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Science Birthday Party

(28 Posts)
Aynsam Thu 08-Nov-12 20:49:56

Hi, almost 5 year old is desperate for a science party after the science museum did a show at his school. Anyone used Mad Science or Science Boffins? Any good? Or have any other recommendations? Thanks

stealthsquiggle Fri 09-Nov-12 18:03:36

DIY? I have a whole load of good ideas (many of which were supplied by MNers)

Aynsam Fri 09-Nov-12 18:45:07

Thanks stealthsquiggle, not sure I am brave enough to do it all myself!

Floggingmolly Sun 11-Nov-12 19:54:44

I've used Science Boffins twice. First time was absolutely fantastic, I'd recommend it to anybody; the second was absolutely dire.
It's completely dependant on the actual "Boffin" you're allocated. I wouldn't mind so much, but I deliberately requested the first guy again and they substituted him on the day without notice.

Aynsam Mon 12-Nov-12 19:55:58

Hi, thanks. That's what worries me, there being no standard and it's the luck of the draw as to who you get.

Kendodd Sat 05-Jan-13 16:51:26

My DS has asked for a science party for his 6th birthday next month. We have been to a couple of science shows at museums but never a party.

I have looked on line but they cost far more than I can spend. Do you think I could do one at home myself? I don't have any sort of science background. Any advice/help welcome...please!

stealthsquiggle Sun 06-Jan-13 21:49:58

Kendodd - how many helpers could you recruit? I have some great material (from MN and elsewhere) for a DIY science party, but you do need helpers.

Kendodd Mon 07-Jan-13 11:21:32

Thank you so much for the reply.

I think three or four adults, I could try to get more. How many would I need?

stealthsquiggle Mon 07-Jan-13 12:00:22

3 or 4 sounds good, as long as you are not talking about 30+ children!

I will look out the stuff I was given, and give you a run down on what we did, when I can log on from my PC.

Kendodd Mon 07-Jan-13 12:10:07

That would be really helpful, thank you so much.

stealthsquiggle Mon 07-Jan-13 15:06:37

OK, so I have 2 minutes on my PC..

We had ~20 6 and 7 yos, and we did the following:

Invitations sent out in plastic test tubes like these (the design had bubbles all over - I can send you a copy if you want)

Activities were:

Engineering: build the best structure you can with a given number of wooden coffee stirrers, marshmallows and cheese puffs (wotsits). We "judged" them while they were eating, and awarded each one a prize (highest, widest, messiest, most creative, etc, etc) - we did the whole thing on paper tablecloths, so we drew them a circle to work in, wrote their name next to it, and wrote the award they had won on there too.

Physics: shadow lanterns, using lantern kits which I cannot now find, but you could do it with paper bags and LED tealights - get a bumper pack of foam stickers from hobbycraft or wherever, get them to stick them all on and then pop an LED tealight in. This works best if it is going to be dark by the end of the party. Alternatively, you could get something like this?

Chemistry: We made silly putty type stuff, you can also make "goo" - I can search out some instructions online if you are interested. Either one needs borax, which you may have to buy online as it is quite hard to come by now.

Finale: Definitely requires outdoor space - we got one of these and lots of bottles of different coloured cheap and nasty fizzy pop, and turned it into an "experiment" by getting the children to guess which one would go highest.

If you are seriously nuts like us - dry ice bubbles - like this or this. Again, the challenge is in sourcing the dry ice - if you live anywhere near Heathrow I can point you at the people I used (we don't - someone had to pick it up for us!)

If you explore those last two sites, you will find lots of other fun experiments which you might prefer. If you want to PM me with an email address, I also have another whole set of experiments which another MNer used for her DD's science party and sent to me.

If you want general tips on party theming, food, cake, etc for a science party then feel free to head over to this thread - I used dry ice in the cake too blush grin

stealthsquiggle Mon 07-Jan-13 15:09:48

There are a whole load more ideas here or if you just google "best science party ideas"

LotsaTuddles Mon 07-Jan-13 15:16:26

When I did the experiments badge with my beavers we did the mentos in a bottle of coke and alka seltzer rockets.

mentos in bottle of coke does what it says on the can, you put some mentos in a bottle of coke and it fizzes up like a fountain.

Alka Seltzer rockets were fun. You get those film canister from cameras (the pop on lid not twist) half fill with water, put half an alka-seltzer in, put lid on, shake it and place on flat surface upside down (lid on surface), they shoot up in the air, you can do it as a race, so all kids do it at once and see which one goes first or see which one goes the highest

Kendodd Tue 08-Jan-13 12:51:09

Thank you!!! That is all just brilliant (off to see if I can buy children's lab coats).

I'll PM you with even more thanks.

stealthsquiggle Tue 08-Jan-13 13:31:46

Some lovely kids lab coats here, but expensive.

Much cheaper ones (mostly "disposable") here

Kendodd Wed 09-Jan-13 11:42:07

Right, I have a plan.

