Many people ask me about parties and the best experiments to entertain children at a science party. Science Sparks is full of fun, safe and hands-on science investigations that would all make great party activities, but here are some I think would work brilliantly for a children’s science party at home.
Science activities are great for keeping kids engaged and offer lots of opportunities for teamwork and creating an action-packed, unforgettable party for kids of all ages.
Great ideas for a science party at home
Make a Lava Lamp
Lava lamps are super simple to make and the perfect take-home gift, as they are completely reusable with the addition of a bit more alka seltzer or an effervescent vitamin tablet. Children can make a beautiful display of different coloured lava lamps and take home their creations as a party favour.
Walk Over Oobleck
Set up a giant tray of oobleck and see if the party guests dare walk across. I’d recommend doing this in the garden as it’s messy but worth it and a memorable party activity.
The infamous coke and Mento trick
This one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and a great activity to start or end a party. Drop a couple of Mentos into a bottle of Coke and stand back! Children can experiment to see whether it works with diet drinks or sweets.
Another idea is to use different coloured fizzy drinks to make an erupting rainbow.
The trick with the coke and mento reaction is to drop the mento in the bottle as soon as the lid is removed. The longer the gap between the lid coming off and the mento dropping in, the less impressive the eruption.
I’d also do this outdoors as if you’re quick with the mento, it could hit a ceiling inside!
Absorbing sugar cubes
This sugar cube activity is super simple, easy to explain and very hands-on. Add some coloured water to a plate or bowl and have different materials on hand to investigate whether they stop the sugar cubes from absorbing the water.
Make this even more fun by having a prize for the tallest tower still standing at the end.
This does end up a bit of a sticky mess, so you have been warned!
Make a LEGO house and test different roof materials
Sticking with the absorbing theme, another idea is to make and test different roof materials for small LEGO houses.
We tested a selection of sticks and leaves for the children to use as the roof and then sprayed them with water to test how watertight each material was.
Another idea is to put a LEGO mini-figure inside and give a prize to the team with the driest figure at the end.
Science Magic Tricks
If you’d like a few science demonstrations at the party, impress the kids and grown-ups with these simple science tricks. There’s an unbreakable egg, butter made from cream, a skewer through a balloon, magic colour-changing flowers and more!
Baking Soda Experiments
Fun and fizzy baking soda experiments and activities go down well with kids of all ages.
The good old baking soda volcano is always popular, but there’s so much more you can do with baking soda and vinegar than just a volcano. Older children can make mini bottle rockets, exploding sandwich bags and colour changing potions, and younger children will love finding small toys in baking soda rocks!
Set up a messy potion station
Baking soda volcano
How about making erupting volcanoes for small groups of children? You could make them with papier mache, play dough, sand or even snow. If you wanted to be super organised, mini papier mache volcanoes made in advance would work brilliantly.
Lolly stick Races
Make lolly sticks shoot across a tray of water by disrupting the surface tension of the water.
This only works once, so it is better as a demonstration than individual activity.
This activity is full of awe and wonder. All you need is different coloured Skittles, a white plate and water. Sometimes you can even rescue the ‘S’ from the top of each sweet.
Fruity Boats – sink and float experiment
Make a fruity snack and then build boats from the fruit skin! Give out a prize to the child with the boat that can carry the heaviest load.
If you don’t want to use fruit, foil boats work just as well!
Everyone loves giant bubbles, and if you’ve got enough mixture and a hula hoop, you can put your guests inside one!
We use bubble mix from Dr Zigs, which is the best I’ve found.
If you want an activity that takes some time, give each child an empty bottle to decorate like a rocket and launch them at the end.
Science party bag gift ideas
Give the kids a make your own lava lamp kit ( containing a little bottle of oil, food colouring, a jar and a fizzy tablet ) in a little bag.
A little pack of Skittles with instructions for arranging them on a paper plate and covering them with water is a lovely party favour too.
Print out my paper spinner templates and give them out with a paperclip for children to make at home.
Science party food
Make pizza dough to learn about yeast and respiration, or experiment with different types of pancake mix for dessert. The basic pancake mix could be made up in advance, and the children then add the baking powder ( or not ).
For dessert, meringue towers are great fun. Use cream in between the layers and add strawberries for decoration. Or keep it super simple and melt chocolate to dip strawberries in, or if it’s a hot day, children could make s’mores in a solar oven.
I’ve got LOTS more edible experiments in my new book Snackable Science too!
Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Emma Vanstone