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3 STEAM-Inspired Birthday Parties

Let concepts from science, technology, engineering, art, and math inspire your child’s next party.

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Whether your child loves art and “making,” is obsessed with the planets, or is always conducting science experiments, these parties will delight.

Party Themes:

space birthday decor

Out of this World Fun

Explore the Wonders of Space

Set kids off on an interstellar journey through the galaxy. This theme allows kids to expand their imagination while learning more about the universe and planets. Kids will make a slimey take-home craft, enjoy a stellar cake, and leave the party ready to color the universe.

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» Decorations

Space-themed decorations can be found at many party, craft, or big box stores or on Amazon. To completely customize the day, invite your kiddos to make planets, stars, and other galaxy shapes of their own. Simply cut out the shapes, and let the kids’ imaginations guide the way. String their creations together to make a banner, or tape them all over the walls and ceiling of the party space.

» Food

Set out an assortment of sandwiches cut into rockets, stars, and moons using intergalactic cookie cutters, available on Amazon. Using a melon baller, cut out spheres of fruit and allow kids to make their own edible solar systems on a skewer. For an assortment of sweet “planets,” poke skewers in donut holes and dip them in premade frosting. (Put a scoop of the frosting in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 10-second intervals until it becomes a drizzling consistency. You can also add a drop of food coloring to make colorful planets.)

A custom galaxy cake adorned with planets and an astronaut made from fondant, like this one from Cake Crumbs Bakery and Cafe in Park Hill, makes an out-of-this-world centerpiece for the party.

» Fun

This colorful galaxy slime from thebestideasforkids.com doubles as an activity and a take-home favor. Have slime ingredients portioned and ready for kids to assemble, with adult supervision.

Supplies Needed:

Instructions:

This recipe will make four different slimes that will then be molded together to make a galaxy themed mix. To make each:

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  1. Pour one 6-ounce bottle of glitter glue into a large bowl.
  2. Add ½ tablespoon of baking soda and mix.
  3. Slowly add in contact lens solution. Knead and mix thoroughly.
  4. Take slime out of the bowl and knead for a few minutes.
  5. Combine all four colors to form your “galaxy.”

» Favors

Let kids continue their journey into space with a small bag filled with a pocket-size space-themed coloring book and a mini pack of crayons. (Spectacular Space! mini space party coloring books from Amazon, $9 for a pack of 12.) Or, give out a few “planets” to take home—super high bounce balls, marbles, or gum balls.


maker birthday decor

Mighty Maker Birthday

Hands-on Fun for a Creative Party

Kids are naturally creative and this party theme brings out the maker in all ages. Invite your child’s closest friends for an afternoon of designing and inventing together. Give guests a taste of the creativity to come by sending a clever pop-up invite or puzzle invitation that kids need to assemble to uncover the party details. If crafting, inventing, or building are your child’s jam, then this is the party for them.

» Decorations

Lay the foundation for an ultra-creative, and stress-free, party by protecting the area around the crafting table. Lay a large clear plastic tarp on the floor under the party table to give kids the freedom to snip, glue, and glitter to their heart’s content without the worry of cleaning a big after-party mess. Just roll up the tarp at the end of the day. To inspire guests as they create, hang copies of blueprints, vector drawings, artwork, and da Vinci’s invention sketches along with the balloons and streamers. Greet each guest with an apron that they can personalize using fabric markers. This will keep everyone occupied as they wait for the other guests to arrive.

» Food

Continue the creative fun by setting up a do-it-yourself pizza bar. Premade crusts from the grocery store make it easy to get each child started. Set out pizza toppings like pepperoni, sausage, black olives, and mushrooms, and throw in some extras like sliced green, red, and yellow peppers, pineapple, purple onion, and halved cherry tomatoes for kids to make faces or scenes on their pies.

» Fun

Pick one or two of the activities below to entertain party guests or set up a series of Maker Stations, with one activity at each, that guests can choose from:

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» Favors

Send each “maker” home with a bag filled with creative goodies, such as a colorful roll of duct tape, a square of baking clay, crayons, small scissors, a kneaded eraser, and glue or glue stick, or look for small arts and crafts or model kits. The UGears U-Fidget Tribiks are great for older kids and come in packs of four 3D models for $10.


mad science birthday food decor

Mad Science Party Lab

Follow this Formula for Explosive Fun

A science party is fun for kids of all ages. Transform your party space into a “lab” and treat young scientists to an afternoon of scientific exploration. Hands-on experiments add an element of fun, while an atomic food spread fuels kiddos. Everyone leaves with a special test tube treat, and a big smile.

» Decorations

Turn your home into a mad science party lab. Cover surfaces with white tablecloths to create a clean environment for experimental fun. Fill glass beakers with water and food coloring, then add a bit of dry ice to them for an explosive effect. To create a birthday bunting, spell your child’s name using chemical elements from the periodic table—think As H Er for Asher or La U Re N for Lauren. Complete the look with balloon “atom” clusters. To make these, first create a nucleus by tying balloons together and attach a few thin sculpture balloons around the outside, then hang with fishing wire around the room.

» Food

There’s no “food” allowed in a lab, but a party lab wouldn’t be complete without a few sweet treats. Take inspiration from things you might find in a real science lab and make desserts science-y: laboratory cookies using cookie cutters in the shape of atoms, beakers, and test tubes; petri dish snacks using Jell-O and gummy worms; edible lab “rats” made from white chocolate in a candy mold. In lieu of a large cake, create a giant “molecule” display out of cupcakes connected with colorful licorice to resemble bonds.

» Fun

No one can enter the party lab without wearing proper safety gear. When guests arrive, hand them a white lab coat and safety goggles—these can be ordered in bulk on Amazon. Make up little ID badges with each child’s name, or let them decorate their own. Set up experiment stations around the lab: think hands-on projects like balloon chemistry (create a chemical reaction to inflate a balloon using just an empty water bottle, baking soda, and vinegar); a build-your-own-molecule station using toothpicks, gumdrop candy, and marshmallows; or make lava lamps using water, vegetable oil, food coloring, and fizzy antacid tablets in empty one-liter soda bottles (find instructions for these experiments and more with a quick search online). If you’d rather have someone else handle the experiment fun, book a live demo through Mad Science of Colorado; they’ll come to your party venue and entertain kids with an assortment of interactive experiments.

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» Favors

Send each partygoer home with their own test tube “specimen.” Fill plastic test tubes (found on Amazon) with various treats and attach a little thank-you note to each.

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