Even though he doesn’t turn 7 until August, a few years ago, we started having Nick‘s “friend birthday party” in June right after school ends. By August, with summer vacations still in full swing, it’s just too hard. So this weekend was the weekend. When we began planning the party a few months ago, he said he wanted something different. At this age, the kids tend to quickly get in a rut of going to the same places over and over … bowling party, inflatable jumping party, repeat. I bit the bullet and said we could have the party here. But what could we do? Quickly a Mad Scientist theme unfurled. I’ve got to say, it was fun planning this, especially since the theme is a little bit different than the usual spate of superheroes and Disney characters.
I knew exactly what I wanted the front of his invitation to look like. Ever since I first discovered this picture of Einstein years ago, it has been taped to my computer monitor, and I thought it would be perfect for his invitation … once I added the crazy googly eyes, of course. One mom, after receiving the invitation, said that she kept it turned over on her desk because it was freaking her out a little bit. Perfect!
I received a referral on a “scienceteller” for the party. He comes for an hour and spins a tale deeply rooted in science, complete with dry ice and slime experiements to boot. He had the entire room of kids (and even quite a few adults) rapt with attention for the entire hour. It was perfect and the kids definitely had a blast, learning in a very sneaky way during the whole thing. His time and experiments are planned so that each child gets to volunteer and is a part of the action, and that totally made it for them. He ended it with all the kids making slime to take home. As I picked little bits of blue sparkly slime off my carpet and pink slime off the bathroom floor, I remembered what a good time the kids, and particularly Nick, had.
Now for the decorations. The real fun. I hit the dollar store. Big time. Labs are traditionally all sterile and white. Great for them, but not so much for a little boys’ party, so I wanted to take a little liberty with color. Using the “chemicals and their combinations can be colorful” mantra to justify it, there was color. Lots of it. First, safety goggles for everyone.
Pizza and juice boxes for all, and for dessert? Decorate your own cupcakes. I baked and frosted the cupcakes ahead of time, and set out glasses with all sorts of different toppings for the kids to choose from (back in February, these very glasses held pink candy treats for Madeline’s birthday party). Being a very boy-heavy party, the worms, I’ve got to tell you, were a big hit. Particularly the glow in the dark ones.
Madeline spent her time going from Mom to Mom, to the occasional Dad, noshing on raw broccoli along the way. She tried to grab the puffs of fog and generally enjoyed being in the center of it all. Two hours later, the guests starting to leave, a little bit of clean-up and then … collapse. This is the first “friend birthday party” I’ve had at the house, and it went so well, I would definitely do it again. Now to come up with another unique idea… at least we have a year to do it!