Thursday, June 28, 2012

Experiments for a Sparkly Science Party

The party is coming up in less than two weeks, and I STILL have not settled on the experiments we will do!  The internet can be too much of a good thing, I keep finding great ideas and options!  Here's what I have so far:

1.) Sparkly Explosions.  I definitely want to do the vinegar and baking soda experiment.  We've never done it for Serenity before, and she'll especially love it if we give her the option of personalizing it with a little glitter and food coloring!  I expect a lot of pink and purple volcanoes from her =)  We've playtested this one so we know exactly what we will need to have on hand, which is basically a giant bag of baking soda, gallons of vinegar, food coloring and glitter.  Plus I plan to have clean soda bottles for each child to make their own, and possibly trays to contain some of the spills.  Supply wise I also got some plastic squirt bottles to make it easier to get the vinegar in the bottles, funnels, and beakers.  I know we need a lot of vinegar because when we play-tested it I kept pouring more and more vinegar into mine, it was such fun!

2.) Glitter Jars.  This will be a fun take home for all the kids, with the benefit of a little science.  I still need to test and figure out which method is best.  The one I'm leaning toward uses distilled water and glycerin, plus glitter and sequins to make the glitter jar.  The science part is that the glycerine is denser than water so it slows down the glitter and makes it settle slower.  From the pictures I've seen, this may be quicker to settle than the other option. 

The other recipe I've found involves glue, or possibly glitter glue and food coloring.  I love the look of these bottles, but you need warm water to melt the glue and I'm not sure how easy that will be to work when I'm making 13 or so bottles with kids ages 3 and up.  Hence the play testing.  I do have funnels for getting the glitter in the bottles, and maybe I'll get little tongs or tweezers to transfer sequins.  Everyone can personalize this with their own color, glitter, and sequin choices.  I also need to hot glue the lids shut or duct tape them.

3.) Mentos and Diet Coke.  I immediately thought of this when we decided on the science party, but then I worried it would make a huge mess in my yard.  But I saw pictures of one family that managed to do it in their driveway without even getting slime on their car so I'm going to go for it.  Now, I just want to find out if this will work with diet Cherry 7-up, because neon pink geysers are perfect for our Sparkly Science Party!

Other possibilities I'm still considering:
4.) Homemade Gak.  With glitter.  Possibly just as a favor instead of an experiment.
5.) Marker Chromatography.  Serenity's Grandma actually does Chromatography experiments for her real job, so this would be really cool!  If it works.
6.) Peeling the S off a skittle. Fun!
7.) Balloon Rockets 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

For Science! :ID Badges

Tonight's project for Serenity's Science birthday party was to make ID badges.  After a little Photoshop experimenting, I ended up with these! 

Thanks to the lovely Oriental Trading, I have ID badge holders, so everyone will have appropriate identification to enter the lab. =)  Took awhile but I think I found id pictures for everyone that rsvp'd to the party =)  It's the first time I've ever asked for an rsvp instead of just asking everyone I invited... we'll see if it works! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Easy Class Birthday Treats

Serenity is a summer baby, so the last month of school her teachers let us pick a day to bring in treats.  They sang Happy Birthday and she was SO happy!  She asked for donuts, so here's what I did to make it super easy for me and for her teachers!

I bought donut holes, and put individual servings into these little plastic cups along with a napkin.  That way everyone got the same thing, it was easy to pass out, and they had a napkin for clean up right there!  One of her teachers commented that it was the fastest birthday treat ever.  =)  The kids got more time at recess to run off the sugar.  To make it cute, I printed little labels that said "Serenity is almost 4! that I cut out with my circle cutter.  I really need a circle punch.  Maybe for my birthday =) 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Teacher Gifts

I was in charge of a group gift for our teachers this year!  So I decided to make little flower arrangements and wrap the vase with colored pencils.  My daughter has five teachers so I bought a bulk pack of colored pencils from Amazon, and they're just attached with rubber bands and ribbons so they can still be used!  I love a useful and cute present.  They also got Amazon gift cards, and I made a little card in photoshop using all the kids pictures that I received.  Here it is in case you want to use a similar idea!  Next year, since I'm so late posting this =)
 Just little circles on a grid in photoshop, so easy and they loved it =) 

And here are the flowers

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Serenity's Sparkly Science Birthday: The Invitation!

Here's a sneak peak at Serenity's Fourth Birthday party!  Science was her favorite thing about preschool this year, every day the only thing I'd hear about school was whether she was in the "first science" or if she had to wait and be in the "next science."  Added to that her love of all things that begin with the same letter as her name, we are having a Sparkly Science party!  Here's the invite I created in photoshop:

The paper was purchased on Etsy from JazzyPatterns. 

We're planning out the experiments now!  It's going to be FUN!  And Sparkly!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Constructing the Water Wall

Building your own water wall is SO easy.  And it doesn't have to cost much.  The key ingredient is the plastic guttering.  It's perfect to pour water down, and to direct the water towards your buckets.  AND, it's just right for ball pit balls!  So you can have fun with balls and water.  The only trick to this is, if you don't have a trailer, you have to bring something with you to Lowe's to cut your guttering!  The people there I asked didn't have a way to cut it for me.  So, my Dad had to come help.  The gutter is just five dollars for a ten foot piece, so I just needed one! We cut it in thirds, I drilled a few holes in it, and attached it to my lattice using zip ties.  Zip ties rock.  When I worked in wedding decor, I could do anything with a few zip ties.  Like MacGuyver =) 

I chose to use the plastic lattice and zip ties so it would be easy if we want to adjust the water wall, or add new things later.  We screwed a few two by twos into the fence so the lattice would stick out from the wall just enough to make it easy to hook things into it. 

