This year my eldest son chose to have a ‘Science Party’ at home for his 7th Birthday. I love a good DIY birthday party because the kids get to choose the theme, I organise and run the party, we choose the games and it’s cheap! In fact, we have so much fun that DIY Birthday parties have become a bit of a family ritual now – too hard to break!
This year I hosted the party as a crazy scientist and we kept it small with just 5 guests. I made a freaky eyeball cake (you’ll see how to make it on Facebook) and we kept the food simple with pizza and ice-cream sundaes with popping candy sprinkles.
I think the secret to having a great birthday party is having some awesome party games! My 7-year-old chose our party games and I’d love to share them as they were so much fun to play. Enjoy!
Here are some great science games for you to try…
These games are simple and inexpensive. You can do them yourself and with a little bit of prep, they shouldn’t make any mess!
1. Blowing Up a Balloon with Chemistry
You will need: White vinegar, baking soda, balloons and plenty of small plastic bottles.
We prepared this game beforehand, by pouring a cup of white vinegar into a small bottle. Then we used a funnel to put 3 tablespoons of baking soda into a smiley face balloon. Carefully we attached each balloon to the top of the bottle, being careful not to tip any soda into the vinegar. We made up enough bottles for all the kids.
On the day I told the kids to sit in a circle on the floor and I gave them all a bottle with a balloon attached including one for me. I told them to carefully hold the balloon and then on the count of 1, 2, 3… flip the balloon up. With a little wiggle, this caused the baking soda to empty into the bottle. The gas quickly inflated the balloons and we had lots of happy smiling faces!
My husband and I carefully took the balloons off the bottles, tied them and the kids held their balloon. I showed them how much heavier their balloons were compared to one I had just blown up by standing on a chair and dropping the balloons at the same time. Then we threw the balloons off the balcony and into the garden. Lots of fun and no mess!
2. Slime/Silly Putty
You will need: PVA Glue, food colouring, shaving foam, borax, water, spoons, and plenty of bowls
Now be careful. This one can be really messy!
We prepared the borax solution beforehand. You’ll find borax powder in Bunnings, Mitre 10 etc. Put a tablespoon of borax powder into a glass of water and mix.
On the day, I had the kids sit in pairs on the floor and they had one bowl between them. We put 1/2 a cup of PVA glue into each bowl, then we squirted in a dollop of shaving foam, told them to stir and we added 1 teaspoon of food colouring to each bowl (all different colours). The kids stirred it in. Then we added some borax solution to the mixture one teaspoon at a time and they kept stirring. They watched their liquid get thicker and gloopier. This is when it started to get exciting. We kept adding the borax while they stirred it until it started to go pretty stiff. Then they got their hands into it and squished and squashed it making it stretch and then rolling it into a ball. Heaps of fun! When the squealing calmed down a bit, we whisked it away, bagged it up to take home and had them all wash their hands ready for food!
Note: Silly putty/slime is not for little ones as you mustn’t eat it, it can get stuck in your hair, or on clothes. I wouldn’t let your kids play with it on the carpet! Remind your kids to wash their hands afterwards.
3. Balloon Rocket-racers
You will need: Balloons, drinking straws, fishing line, and sellotape
Tell me a kid that doesn’t like balloons or rockets?! There is virtually no prep for this game, apart from snipping up some drinking straws. On the day, we tied some fishing line to a fence at about head height (for a 7-year-old), slipped several pieces of drinking straw onto the fishing line and tied the other end to another fence or washing line etc. We had two lines, but you can do as many as you like. Then you blow up a balloon and sellotape it to a drinking straw (on the line) and ask the child to hold onto it tight! Do the same again on the other line and then ‘On your marks, set, GO’! The kids let go of the balloons and they zoom across the lines. They thought it was hilarious!
4. Donut Munching
You will need: A plain donut for everyone and a ball of string
Scientifically it is a bit like apple bobbing – but you don’t get wet! We tied the string through the donuts beforehand, as I couldn’t find any ring donuts anywhere! On the day, tie a 4m length of string between two points at about 2 metres off the ground. You obviously want the kids to be able to reach the donuts! Hang the donuts all along the horizontal string, evenly spaced. At the start of the game, we told the kids to put their hands in their pockets or behind their backs and simply try and eat their donut! This game was by far the favourite. I was amazed at how long the kids played this game for. They were all so determined and in fits of giggles!
We had a great party. The kids took their silly putty home and a piece of eyeball cake – yum! Maybe you might think about having a science party, or playing some of these party games at your little monkey’s next birthday! If you liked this blog please share with your friends. If you haven’t already, you can like Little Monkeys on Facebook and follow Little Monkeys on Instagram.