Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mad Scientist/Halloween Birthday Party

For my 11-year-old son's birthday, we hosted a very small Mad Scientist/Halloween party. Four of our family friends' children joined us for the event. With my two boys, that made a perfect size party for this type of event. 

We started by experimenting with cake batter. I made a white cake mix and divided it into six bowls. We colored each division of the batter a different color. I poured the batter into six separate ziplock bags. 


Then I cut a little tip from each of the bags. The kids took turns creating their own masterpieces in the cupcake pans. 

We placed them in the oven according to the package directions.

When they were done, the kids frosted and decorated their cupcakes. 

Meanwhile they ate mummy dogs (Little hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls.) To make these, I used a package of crescent rolls, cutting each triangle into three pieces before rolling them in the mini hot dogs.
Another appetizer was beef stick and cheese kabobs. I got the Halloween toothpicks from Amazon for under $2. 

The kids also snacked on a veggie skeleton. (I found this idea on Pinterest :)) 


For the cake, I started with a 9X13 inch cake pan. I cut off some of the top to resemble a beaker. I cut it in half and transferred the cake to a sheet cake pan covered in tin foil. 

The worst part of this cake was getting the frosting to stay without getting crumbs spread through the frosting. If I had to do this again, I would make homemade cake decorating frosting (1/2 cup crisco, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 3 tablespoons milk). Place a thin layer of that frosting on the cake, without worrying about the crumbs. That will harden after 20 minutes or so and your regular frosting will go on a lot smoother. The bubbles at the top of the beaker are green sixlets I found in the baking section at Wal-Mart. The green on the cake is colored frosting, and the black is black food gel. 

Each kid picked out a Halloween tattoo to be placed on their cup. This worked so well! They didn't need a new cup every time they got a drink. 


The kids really enjoyed the experiments we did. 
The first one was slime. I found this recipe online. (http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/slime.htm)
In one bowl, combine 1/2 cup of white glue and 1/2 cup of water. Add your choice of food coloring. (A couple of drops is all you need.) 
In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of borax powdered detergent with 1 cup of water. Slowly pour the glue mixture in the borax mixture. Stir until a sticky dough forms. Pull out the dough and work it in your hands. (Don't worry if there is excess water in the bottom of your bowl.) The more the kids worked it with their hands, the less sticky it became. They each took home a little baggie of the slime. 

Next I gave them a box of toothpicks and a bowl of spice drops to create spice drop molecules. They were very creative with their designs! 



The next experiment didn't go as well as we hoped, but it was still a lot of fun. 
We found a recipe for erupting playdough. (http://www.housingaforest.com/erupting-fall-playdough/) It didn't erupt as much as the kids were hoping for, and it was quite sticky, but they enjoyed getting their hands messy. 

The recipe:
1/2 cup glue
1/2 cup baking soda
3 Tablespoons dish soap
3 Tablespoons flour
We also added some pumpkin pie spice for a fall scent. 
It probably would have worked better if I mixed it with a spoon, but that would have taken away all the laughs they had while they got their hands messy. 

 They placed their blog on a baking sheet and made designs with food coloring and spices. Then we added vinegar to the blog and watched each volcano bubble.



To make up for the weak explosions they saw with their volcanoes, we created baking soda/vinegar popping bags. 

I cut a piece of paper towel into four pieces. 

I placed 1 1/2 tablespoons of baking soda in each piece of paper towel. I folded up the paper towel. 
In a quart-size ziploc bag, I added 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of water. I sealed each bag as much as I could and still slide the paper towel through the top. Holding the paper towel so it didn't fall in the liquid, I sealed the rest of the bag. 
The kids then took the bag, dropped the paper towel in the liquid, shook it and threw it on the ground. The bag immediately expanded. (The bag got huge and very hard.) When we released a little bit of the air, it popped.) 
 To make things a little more exciting, we went outside and doubled the vinegar and water in each bag and dropped baking soda paper towel packets. With this amount of mixture, the bag popped on its own, so be sure to do this outside or in the sink.

While we were outside, we performed the Mentos and Diet Coke volcano experiment. This was a crowd favorite! My family had done this many times. Here is a link on my page for that experiment: http://workingmomwonders.blogspot.com/2013/06/volcano-experiment.html

When the kids came inside, we played the mystery feel game. I had three buckets they passed around trying to guess what the contents were. I had cooked, cold spaghetti for brains, peeled grapes for eyeballs, and dried apples for witch ears. 


Each kid took home a goody bag: 
airheads, nerds, gummy worms, eyeball bouncy balls, Halloween tattoos, stickers, Halloween bracelets, glow sticks, Halloween-theme rubber ducks, and their slime.