Lots of people ask me about parties and the best experiments to keep children entertained at a science party. Science Sparks is full of fun, safe and hands-on science investigations that would make great party activities, but here are some I think would work brilliantly for a children’s science party at home.
DIY Science Party for Kids
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. You could make a beautiful display of different coloured lava lamps and use as party favours at the end, or even give the kids a make your own lava lamp kit ( containing a little bottle of oil, food colouring, a jar and an fizzy tablet ) in a little bag.
Walk Over Oobleck
Set up a giant tray of oobleck and see if your guests dare walk across. I’d recommend doing this in the garden as it’s pretty messy, but worth it!
The infamous coke and mento trick
This one is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Drop a couple of mentos into a bottle of coke and stand back! Children can experiment to see if it works with diet drinks or different sweets?
You could also use lots of different coloured fizzy drinks and make an erupting rainbow.
The trick with the coke and mento reaction is to drop the mento in the coke 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. Just add some coloured water to a plate or bowl and have different materials on hand to investigate whether they stop the sugar cubes absorbing the water.
You could have a prize for the tallest tower? This does end up a bit of a sticky mess, so you have been warned!
Make the party food
Children could 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 just add the baking powder ( or not ).
For dessert how about making meringue and then building towers with cream and strawberries? 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!
Make a LEGO house and test different roof materials
Sticking with the absorbing theme, you could make lots of little LEGO houses and provide sticks, leaves etc for the children to use as the roof and then spray with water to test how watertight they are. Children could put a LEGO mini figure inside and give a prize to the team with the driest figure.
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 and lots more science tricks.
Baking Soda Experiments
Baking Soda experiments and activities go down well with kids of all ages, any of these 10 ideas would be great fun for everyone, there’s a lot more you can do with baking soda and vinegar than make a volcano eruption, although we like those too!
Set up a messy potion station
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 you could make mini papier mache volcanoes in advance for the children to erupt.
Explore surface tension with these fun lollystick races.
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
How about making some fruity boats and investigating how many LEGO men it takes to make them sink?
Everyone loves giant bubbles and if you’ve got enough mixture and a hula hoop you can put your guests inside one!