Hi Birthday Express readers!
My name is Jenny from Craft That Party, and I am one of the featured stylists for the Birthday Express Ideas blog. I tend to integrate lots of DIY ideas into parties and I am excited to share my tips and easy craft ideas with you right here each month.
My 7 year old requested a bubbly and explosive science theme birthday party this year. I searched all over to find some kid-friendly chemistry experiments that we could do at home. The results were fantastic. Our little scientists had a blast (literally as you will see in our last activity)!
Our scientists conducted taste tests on an assortment of sweets such as homemade sugar cookies, jello cultures, cupcakes with hexagon fondant toppers, and sixlets served in Erlenmeyer flasks.
To create these jello cultures, place empty Petri dishes on a baking sheet, fill each Petri dish halfway full with jello and set the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator until the jello is firm. When ready to serve, add sprinkles on top (the longer the sprinkles sit on top of the jello, the more “moldy” they look).
Fill plastic round candy jars with squiggle straws for a mad scientist look!
While the birthday boy had a special lab coat, I found inexpensive disposable lab coats and safety goggles for all our guests. They lab coats only came in adult sizes, so we just rolled up the sleeves and it actually gave the kids’ clothing more protection during the experiments. The lab coats even had a pocket on the front for their “Level 7 Clearance” badges and a pen for keeping notes.
Our lab area was set up before the kids arrived. I had an aluminum tray and the first experiment ready at each seat.
For experiment #1 we did a vinegar and baking soda test. The soda bottles were filled with vinegar and the balloons were filled with baking soda. When the kids tipped the balloons, the baking soda fell into the soda bottle causing a chemical reaction and the balloons filled with air.
Our next experiment was creating lava lamp test tubes. We added a cap of water to our test tubes that were already 3/4 full of oil. We then added a color tablet and fizzy tablet. The kids were mesmerized by the bubbling lava lamp effect.
Next, we created elephant toothpaste. The kids each had a soda bottle filled with 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide (3% or 6% is even better). We added a few drops of food coloring, a squirt of Dawn dish soap, and a yeast mixture. The chemical reaction created elephant toothpaste foam that oozed out of the bottles on to their pans.
I kept all the experiments neatly organized and separated in these aluminum pans. It was easier to bring only one experiment out at a time.
Our grand finale was the famous Coke and Mentos geyser. The birthday boy was in charge of pulling the pin that dropped the Mentos into the soda bottle.
The chemical reaction is a 30 foot coke geyser! Here’s a few tips, use Coke Zero (less sugar = less stickiness) at room temperature for this experiment and only attempt this experiment outside!
The kids took home their lava lamp test tubes, lab books, and goggles as well as a goody bag filled with touchable test tube bubbles, squiggle straws, nerdy glasses, and science candy bobs.
The favor tags said “Thank you for experimenting with me! It was an EXPLOSIVE good time!”
Science Printable Collection: Lillian Hope Designs
Hexagon Cupcake Toppers: DCC Cakes
Science Sugar Cookies: Recipe and cookie inspiration from Eat More Dessert by Jenny Keller
Science Candybobs: Sweets From Heaven, Outlets at Orange
Science cookie cutters: Science Bob Store
Lab coat, squiggle straws, plates, silverware, paper cups, nerdy glasses, test tube bubbles: Birthday Express
Photography: A. Joy Photography & Craft That Party
Petri Dishes: Science Bob Store
Erlenmeyer Flasks: Amazon
Disposable lab coats, safety goggles, and aluminum pans: Webstaurant Supply
Test tubes, color tablets, test tube racks, geyser tube: Steve Spangler Science
Science Experiment Resources: