Experiment with this fun party for your next shindig. Kids will have so much fun, they'll forget they're learning!
Recycle Dad's old dress shirts into lab coats for guests, then pass out safely goggles and rubber gloves. Complete the smart look with an "official" scientist name tag.
Use food coloring to tint one glass of water yellow and another blue, then have kids use a dropper to race to mix up a third cup of green water.
For the final lab test, set up a make-your-own sundae station by filling plastic graduated cylinders and petri dishes with candy, cake, and cereal. Use tongs, measuring cups, and funnels as scoops.
Jumbo plastic test tubes filled with rock-candy crystals will give scientists-in-training something to study on the ride home. (We got our tubes at orientaltrading.com.)
Let out the artist inside with a dazzling display of art supplies in this theme party.
Adhere sticker letters on name tags, then display them on a Popsicle-stick easel.
What you'll need: Popsicle sticks, hot-glue gun, self-adhesive name badge with gold border, 1/2 to 1 inch sticker letters
Make it Hot-glue two Popsicle sticks together to form a V. Glue a third Popsicle stick in place to form an A, then glue the thin side of a fourth Popsicle stick just above the third to form a ledge. Using a generous amount of hot glue, attach a fifth Popsicle stick to the back to form an easel. Spell out guests' names on adhesive-backed name badges with sticker letters and rest each on an easel.
Teach the basics with the book, How to Draw, by Barbara Soloff Levy.
Pipe scribbles onto cupcakes, then add a crayon toothpick. (We got our toothpicks at thepartyworks.com.)
Inspire kids with a watercolor kit, available at party stores or crafts stores.
Let your little bookworm crack open this reading party, complete with bookplate favors!
Handwrite your invite on a library-book card, available at scrapbooking or crafts stores.
Read books aloud and have the kids take turns acting out the story.
Make bookworm brownies with icing and a gummy worm.
Print bookplates on adhesive-label paper, and give a stack to each child.
Raising a rocker? Let him get his groove on in a music-theme party that's worth singing about.
Use black tape on a white tablecloth to create a music staff. Attach paper shapes to plates to resemble notes.
What you'll need: 7 inch paper plates, craft paper, tape, pencil, scissors
Make it: Use template to cut out music note shapes from craft paper. Attach to back of plates with tape.
Play "Name That Tune" and musical chairs.
Download free "Happy Birthday to You" sheet music from sheetmusicplus.com and wrap around Drumsticks.
Blank domroo drums make a fun favor. (We found ours at orientaltrading.com.)
Originally published in the May 2010 issue of Parents magazine.