February 1, 2008

New Party Ideas

teaching about worms

I've been doing these crazy science parties for over a year now and ready to make some changes. Brian's doing an amazing job of helping create a better looking website for Science Explorers. I just need to put some finishing touches and work on the layout a bit (it seems a bit busy to me). With the site change I also raised my prices. I'm a little nervous about that, but I figure I'm still at the very bottom of the price list for b-day party entertainment in Manhattan and I have a lot of great experience now.

I think I'm also ready to create some new party themes (with a science focus still...of course). Two main ideas I'm playing with in my head are: Colors (for the little kids) and Air. When I was teaching I did a class with the 3-4 year olds on colors and it was one of their favorite classes.

Here's a quick brainstorm of activities for each:

COLORS!
--combine primary colors (colored water) into ice cube trays to see how many different colors they can get (using large, plastic test tube and pipettes)
--overlay and glue primary colored tissue paper onto transparencies and hold up to light to see the colors they make
--use washable markers and color coffee filters and let soak in water to run the colors then turn the coffee filter into a butterfly
--take black pens on coffee filters and let the water soak up filter making the black marker bleed and revealing the various colors in the black (you can usually see purple, blue, pink, orange/brown)
--the milk magic experiment. See it on YouTube under Got Milk.

AIR!
A lot of my inspiration for this party came from Steve Spangler's appearance on The Ellen Show. I LOVED the air canons and then he added the smoke and it was absolutely fantastic! So, here are some of ideas for a party:

--float a beach ball on a fan/leaf blower
-use a cordless/electric leaf blower might be best
--have the kids blow out (hard) of a funnel with a ping-pong ball and the ball will stay inside
--make toilet paper fly
--blow up a large bag with one breath of air
--use air canons to knock down targets
--fill air canons with smoke and blow smoke rings
--blow up bubbles with dry ice vapor

I think the tricky part with some of these ideas is figuring out how to make them work with a large group. Or do I limit this particular theme to only 10 kids or so. I think it would need a pretty big space as well--which isn't always possible in Manhattan.

Some other ideas I just remembered that would be more demonstrations are:

plunger stuck to the table
crush soda cans with air pressure (doesn't always work and need a hot plate)
mash marshmallows with air pressure

I might be able to put together a fun party with magnets...I'll have to consider that one as well.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like fun! Can I come? I always remember the Mr. Wizard trick where he sucked a hard-boiled egg into a bottle by burning up a piece of newspaper. That would be a great air experiment for kids.

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  2. I applauded you...! How wonderful that you are expanding young minds making science fun.

    Reminds me of my time spent with my dad with a chemistry set I had for Christmas when I was 10
    (I think most girls were into Cindy/Barbie dolls)

    Keep up the good work!

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