Every year my children’s birthday parties turn me into a Pinterest crazy mom searching for inspiration. I want their parties to reflect who they are and what they love all the while being fun and entertaining for them and their friends.
This year as my daughter’s birthday neared, I was truly at a loss as to what to do for a bunch of 10 and 11 year old girls. At this age, some girls are beginning to be more like teenagers and a party that doesn’t keep their interest could quickly become a bust. Well after discussing with my daughter about her friends and what they were all into, I compared it to my daughter’s interests and found they all liked science. This gave me an idea. She loves the Netflix show Project MC2, which showcases female characters that use science in their adventures, making it the perfect inspiration for her party.
I started by finding a creative invitation. My go-to place for party invitations is Etsy. I found the perfect one at JennyIllustrations, and my daughter immediately loved it. After placing my order, Jenny was great at tweaking the invite to fit my daughter’s party exactly. Her invite looked just like something out of a Project MC2 notebook. Also, Jenny created a personalized, coordinating “Thank You” note. This invite then became my anchor for the rest of the party’s color scheme and decor.
Next, I moved on to planning the entertainment. With so many at-home science projects all over the Internet, it was almost overwhelming to choose just a few for her party. To narrow it down, I looked for experiments that needed few supplies, didn’t make a huge mess, and produced fun results. Once I had a few choices, I had my daughter decide which ones she wanted to do. I recommend that anyone planning a science party look closely at how long it takes to do the experiment when choosing one. For example, I really wanted to have the girls create rock candy but it takes much more time than even a sleepover party allows.
In addition to the experiments, I put together two craft projects for the girls to do. I bought composition books and geeky stickers for each girl to create a personal science journal similar to McKeyla’s notebook, A.D.I.S.N., from Project MC2. Then, I used my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine to cut out conversation bubbles for the girls to make silly photo props.
After the party activities were squared away, I moved on to decorations and sweet treats. I’m a sucker for themed birthday banners, so I again used my Silhouette Cameo to make a few science cut-outs to decorate her birthday banner. I also found a “Happy Birthday” message spelled out using periodic table element letters, which I added as well. As I knew the girls would be more focused on the activities than the decor, I kept it simple. Though I did accent with science images where I could, like her treats.
When looking for science-themed sweets, big box stores don’t have much to offer. Smaller businesses usually have the flexibility to work with you more to get exactly what you are looking for. I worked with A Fancy Cookie to design cookies that would coordinate with her invite. They made a few atom and beaker decorated cookies and then made a periodic table element themed cookie for each girl with her initial on it. The cookies were a tasty way to decorate.
When the big day arrived, and six girls showed up ready to have some science fun. Each girl was given a pair of safety goggles before we started and then we got busy.
- We started by creating a Borax solution with the intent to grow crystals on a pipe cleaner shape. The shapes the girls made were as unique as they are. One girl made Olaf with a light saber and it was hands-down my favorite. Each girl was so excited the next morning to see how their crystals had grown. The Borax crystal experiment can be found by clicking here.
- Next, we mixed jello and tonic water to create a mixture that would glow in the dark after cooling in the fridge. Glow in the Dark Jello experiment can be found by clicking here.
- This was followed by the girls playing a “What’s Under the Microscope?” picture guessing game. Listening to their guesses was truly one of the funniest parts of the party. After the game, they all took turns trying out the microscope to get a closer look at every day items. I think all the girls went home wanting a microscope of their own.
- Then they used glow in the dark paint and a black light to complete the Glowing Magic Milk Experiment, where a dab of dish washing soap made the paint move.
- Finally, they finished with a Project MC2 show marathon.
The party was a hit with the girls. They all said it was one of the most fun parties they had been to. Their praise reminded me that though I tend to want to give my children a Pinterest perfect party, sometimes a basic party with well planned accents and activities can be the most perfect party I could give them.