Three's A'loud

Experimenting with a science party

Scientists don’t just accept things without question. They understand that knowledge is important. They drive real progress and seek truth. They are not afraid to think hard, and, most importantly, they always keep their sense of curiosity and wonder. It is no wonder then, that I was delighted when my little princess told me a couple of years ago that she wanted a Science party for her birthday. Here follows my top tips and ideas if you need to know how to organise a science party yourself:

Do……give every little scientist a pass for the party! Mine said “Access: All areas”. They are cheap and easy to make: I printed them quickly a few hours before the party.

Each little guest was welcomed at the front gate with a stern expression and informed that they “can only enter the lab if they have access”. We checked “a list” for their names and then informed them that they were one of the very lucky few who were allowed to enter. They all loved it and beamed with pride when their pass was put around their neck.

Don't……spend a fortune on placemats, plates and other items. Print placemats yourself! You can personalise them as much as you want and A4 sheets of paper are the perfect size. After the party just throw them away. Paint plain paper plates to fit your theme or colours or write something on serviettes to customise them accordingly. I always get so irritated when I have 14 little guests coming to a party (what can I say…we have a big family) but the party packs in the shops cater for 10 or 12 kids. That means I have to buy two packs of paper plates at great expense and then there are five extra. I literally have an entire drawer filled with 2 Barbie plates, 4 Barney polystyrene cups, 3 Hello Kitty sweety-bags etc.

Do……get someone else to do the hard work! I contacted a local mom who teaches science to kids in a fun interactive way and she did a one hour presentation with the kids at minimal cost. Best thing I ever did! Each little scientist received safety goggles and a white “labcoat” which they just put on over their swimwear or party clothes and for one hour I could enjoy cocktails with the other grown-ups while the kids were entertained and taught at the same time. In this case the presentation was so interesting that the parents all ended up eavesdropping on the kids!

Doing experiments

Parents hoping to learn something as well

Teacher’s pet!

Don't……ruin your day by trying to accomplish the impossible. So I really wanted to make a lava cake. I found a great tutorial on pinterest, but you know what they say about pinterest expectations VS pinterest reality…

I am not saying the cake was a fail, in fact, it ended up looking great if I may say so myself. But to do the effect with the dry ice and the lava spewing from the cake I had to drive 40 minutes at five o’clock in the morning to a reaaally dodgy industrial area to go and collect it from the factory. I ended up being late and rushed and flustered for my little girl’s party and it stressed both of us out unnecessarily. I am not saying leave the special effects, I am just saying consider the work required to bring the extravaganza you envision to life. Parties, especially at your own home, are hard work. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

Do……go ahead and share a bazillion pictures with everyone of the cake that was such a mission to complete!!!

Dry ice and melted marshmallow created the effect of the lava

Don't……forget to blow up latex gloves for balloons and feed the kids litres of condensed milk from syringes!

Syringes filled with condensed milk double up as water guns

Interesting science balloons…

If there is one thing I have learned through the years, it is that Princess parties don’t have to be all pink and science parties don’t have to be all serious. Take the theme your little one loves and make it work for you. The most important thing is to have fun and take lots of pictures. Not (just) to show off on Facebook but also so you can someday show your little scientist/princess/circus monkey what a beautiful party you had for them.

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