!
- Experiment #8: Sand Art: There is nothing more creative than sand art! Children can make their own creations of sand art by layering different sand colors in a plastic jar. Get creative by providing plastic jars that look like test tubes! This activity is as simple as purchasing a sand art kit, and setting up a table for the activity. The kids can take their sand art home and display the colorful creation in their room!
There are many different ways to go about the process of these fun experiments. Each experiment can be done one at a time, as an adult guides the kids through the process and explains the concept. Or, each experiment can be done at a station for children to explore in groups. The stations method is best done with multiple volunteers to guide each group through their experiment. Also, be sure to lay down table clothes below each experiment to allow for easy clean up!
Scientific Birthday Party Idea #3: Party Favors and Gifts
At the beginning of the party, provide each kid with kid-sized science goggles or even science lab robes to make them feel like the ultimate scientist as they walk into the house. Let them take their goggles and robes home at the end of the party. After the party, provide each child with a small gift, such as a kaleidoscope, play dough or slinky to congratulate them for their scientific abilities. We would suggest providing them with small gift bags full of fun, science-themed trinkets! Along with their gift bags, give each child a certificate of science exploration, acknowledging them for becoming true mad scientists during the party.
Need help planning your scientific birthday? Try one of our professional event planners. Find the right venue to suit all your activities by checking out area event venues! Snappening has all the connections for seamless event planning, in a snap! Share pictures of the kids experimenting at the science party with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. For even more inspiring science experiments and ideas, take a look at our Birthday Party Bliss pinboard on Pinterest.