Science Experiment Birthday Party Ideas

It’s a Science Party and you are invited! Annabelle’s 8th Birthday Science Lab…. come on in!2

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I love this age where school is fun! My daughter has been loving science in school for the past couple of years so I was not surprised when she chose a science theme for her party this year. Turns out all kids love science at this age! This was a pretty simple party to pull together and plan.

I splurged a little and purchased real lab coats for each guest and had their names embroidered on them. Not only did they look adorable all wearing them at the party, they were so excited to go home with this keepsake. I am sure many will be re-used for costumes and experimenting at home.

The rest of the party was really done rather inexpensively. I was inspired by a really nice periodic table shown in a popular kids catalog that was way out of my budget. I used an inexpensive engineer print, wood strips, black spray paint and my staple gun to create my own version for around $10. This was the perfect backdrop to the small dessert table. The sweets were kept very simple with birthday cake, science cookies and take home candy. I used a very simple modern black and white color scheme, which worked really well with the chalkboards.

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We did four experiments. We had 14 kids. I carefully planned how I would quickly move from one experiment to the next. It actually went very well and the kids all enjoyed every experiment.

Experiment 1:    DIY LAVA LAMPS

Supplies needed: Cylinder vase, beaker (or cup), vegetable oil, food coloring, Alka-Seltzer tablets.

Directions: Fill vase 1/3 with oil, mix color and water in beaker, pour water into the oil, drop broken up tablets into the vase. Watch it bubble. FUN!

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Experiment 2: ERUPTING SODA

Supplies needed: 2 liter diet soda, mentos

Directions: Open soda (outside), drop in approx.. 7 mentos mint candies using a tube…stand back!

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Experiment 3: Expanding Soap

Supplies needed: bar of Ivory soap

Directions: microwave a bar of unwrapped Ivory soap for 1.5 minutes on a microwave safe plate.

*I demonstrated this and let the kids all touch the amazing fluffy expanded soap and then they all went home with a custom labeled bar to try themselves.

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Experiment 4: Flubber

Supplies needed: White school glue, borax, water, glitter, large ziplock bag, air-tight container

Directions: In bag, mix glue and ½ cup cold water. In cup mix together 1 tsp borax and ½ cup warm water. Combine all in bag. Add glitter. Mix until a ball of flubber forms. Dump off excess water. Store flubber in an airtight container.

*This one was passed out in “science kit” labeled gable boxes to make it easy on me to keep the experiments going. The boxes also doubled as an easy way to take home the soap, flubber and candy.

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PARTY TIPS FOR A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT PARTY

  • Chalkboards are always a party go-to for me. Worked especially well in this classroom inspired party. Engineer prints are very affordable to print and make big impact.
  • Label everything to keep a cohesive look throughout the “lab”.
  • Use Flasks or Beakers to serve drinks.
  • Dollar Store cookie baking sheets work well as lab trays to corral supplies and make for easy clean up.
  • Even if you do not want to splurge on lab coats, you can make everyone feel like they are in a real lab with printable ALL ACCESS lab badges.

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Happy Birthday to my future Scientist, Annabelle! 

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Photos by Maggie Russo Photo | Cookies by Little Miss Sweet Tooth | Styling and Graphics by Sara De St Jean, Homespun Hostess

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The Best Cake Stands

I might have a slight addiction to buying cake plates….but time and time again I go for my all time favorite classics.

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1. MOSSER GLASS 10″ WHITE  / 2. MOSSER GLASS 10″ PINK / 3. MOSSER GLASS 9″ BLACK / 4. MOSSER GLASS 9″ JADEITE  / 5. RETRO DINER STAINLESS STEEL / 6. MARBLE and WOOD

I love the hand crafted solid quality of Mosser glass. The classic style has been around forever and will never go out of style. A couple of others that I seem to use often, the stainless steel retro diner look and the classic marble and wood.

Here are examples of these cake stands in use.
  1. The White cake stand can be seen in almost all of my parties. I used lots of them at this colorful Unicorn Party to keep my dishes light and neutral with all of that color.

2. The Pink Cake stands were used at our Girl Scout Bridging Luncheon.

3. The Black were used for our Halloween Party. I have so many other uses for them coming up! With Black and white being so classic and on trend right now they will get used often.

4. The Jadeite Cake stands were used at our Girl Scout Bridging Luncheon and Vintage Santa’s Workshop Party.  I plan to use them soon for Annabelle’s Science party and a sweet succulent inspired fiesta.

