This year, Kristen and I put together K’s birthday party – together! Yep. Our first joint birthday party for K! And we were both super excited to hear that K wanted a science-themed birthday party.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am a total Pinterest-lovin’ mama who goes out of her way to make her kid’s b-day party unique and themed, with a small effort to keep things away from your run-of-the-mill cartoon characters and TV shows. Her 2 year “Enchanted Forest” themed birthday I hosted at a woodsy park will forever be ingrained in my memory. Of course, when your 6-year-old tells you she wants a My Little Pony themed, or Inside Out themed party, you go ahead and do it for her. This year, we were in luck! A non-character-driven science birthday party screamed endless possibilities!!!
Not only did Pinterest have a plethora of ideas to brainstorm off of, but Kristen came across a company that actually sends scientists out to your house to help host birthday parties and do real science experiments with the kids. It’s called Mad Science and boy were they worth every penny! (Read all about it below.)
How we Threw the BEST
Atomically Amazing Science Birthday Party
(with Mad Science!)
With any great party, you need some great guests. And to get them there, you need some great invitations. Kristen tried her hand at designing her own science-y invitations on Canva – a free to use photo and image editing app that lets you create graphics and images for a variety of uses. You can also use my personal favorite graphic and image editing site PicMonkey.
Look how wonderful they turned out!
She also shared a helpful tip. Kristen likes printing invitations she creates out on photo paper! Seriously. It’s quick and easy, and doesn’t waste your printer’s ink when you have to make so many copies.
And if you make them a few weeks in advance before you need to send them, you can actually print them with the Snapfish app. Snapfish will actually give you 100 free prints PER MONTH for a YEAR if you download their app, upload the photos and order directly through the app, and have them shipped to your door. Read all about the Free Prints for a Year here!
Party decorations are by far the most fun to create in my opinion. When I was perusing Pinterest for ideas and looking at what other bloggers and websites had to offer, I noticed some people had quite a few designs for sale and not free to download. So instead, I had a lot of fun creating my own banners and graphic images with PicMonkey!
Test Tube Banner
You can download the full sized print here.
Print a few pages of the picture out on white cardstock (make sure the image fills the page), cut out the test tubes, and link them all together with needle and thread. Of course, you could also use ribbon and a hole punch, but I prefer the smaller holes a needle makes.
Science Art Prints
To help decorate the house, I designed a few artsy prints with PicMonkey, printed them out and put them each in a frame. Feel free to download them for yourself by clicking the links under each picture.
Never Trust Atoms
Periodic Table Happy Birthday Banner
This one took a little more time to make on PicMonkey, but was definitely worth it. I printed out the designs on white cardstock (one block per page), and used a hole punch and ribbon to string them all together. Use thick ribbon – thicker than I did – otherwise you’ll have to tie a LOT of knots to keep the letters linked.
Click the link under each design to download them for yourself. Some you’ll need to print two copies, others only one.
Kristen ordered these simple science beakers off Amazon.com.
We filled them with water mixed with food coloring, and tossed in a few small dry ice cubes.
You can find dry ice at many different grocery store locations – Kroger, Tom Thumb, etc. (Call ahead to make sure they carry it before wasting gas visiting the store.)
These balloon atoms were easy enough to put together. We found the idea on Pinterest from Pretty Little Party Shop.
All you need is round white balloons (11′), and long skinny colorful balloons.
Tie the white balloons together first, then wrap the long ones in.
You can find further instructions on how to make them here.
Aren’t these scientist badges just the best?? I was thinking about designing my own but then I came across this adorable design over at Rays of Bliss. Amber has a free printable sheet of badges available here! I printed out several copies, cut them out and had my best friend Courtney laminate them for me.
Pro tip: We learned the hard way that it’s better to cut out the badges first and then laminate them. If you laminate first and cut them out, the layers will fray and kids will pull them apart.
I later ordered badge clips off Amazon.com,
and with the help of my trusty hole punch, had everyone’s badge ready to go. All they had to do was write their names on them with permanent marker.
Special Lab Coat & Goggles
(for the Birthday Girl)
We ordered a simple white lab coat off Amazon.com and had my talented friend Courtney personalize her name on it. Then Kristen found these nifty goggles for her to wear.
All that plus her scientist badge really made her look the part!
Children’s Science Shirt
This is one of K’s absolute favorite shirts now. Science: It’s like magic… BUT REAL.
Adult Science Shirt
Both of us moms wore these adorable “Stand Back I’m Going to Try Science” shirts from Kohls… We just forgot to get a photo together to show them off!
What kind of a party would it be without food, I ask you?
