I’m excited to share some fun tips and ideas from my daughter’s Mad Science Birthday party with you… finally! She’s 8-1/2 now, and this is her 7th birthday party. 😳😂
Anyways, aside from abundance of “experiment messes” around the house, I really love that Macy has been crazy about science for a few years now. This was a super enjoyable party theme to work on with TONS of room for creativity – especially in the treats department. (Hello, Petri Dish Jello and Radioactive Punch!) 🥳
THE ELEMENTS OF FUN
1. Hands-on Experiments
Set up stations with simple experiments that kids can try themselves, like baking soda & vinegar balloons.
We saved small Gatorade bottles for this activity and pre-filled them with vinegar. The balloons were also pre-filled with baking soda, so kids could just grab a balloon and put it on a bottle, then watch the balloon *magically* inflate. Using balloons with design on them – like these polka dot and marbled balloons – makes this activity even more fun to look at!
Candy molecule building is another super easy activity that doesn’t make a huge mess. 🙌 Set out trays of “squishy” candy (like spice dots, marshmallows, etc) + toothpicks and let kids build their own candy molecules! It’s a good idea to set out a some pre-built models for them to copy, and there are lots of great examples available if you do a goole image search for “candy molecules”.
2. The Mad Scientist
From crazy hair to a giant mustache, bring in signature “mad scientist” details for a touch of zany flair. I loved the idea of greeting guests at the door with a giant, playful nod to our mad scientist! We also had colorful “safety glasses” for all of the guests to wear.
3. Laboratory Treats
This is where things can REALLY get creative! We served up science-inspired treats like “Petri Dish Jello”, gummy frog “Specimens”
white chocolate “Lab Rats” (made using this candy mouse mold), and rock candy stick “Geodes”.
I especially love how the petri dish jello dessert turned out:
This scientific and gross-in-a-good-way treat is easy to make! Just pour liquid jello into petri dishes (about half way full). If you’re using gummy worms or other big gummies, you can then add them in now. Refrigerate for about an hour, then add some sprinkles and continue to refrigerate until serving. The sprinkles will kind of bloat and “bleed” out into the jello after a while, resembling “bacteria” that’s growing! I also added a strip of washi tape to “package” the treat.
4. Printable Fun
Printables are my favorite quick & easy way to play up any theme! I designed a bright and colorful science inspired collection for this party featuring playful (and yes, maybe a little bit nerdy 🤓) science puns like “Of QUARTZ, Geology ROCKS” and “DISCOVER something fun”!
5. Bright Ideas
Fill plastic light bulb containers with colorful candy for a favor with creative spark! We used a mix of regular and pastel M&Ms to fill these guys, and since I’m totally a stickler about colors, yes… we DID pick out all the pieces that didn’t match the party’s palette. Looking at you brown and orange! ;) It was a lot less expensive to do it this way using “regular” bags of M&Ms than to buy the specialty packs that are all one color.
(P.S. The giant plastic lightbulb decoration above was an Amazon purchase!)
6. Giant Atoms and Molecules (DIY Decor)
This was probably my favorite decoration – possibly because I just love anything that you can hang overhead! These giant “atom & molecule” decorations are made from embroidery hoops (spray painted silver), colorful “ball pit” balls, and wooden skewers. I used fishing wire to hang them for a “floating” effect.
7. Mad Science Show
Live demos are always a hit with the kids! We hired a pro from Mad Science of Sacramento to put on a cool science show that was centered around gases, chemical reactions, and “things that go pop and fizz”. She also led the kids in a bouncy ball making activity and explained the science behind cotton candy making… while making it. And then of course the kids scarfed it down!
8. “Experimental” Decor
These science-inspired decoration ideas are quick, stylish, and won’t break the bank!
- Colorful Chemistry
This is as easy as it gets! Just fill glass beakers with water and food coloring. We also dropped dry ice into them a few times – especially when guests were first arriving. However, just a heads up that the dry ice doesn’t last very long with the small pieces that you have to use in order for them to fit inside the narrow mouth beakers.
- Petri Dish Specimens
For these, I printed scientific looking patterns out on transparency paper and cut them to fit inside large petri dishes. A plastic insect or butterfly was placed on top, then covered with the petri dish lid. Done!
- Biohazard Caution Tape
This bright yellow tape is a great way to make a big impact on your space without spending much at all. Doors, fences, etc… it makes an easy photo backdrop too!
- Test Tube Insects
To make these, just stick plastic bugs and butterflies into clear test tube containers (I used these large plastic ones) and fill them with water. It’s actually best when the fit is a little snug, because the insects get suspended in the tube, making things look all the more “science-y”.
Hope some of these ideas help you plan your own Mad Science Party! If you have questions anything I didn’t cover here, feel free to leave me a comment below. Happy celebrating!