5. The stainless steel was perfect here at Retro Bowl-O-Rama and here at the Soda Pop Shoppe.

6. I do not have photos of the marble and wood in use. I do very often use it for cheese or charcuterie tray when entertaining.

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Santa’s Workshop Party Ideas

Welcome to Santa’s Workshop! This year Annabelle and her friends kicked off the season with her 4th Annual Christmas Party. They were invited to the northpole! Each girl was given an “ELF” outfit prior to the party and they looked very adorable if I do say so myself! The North Pole, of course must have treats for the busy toy making elves. There was the Reindeer café, where the elves picked up cafeteria style soup, sandwiches and chips and also The North Pole Bakery, baked fresh daily by Mrs. Claus (well, actually my awesome sister made the sweet Christmas cookies, shhh).

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We will start with everyone’s favorite….dessert! Welcome to the NORTH POLE BAKERY!

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The reindeer café was a very casual cafeteria like set up featuring, Dasher’s Deli Sandwiches, Blitzen’s Broccoli Cheese Soup, Prancer’s Potato Chips and Rudoloph’s Rootbeer Soda.

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Now for the fun! The girls, I mean, Elves, each painted a wooden toy. They wore “Official North Pole Toy Maker” aprons that I made by ironing my design onto red children sized aprons. They all were very creative and did a great job! Look at those serious faces! They took this job serious people.

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Don’t forget the gift wrap station filled with lots of pretty paper and ribbons.

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And when the party was all wrapped up, these girls were given a party gift of matching Chritmas PJs, because this was a sleepover! How cute are they! I actually got myself a matching pair, which you will not see pictured, but the girls LOVED it!

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Photos by Maggie Russo Photo.

Click here to order the invite.

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Halloween Party Ideas – A Villains Ball

This Halloween, host a Villain’s Ball in the Royal Evil Queen’s castle. Dusk is the perfect setting for this party on the dark side. Use ornate details and rich colors of black, burgandy and purple. No Villain’s Ball would be complete without Poison Apples. The rich dark red sets the tone with both candy apples and fresh apples with spooky tags. Add in a bit of black and white candy and creative treats such as “Lady Fingers” and vials of Blood for the vampires.

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Classic games like Ghosts in the Graveyard and Ring around the Rosie are more fun and spooky as the sun goes down.

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Have plenty of this Graveyard snack mix on hand for the little villains. An Easy mixture of puppy chow, mini oreos, chocolate chips and unwrapped Hershey hugs.

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Dress up glasses with spooky eyeball skewers made of candy and marshmallows.

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Stacks of Thrifted books with spooky titles and rich covers add height to the table settings.

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Double, double, toil and trouble ….. try adding dry ice to your cauldron for a ghoulish effect on your vampire punch

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Send guests home with DEATH BY CHOCOLATE candy bars to remember this fun night of mischief.

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For recipes and free printable downloads see the full feature in the Fall issue of Yum for kids magazine.

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Both invitation designs available in my shop here and here. Photography by Maggie Russo Photo

 

 

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It’s Tailgate Time! Football Party Ideas | Andrew’s 11th Birthday

Are you ready for some Football? It’s just about that time of year! Kick off football season with a tailgate party, fun at any age!

This year Andrew chose to have a football party for his 11th Birthday. He invited friends to all wear their favorite team (can you tell we are in Chicago?!) and the boys played a little Madden in the Game truck and some nerf football in the front yard.

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Here are a couple of my tips for throwing together a football party and adding that extra bit of attention to detail:

1. Astroturf. Inexpensive at home improvement stores. Use it to cover your table or your tailgate.

2) Printables. Pennant flags go a long way in a tailgate set up. Go Team!

3) Engineer Prints. Large chalkboard Backdrops and menu boards are very inexpensive when you print them as engineer prints.

4) Tissue paper. Easy to make poms poms on sticks and use as garland. Cheer on your team! We used basic football brown and turf green, but you can personalize the colors of your party to your favorite team too.

5) Wrapped food. Make it easy to grab and go with wrapped and labeled hot dogs and subs. Plastic cups with lids make great popcorn and other sideline snack containers.

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We had a true tailgate party, setting up the food on my husband’s tailgate. Andrew requested his favorites….chili with all ) the fixins, hot dogs, Chili Cheese dogs, Chicago mix {cheese and carmel} popcorn, ham & cheese hoagies and salami subs.

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Powerade and Root Beer Bottles were the tailgate drinks of choice. The porch had a drink station and desserts too.