Here's a list of the water features, mostly purchased from the dollar store:

Plastic tubing (from Lowes)
Empty Bottles and Milk Jugs (from the recycling bin =)  I jazzed these up with some aqua colored duct tape.

My husband and I had a blast setting it up so the water would run through all different paths.  Some of the tubing is loose so the kids can fill the funnel and then direct it either down the guttering or through a pinwheel or at each other.  The pinwheel is really fun because it sprinkles you when it spins.  I put a little food coloring in the water so the kids could see it go through the tubes and gutters.  Such fun!  And when they are older I bet they like making up their own water walls, and this will be easy to change!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Donovan's Birthday... We had a ball!

My baby turned one last week!  I can't believe a whole year has gone by.  He's grown and changed so much.  He's talking now and his very first word was "Ball!"  His second word, you wonder?  It was "Roll!"  So of course, his party had to have a ball theme.  I saw an adorable red ball birthday on Hostess with the Mostess, and took some inspiration from that to create this invitation, to set the tone.

His other favorite thing right now, is taking a bath.  Whenever he hears water running, or the word bath, or even if we leave the bathroom door open, he starts running across the house yelling, "Ba! Ba!  Baf!!"  It's the cutest little shriek ever.  So I chose beach balls, and a water party!  Here's a link to the pinterest board I created for this party:

Here's the party plan:

Balls:  I ordered three dozen beach balls from Oriental Trading.  The look on the birthday boy's face when he saw the huge pile of balls was the perfect moment =) 

Water: I built a water wall for our backyard!  This project was so easy to do, and all the kids love it!  When I spend money for a party I try to make it something that we will get a lot of use for, like the rainbow tent I bought for Serenity's birthday last year which kept us cool the rest of the insanely hot summer.  So I invested a little money in the water wall, and it was perfect for the party, and we're still using it!  I made the banner out of cardstock, duct tape and a ruffle made of streamers!  So inexpensive and cute =) 

Water & Balls:  For favors I made homemade sponge balls.  The kids had a blast soaking each other with these!

Basically we just played in the backyard with all these fun things.  I turned on the sprinkler, my dad got the kids a water slide for their birthday gift and everyone enjoyed splashing in that!  I made olympic style hoops for the kids to throw the beach balls through (My nephews ended up diving through them themselves instead!).  I filled a second kiddie pool with water and ball pit balls for the younger group to enjoy.  We also used our parachute to play with the beach balls a bit.  And that was it!  Nothing else required for the kids to have a blast.  =) 

Donovan's favorite food is pizza (almost the first food he'd eat, he ignored purees for three solid months!)  With the help of my fabulous sister I made pizza crusts the night before, so the day of all I had to do was top and heat through.  We also had a lot of fruit and a veggie tray. 

Donovan's smash cake was a ball!  Literally.  He didn't know whether to eat it or throw it.  Or roll it, or kick it, he tried all three!  It was adorable, and I love the icing on his little foot.  He enjoyed eating a cupcake more later, but he loved his ball!  He went nuts when he saw it, reaching for it and yelling, "Ball, ball, ball!"  I love it =)  For everyone else, I did snickerdoodle cupcakes and chocolate cake balls.  And we had icee pops because it was a hot day, and they are a necessity!
Ball!  Ball!  Ball!

Notice the blue icing on my arm... White shirt and blue cake, I am a genius.

For my daughter's first birthday, we had everyone read her a story and collected it into a birthday dvd that she still watches.  Donovan already loves her dvd, so we wanted him to have his own.  This time though, we gave everyone the option of either reading a book, or singing!  Donovan especially loves dancing.  He has a Laurie Berkner dvd that is the only tv he really watches.  So at his party, we had everyone do the Hokey Pokey for his birthday dvd!  And they sang Happy Birthday, of course.  We also collected videos from friends and family that live out of town, so he can watch all of them as well. 

In addition to the sponge balls and beach balls that everyone took home, we have a tradition of fishing at our birthday parties.  We collect little toys from the Dollar Store and Michael's and everyone takes turn fishing for a prize!  My dad built us a little dock to fish from, we made the pole out of bamboo, and we use a big blue tarp for the water.  It's a big hit every time! 

Birthday Outfit:

Oh, I nearly forgot, I made Donovan a special outfit to wear!  I just took a tie-dyed t-shirt and used my Silhouette and flocked heat transfer material to put a number 1 on it!  Then I did a running stitch in embroidery thread to embellish it.  I love how it turned out, so quick and cute!  I also made him a birthday hat, that he likes to pretend to wear until I get the camera out, then he pulls it off!  Of course =)  But it was easy and he loves to say hat so it works.  Here's the best pic I got of it =)

Whew!  Can you see why I've been too busy to post?  =)  I'll try and be better now!  More on Saturday!

It's been awhile!

It's been two months since I posted!  What on earth have I been doing?  I guess I've been too busy crafting to post about it!  Both of my children have birthdays right around now, so I have some fun party stuff to share.  Plus our teacher gifts, and our summer plan, and so much more!  I'll be back later today with Donovan's Birthday Ball!