I was thinking of ideas for a Mad Lab Party and came across another great website which has ideas for a “Clever and Creative Mad Scientist Party for Kids”.
I love the decor and the food ideas (edible white mice, test tubes filled with M&M’s, and jello and gummy worms on petri dishes). Have a look, you’ll get lots of ideas on how to get creative for a lab-themed science party!
A few more ideas I have:
It would be really cool if the kids got their invitations in petri dishes. Simply bulk buy some clear petri dishes (to cut down costs) and fold each of your invites into one. It may end up being a bulky stack for your kid to take to school but I’m sure all her/his friends will be very impressed. You can get as creative as you want with these dishes and the invites.
If the “lab” is in one particular room in the house, get some white party streamers and hang them off the door frame (or you could buy a foil door curtain from a party store). You want them to reach the floor and you want to keep them straight, so don’t curl them. You can them have warning and other signs around so the kids know they are “entering at their own risk”.
As well as all the coloured soda drinks, coloured sweets, you also want to provide healthy options. Here are a few that would work well with a lab-themed party.
In a large bowl mix cooked rotini pasta with coloured peppers which have been cut into small squares. As there are four bases (A, T, C and G) in DNA you will probably want to use four different coloured peppers – green, red, yellow and orange.
Build a Molecule
This was an idea in the “Elements” post and consists of fresh fruit.
Make a healthy pizza, using olives, cheese, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, ham, pickle, the list is endless. Get creative and make it look like the inside of a cell. Here is a link to images of a plant and animal cell.
Since the lab is all about investigating we want to create fun experiments for the kids to test out. It may be nice to get the kids working in pairs or in a group. Each team has a lab book and they go to the different work stations where they’ll test and note their observations in the book. Some cool experiments that are easy to pull off are:
It’s all about the density
Does and orange float or sink?
– large clear container of water
– an orange
First put an orange in the container of water. It will float. However, when you peel the skin off the orange and do the same thing, it will sink. Get the kids to do this and see if they can figure out why.
Answer: If something is denser than water it will sink. If you look closely at the skin of an orange you’ll see it has lots of pores (holes), these a full of air. These air pockets lower the density. Therefore when you peel the skin off (along with the air pockets) you increase the density of the orange so it no longer floats.
Make a floating egg
This is another experiment on density.
First put the egg in a glass of water. It will sink. Next, get the kids to half fill the glass with water, add 6 tbsp of salt (don’t mix), and then top the glass up with water. Now add the egg and see what happens. It will fall through the water until it reaches the salt water – you should see the egg floating in the middle of the glass. See if the kids can figure out why.
Answer: An object will not float if it is denser than the substance you want it to float in. Salt water is denser then tap water and it is also dense enough for the egg to float in it.
It’s in the reaction
This is a fun and colourful experiment where by using vinegar and baking soda you can get a fizzy reaction. I found a good site to help guide you through it and it gives you the science too.
*Still using the same ingredients (vinegar and baking soda) you can test a few things out. Can you inflate a balloon with this reaction? The answer is yes. Carry the experiment out in a bottle, seal the top with a balloon, shake the bottle so the vinegar and baking soda mix and you should see the balloon start to inflate as the gas is released.
This is a popular (but messy) experiment. As this involves hydrogen peroxide, gloves and adult supervision are necessary. Here are Steve Spangler’s kid friendly instructions.
You can get the kids to experiment by having different size bottles, to see if this influences the amount produced, or by adding more or less yeast. They may get a reaction like this!
Make your own plastic
Check out my post on slime in the “Fluids” party. This is another messy and cool experiment that goes down well at parties. To make it an experiment and not just a demo get the kids to change the amount of borax and/or PVA and see how the consistency changes.
There are so many experiments you can do and you can tailor it towards the things your kid enjoys.