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Found these inexpensive drink koozies at oriental trading company.

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Desserts included the best brownie cake pops and sugar cookies made by my sister, Double chocolate football cupcakes, Chocolate taffy, rootbeer candies and more.

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A long chalkboard with football plays held the vanilla cream cheese cupcakes.

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HAPPY 11TH BIRTHDAY ANDREW!!

Photos by Maggie Russo Photo | Printables Available in my shop | Best Game Truck in Chicagoland & NWI

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My Little Pony Party Ideas

My Little Pony Party for Annabelle’s 7th Birthday

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Hooray! Annabelle is 7! She is currently obsessed with My Little Pony. She loves all of the cheerful colors, the adorable cutie marks and the magical unicorns. My goal was to create a party that had the feeling of My Little Pony without putting to much emphasis on actual characters.

The dessert table was focused mainly on on bright colors. I did purchase sugar sheets of cutie marks to add to the top of our sugar cookies. All of the girls recognized the cutie marks and loved them. My sister made the colorful cake pops, unicorn cookies, rainbow drizzled oreos and gorgeous rainbow cake. She did an amazing job on all of it!

For this party we set up activity stations. We had Cutie Mark Face painting, Create your own Magical pony, The Beauty Spot, a unicorn craft table and a visit from a very magical guest, a pony with pink hair. We also had a boxed lunch for each guest complete with Apple Jack’s apple sauce.

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Our first station was cutie mark face painting. If you are in the Chicago or NWI area, Fun Faces by Denise is wonderful! She has been at Annabelle’s last two parties and does a fabulous job.

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Next we had the Magical Unicorn Beauty Spot. This is where you got to choose your {handmade} unicorn horn, rainbow nail painting, a pony necklace, bracelets, pony tattoo, colored hair chalk and more! We had the help of our friend Lily at this booth. Thanks a million Lil!

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The girls had fun doing the crafts as well. I found look a like my little ponies at the dollar store and the girls had fun creating their own Magical Ponies with sharpies. Some of the cutie marks were very creative!

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But the best surprise was the magical guest that arrived! The girls had fun petting and feeding treats to pink shadow, the majestic white pony with pink hair. The initial reactions were priceless!

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A HUGE thank you to Maggie Russo for being there to capture all the magic!

The printables are available in my shop!

 colorful pony invite

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Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony – Brownies here we come!

Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony

Attention Girl Scout Troop Leaders! This one is for you. We hosted a Mother-Daughter luncheon as our girl scout daisies bridged to brownies. The style of the party was a little bit glam with pink, green and gold, a little bit wilderness girl and a whole lot of fun. This is a fun group of girls. We try to instill that girls can do anything and these free spirits most certainly can!

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FUTURE LEADERS!

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We used gold foiled empowering quotes as part of the table centerpieces.  This was one of my favorites….

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you FLY?”

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Do-Si-Does were covered in chocolate with the girl scout logo (mold from amazon). My talented baker sister made truffles out of our leftover trefoil cookies. YUM!

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It’s Cookie Time!

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A sweet little luncheon just for moms and girls.

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Stacks of vintage girl scout handbooks and a circa 1957 official girl scout camera added a bit of fun nostalgia to our party.

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Brownies here we come! Watch out world, Troop 10125 is turning dreams into plans!

Photos by Maggie Russo Photo

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You can order the invite and bridging certificate from my shop!

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Retro Soda Pop Party Ideas

Host an Ice Cream Soda Party!  You can host an adorable mid-day Ice cream soda party and not break the bank. If you would rather not have the party at home, check out your local burger and ice cream joints. Call ahead and reserve tables during the shops slow time. Add assorted sodas in fun retro looking bottles or tall glasses with soda poured over ice cream. Don’t forget the cherry on top!

You can find my soda pop cupcake recipe, a free menu printable and even more cute party pictures in the current issue of Yum {food and fun for kids} Magazine!  All Photos by Maggie Russo Photo.

You’re Invited! This invite and the other printables that you see are all available in my shop.

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When you host a party mid-day you can save money by not serving a full meal. This party consisted of retro bottles of soda, ice cream and soda pop cupcakes and fun! I used inexpensive engineer prints to make oversized black and white signs and chalkboard menus. Big impact, small dollars! The soda bottles double as party décor. You don’t need much with this theme. If you were hosting the party at home you could add some thrift shop records and chrome accessories to pull the them in.

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You can find fun glass bottles sodas at most super markets, world market and even amazon.   Personalize the party with toppings and signs.

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