And it seems that the days of princesses and fairytales are behind us, at least for this 10-year-old. Apparently, Science is the new Cinderella.
And all playdates now involve Science experiments. As do Halloween costumes. Not surprising, therefore, that her birthday party would also have a theme along those lines.
First, though, the bad news: while brainstorming for experiments, Emily chose plenty of mixy-mixy reagent-reaction kaboomy ones, saying, "No offence, Mom, but I like Chemistry more than Physics."
I ask you: you invest all this time and passion grooming your children and what do they do? They defy you and choose their own path! Grrrrrrrrr.
But wait: the good news: I still got my way. We made circuits. Hah!
I am jumping ahead. Sorry.
As we were saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, Emily wanted a mainly Chemistry-type party. Which meant that I had zero ideas since I know squat about practical Chemistry. So we had to do research. Or, more accurately, I made Emily do the research. She came back with the usual suspects from google and library books and Other People's Mad Scientist Party blog posts: elephant toothpaste, mentos-diet-coke geysers, NaHCO3-and-vinegar volcanoes and cookies shaped like the periodic table elements and conical flasks.
And absolutely nothing wrong with dramatic.
However - unfortunately- also quite messy. Which is perfect out on the driveway on a sunny day. But we live in a part of the world where the weather plays pranks on us for fun, and I wasn't sure that, should it end up being an indoor event, I'd want 16 kids pushing the frontiers of kitchen science in my er... kitchen. Or living room. Or deck.
So we short-listed, from our extensive list, the activities that
- were only slightly messy, rather than apocalypse-messy,
- could possibly be managed in mass quantities of 16, and
- had some kind of take-home product at the end, so as to get Other People's Parents involved in dealing with the resulting mess.
And so it began.
Our guests, upon arrival, were invited to blow unbreakable bubbles
and bounce them with gloved hands. Emily found this activity online here. It really works - the gloves are what make the bubbles unbreakable and bounceable from hand to hand.
Then we had lunch. Which is what we do at all our parties.
Also ice cream pie.
And the presents - more of the -bah - non-Physics variety.
Which brought an end to the first half of the party.
The second half of the party was The Lab Experience. Everyone was ushered into our garage,
which was set up with 16 chairs around 3 tables,
on which were apparatus and concoctions for various experiments.
Everyone got a disposable aluminum tray for mess-containment,
a rack of test-tubes labeled and filled with stuff,
plastic cups, straws, paper plates, forks, popsicle sticks and instructions. Each table also was supplied with a roll of paper towels, bountiful ziptop bags and wet wipes.
We did five experiments and I got to be reprise my role of Teacher. Or, as is more politically correct, Facilitator. Here I am acting like I know what I'm talking about.
The first experiment was Regular Slime,
to which the kids got to add stuff
to make whatever color they wanted,
and add eyes or not.
The second experiment was Bubble Slime,
into which the kids stirred glitter
and thereafter blew into,
and held Size Contests.
The third was fake snow,
The fourth was edible gummy worms
in three flavors,
which, after the kids had gotten over their squeamishness,
Finally, we cleared away all the wet and sticky gunk, and brought out the circuit components,
which we assembled- even the very littlest among us -
into fiber optic lamps
which could be decorated
and taken home to sit on bedside tables and perform fancy light shows.
We sent the kids home with their creations and test-tubes, and a little recipe book
so they could
More details and recipes-for-mess in upcoming posts!