And for any themed party, food is almost as important as your decorations. They add just the right pizzazz to send your party over the top!
Proton Punch + H2O
This punch was so much fun to watch! Kristen threw together 2 parts Hawaiian Punch (green berry rush flavored) and 1 part 7UP into a 2+ gallon beverage dispenser. Just throw in some dry ice (leave the lid off) and it’ll be smoking like a cauldron!
Science Beaker Cups
An excellent idea originally found on Princess and the Frog.
These were super easy to do, and they certainly don’t have to be accurate. Just mark a few lines and measurements on the side of clear plastic cups to make them look like beakers. (I eyeballed them all and added 25mL and 50mL measurements.)
Pro tip: Don’t forget the plastic lids and colorful straws! Kids are messy, as I’m sure you know.
Grab this beaker cookie cutter and whip up some sugar cookies.
(One of my favorite recipes is from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken – her Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookies.)
Ice them to look like they’re full of mystery liquids!
Molecule Rice Krispie Treats
I got this fantastic idea from a photo by Happy Folks Studio. (Their science birthday party was pretty darn cool!)
You can actually make rice krispie treats any color you want. When you’re stirring together your rice krispie cereal into melted marshmallow and butter, add in several drops of whatever color food coloring you desire. Neon food coloring should give you the bright colors!
To make the molecule balls, wait until the mixture is cool enough to touch (but not completely cool) and grab a small handful. Roll it into a ball and store it in a Tupperware container until you’re ready to put them on display. *Warning: you’re going to get sticky!* You can attach them together like the folks did in our inspiration photo, but make sure you use sticks sturdy enough. Toothpicks don’t work very well.
Cupcakes with Gobstopper “Molecules”
In lieu of a cake we’d have to cut into, I made more than enough cupcakes to cover the cake table. (We were eating them for days after!)
My go-to cupcake recipe is this delicious vanilla vegan cake from The Cake Merchant (Vegan desserts are the best!) which is what I used for the party. Then when I went to ice them, I made sure to use neon food coloring instead of the regular kind. Then I just threw some colorful gobstoppers on top!
Yeah, yeah, I’m not a professional cake decorator. In hindsight, I won’t add any soy milk to the icing recipe – it melted too easy. But they sure were fun to make!
By Sweet Luna Desserts (Unfortunately it looks like they’re no longer in business.)
Don’t they look delicious??
Kristen found these babies on Amazon.com.
Aren’t they gross looking? Haha! Definitely a big hit with the kids.
We used the scientific name for Goldfish (the actual animal) to turn this easy treat into a science-y snack!
Grab a bag of Mini Oreos and toss them in a bowl disguised as “Covalent Bonded Cookies” – SUCH a hit!
Chips & Dip
This one was a bit of a stretch, but we needed more snacks, so we went with the “Microchip” angle in order to include a party staple: chips and dip!
Mad Science was definitely the best part about our science birthday party. Surprisingly, I had never heard about them before Kristen shared it with me. They’ve been making science fun for kids for over 30+ years!! And while we contacted the location in the DFW area, they’re actually available all over the country.
Depending on your budget, you can decide how many experiments you want the kids to participate in. While the basic package comes with a couple small experiments and 1 party favor the kids get to make (slime, in our case) you can add additional experiments for a little more money. For us, it was totally worth the additional cost. We opted to add the dry ice experiment.
Not only did they send two female scientists (yes kids, girls really can do anything boys can do!) with super hero names, but they interacted with the kids the entire time. They taught them about dry ice, chemical reactions, the power of wind, and how to make their own slime in a cup.
All you have to do as the parent is set up a space for them to work in. (They’ll also need access to water for some of the experiments.) We left a nice big table open for them to set up at. Then once they get started, just sit back and watch the kids have fun!
Our scientists even let us keep all their extra dry ice! We had plenty to party with. 🙂
There’s no doubt about it – K’s 7th birthday party was a hit! The kids all had tons of fun, the moms marveled at our themed décor, and the food rocked. Not bad for our first joint birthday party!
(Look at all these love bugs!)
And can I just say that it is so much easier and less stressful when there are TWO moms planning a party instead of just one?? Seriously. It’s times like these that make me ever so thankful that my daughter’s stepmom is so great to work with. #coparentingchampions
(We’ll share our tips on how you can make joint birthday parties a breeze next month!)
Happy birthday planning, Mama!
And if you have any questions about the party we threw, feel free to throw some comments our way. We love connecting with you all!
PS: You can download all the science-y files I created here.
PPS: Learn more about promoting your child’s education with our Beyond the Classroom series!