1. They are going to make some slime, I have seen a few recipes (anyone recommend one?)

2. They are going blow up balloons using bottles and baking soda here

3. They are then going to cut the bottles and use them to blow bubbles through a sock.

4. I will them make a balloon travel across the room on a string.

5. Make our own fizzy lemonade to drink.

6. Birthday tea.

7. If the weather is good we will go outside to look through the telescope.

Maybe a space quiz and some experiments to test if they are left or right dominant. here

TheSitChewAceChien Wed 09-Jan-13 14:47:38

Sounds like a fab plan!

I'm doing a science party for DS next month, but lost my nerve and have handed over the responsibilty of the main bit to Sublime Science. <wimp>

As well as the brilliant ideas on here, I came across this blog while searching for decorations and food ideas here

Some recipes for science experiments, as well as decoration ideas.
In one picture they appear to have managed to make a big, pastel blue penis though... grin

stealthsquiggle Wed 09-Jan-13 14:53:23

Plan sounds great, OP. I will Google slime recipes later and express opinions (DD made some at an entertainer-led science party which was different to what we did)

LightningLizzie Thu 17-Jan-13 23:49:16

I was for a short time a presenter for Mad Science South East: My letter to them explains my concerns regarding their operation. Please bear in mind that MS are franchises and others may be better run.

"After considering a number of factors, I have decided to terminate my Mad Science contract.

By Christmas I had begun to realise that the amount of time that the job takes up that is over and above what is paid for (travel, setting up, trips to the office, calls to customers) does not make for a very profitable venture, when taking into account the amount of time put in: £37 wage for one party / 6 hour round trip plus 1 hour fetching kit and calling customer = £5.28 per hour)

It also then came to my attention that Mad Science are billing the customer on average twice what I am being paid for my petrol: 40p per mile charged to the customer vs 25p per mile only after the first 20 miles.

I had raised previously my concern that petrol payments in my contract had been modified to make it less favourable that to other presenters. I was told amongst other things the business could not afford more, when in fact for a trip to Kent or Buckinghamshire Mad Science will take around £40 for petrol and only give me £20 of it (which often falls short). I do not consider that this is good or honest conduct towards me or the customers, who wrongly believe the travel fee they are paying over and above the party fee goes to my travel expenses, when in fact barely half of it does.

I also felt that the ratio of presenters to children should be higher than 1: up to 25, given that potentially hazardous chemicals are involved. I am especially concerned about health and safety issues around the the dry ice, candy floss machine and the hovercraft, both of which could cause injury so easily. I believe, especially with younger children who do not perceive danger. I feel that two presenters should be present at parties with these instruments: one to entertain, and another to ensure the children are managed and away from danger. Perhaps there has never been an accident, but from the near misses I have seen already I suspect this is due to pure luck that will one day run out, and the goodwill of parents who assist, even though they have paid over £300 for someone else to take the stress."

CorrieDale Sat 29-Jun-13 18:48:18

Love the ideas here! I'm doing borax pva slime, and bath salts (washing soda food colouring and essential oils) for our harry potter party tomorrow but sorely tempted by making fizzy lemonade!

ScienceBoffins Sat 16-Nov-13 06:47:44

I was so upset to come across Floggingmolly post that I had to reply. Here at Science Boffins we pride ourselves on the quality of our service.

If you are in anyway unhappy you should have contacted us. Although this was a year ago, please get in contact if you have not already done so.

We are a band of 37 professional actors throughout the UK and Northern Ireland and we pride ourselves on the standard of service we give. One unhappy mum is one too many.

David CEO Science Boffins

VashtaNerada Sat 16-Nov-13 06:56:18

DD would love a science party! Not sure I'm a good enough parent to put all that preparation in though...

VashtaNerada Sat 16-Nov-13 06:57:12

Ohhh... zombie thread...

rocket777 Sun 29-Dec-13 23:07:18

Science parties are seriously awesome. And anything that can help inspire our kids into Science can only be a god thing.

Fizz Pop Science delivers Science Parties that are safe and great fun for all. If you want ideas talk to us on face book too we will happily give all mums net users free advise on ideas for parties if you decide to then yourself, it is the kids that are important after all.

If you really do not want to do it yourself, please give us a try we work very hard to make sure every instructor is of high quality and we also have managers in each area making sure quality is maintained, as opposed to a large workforce sporadically spread across the UK.

There are lots of ways to make Science fun at home, look around the web there are plenty of resources and fun ideas. We will soon be posting mini videos to help out with Science at home using easy to get hold of equipment, plus I will contact Mums Net nearer the time to see if we cant get these vids out to people free of charge.

in the meantime check out here for more info.

Also 10% off for anyone that quotes Mums Net :-)

Asil17 Tue 19-May-15 14:56:13

Hi there, I know this thread is quite old but just wondered if anybody had any thoughts on Mad Science vs Science Boffins for a 6th birthday party? We're based in North London. Any recent views much appreciated!

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