Science Party

Scientific Sleepover -8yr- Acids and Bases




Johanna in Gastonia NC USA


February 2005



For my son's 8th. birthday we had a SCIENTIFIC SLEEPOVER BIRTHDAY PARTY! A total of 8 boys would attend the party.

INVITATIONS: We made invitations on the computer out of cardstock using science, flashlight, moon and stars clipart.  We wrote COME TO _______'S SCIENTIFIC SLEEPOVER BIRTHDAY PARTY.  IT WILL BE A BLAST!!  On the invitation we specified the date and time of dropoff, as well as the next day pickup.  We asked them to bring their essentials like, sleeping bags, pillows, p.j. bottoms, toothbrushes, etc. 

DECORATIONS:  We decorated with balloons and streamers of neon green, neon orange and neon blue as well as plastic tablecloths for each of the stations, cups, plates, etc.  As the boys arrived we had our son greet them and show them his room where they would be sleeping.  This too was decorated with streamers and balloons in form of a canopy.  We made signs that read ELECTRICITY, GAS, MOTION, STRUCTURES, CHEMICALS in neon colors.  INTRODUCTION AND RULES: We then proceeded to explain to the boys what we would be doing as well as the house rules.  Things like, no shouting, no fooling around with the ingredintes of the experiments, no jumping on furniture, no running, no wrestling, etc.  DRESS THEM UP:  We gave them each lab coats and goggles to wear.  My husband works with chemicals for years and has a few of these.  I hemmed them up so the boys would not trip over them.  Couldn't find any childsize coats. 

1) WASH HANDS: We put some oil in the boys hands and asked them to try and wash it off.  When they couldn't we put some soap in their hands and explained that the soap was an emulsifier, it surrounds the oil, forming an emulsion and can wash down the drain.

2) MAKE DINNER: Pizza: We bought pre-made pizza dough and sauce and had them make their own pizzas.  They had a choice of toppings such as cheese, pepperoni, ham, pineapple, etc.  We explained that as the dough got warmer, tiny bubbles of gas form in the mixture and grow larger.  The dough surrounding these bubbles became permanently set as the protein from the eggs coagulated with the heat.  The combination of leavening agents and acid forms carbon dioxide, causing the pizza to rise.  Flour power streghthens the walls of these bubbles, so the pizza doesn't fall apart when taken out of the oven.  As the pizzas were baking we continued to our next experiment. 

3) GUMDROP DOME:  We had them make gumdrop domes.  They loved doing this!  You can find the complete instructions on www.pbskids.com.  We explained the reasons domes support weight due to their structure, ect. And compared them to eggs. They were allowed to eat a couple of gumdrops so they wouldn't spoil dinner.

4) DESSERT/BIRTHDAY CAKE: After they ate their pizza, we had the boys make Baked Alaska. You can find the recipe online. Very simple to do, but amazing to the kids!  I had taken some of the steps before the party in order to save on time, but had them make and spread the merengue. We explained that the icecream did not melt, since eggwhites are poor conductors of heat.  We then sang happy birthday to my son and ate dessert. 

5) ACIDS AND BASE: (Adults only) Before the party: Boil a cup of shredded red cabbage until water is dark.  Strain it and dilute with water until medium purple. We poured some to this liquid in six glasses.  The purple water will show if something is an acid or it is a base.  If the water turns pink the liquid is and acid.  If it turns blue it is a base.  Have the kids guess what color the water will turn.  We used baking soda (turned green); bleach (turned yellow); sprite (turned lighter purple); etc. They enjoyed this very much. 

6) CHEMICAL LAB: We had them make Flubber: Give each child a disposible cup and a popsicle stick.  In each cup mix 1 Tbs. of water, 2 Tbs. of glue, food coloring, 2 Tbs. of borax water (1 quart of water plus 1 Tbs. of borax). Explain: glue molecules are long and stringy and borax hooks them together.  With dry hands they can form this into a ball that bounces!  Very cool!

7) ELECTRICAL LAB: Static Electricy: Each child needs a balloon and empty soda can. Have them blow up and rub the balloon on their heads. Put the soda can on a flat surface and see if the can moves.  It does!  Have them stick the balloon to the wall as well.  Explain: Molecules are charged (+ and =).  Normally, if they equal each other they are neutral. If one type moves, it makes electricity. Objects with opposite charge attract each other and objects with the same charge will move apart. 

8) MOTION: You will need 1 glass, business card 1 penny. With this experiment you explain why we wear seatbelts.  Place the index card over glass evenly, place coin in center and flick the card end with your finger.  If all is positioned correctly (not hard to do) the coin should fall into the glass.  Explain The Law of Inertia. 

9) GAS:  Suck an egg into a jar: You need a hardboil egg, baby food jar, boiling water. Show the kids how the egg will not fit in the jar on its own.  Now, fill the jar with hot water and let sit for 2 minutes.  Pour the water out and immediately set the egg in the opening.  The egg will end up inside the jar.  Explain:  hot air expands and takes up space as the air inside the jar cools it contracts and pulls the egg, while the outside air pushes it down. 

10) SCIENTIFIC TREASURE HUNT: After the experiments we had the kids go on a treasure hunt. We split the kids into two teams.  One adult per team.  Gave them a clue sheet where we specified 7 rooms in the house, each one with a clue.  For example: Family Room - This body of water takes up 2/3 of the Earth's surface.  We placed two clues (one for each team) on a painting of the ocean.  The clues were scrambled up words that kids had to unscramble and form a sentence that finally led them to the hiding place of the treasure.  In our case the sentence read:  The treasure is in the clothes dryer.  The first team to find the treasure would win a prize. The treasures were T-Shirts I made with transfers printed with the cliparts of the invitations and flashlights.  By this time it was 9:30 p.m.and we had them get into their p.j. pants and T-shirts.  They then opened the presents.  After this, they watched movies like Flubber with Robin Williams and Honey, I Shrunk Ourselves.  They had popcorn and chips during this time.  Lights out was at midnight.  They continued to talk in the dark (with theirr flashlights), giggle and tell scary stories and jokes.  They finally fell asleep aroung 2:00 A,M.! 

11) BREAKFAST:  The next day the boys were up at 7:00 A.M.  We made pancakes and Berry Smoothies.  They changed into their clothes and we proceeded to do the last experiment of the party. 

12) ROCKET BLAST: Do this outside. You need a film canister (Fiji) construction paper, tape, baking soda and vinegar.  Cover the canister with construction paper and make a nose cone by cutting a circle and twist the paper into a cone shape.  Tape the cone to the bottom side of the tube.  Put some baking soda into the canister and some vinegar and cover qickly.  Place the canister with the lid down and cone pointing up.  Get ready for blast off! 

READY TO GO HOME: After this we had the kids have free play. 

GOODIE BAGS: For these I made  Epsom Salt Crystal Garden Kits (found online); made a Grossology Experiment and Recipe Book, which included 10 recipes and experiments like slime, grow you own fungus, edible poop cookies, etc. (found online), some candy, scientific stickers, pipettes and plastic beakers.  A lot of planning, but well worth the trouble.  My son and his friends had a great time!

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