It's always rewarding to see your children grow and flourish when they enter a new grade. Back to school season is an especially exciting time: it's a new school year, an opportunity to meet new friends, and a time for new learning experiences! Whether your kids are just settling into their classrooms or have their school routine down, there's no wrong time to celebrate learning and education.
I couldn't be more excited to be writing for Nellie's Free Range Eggs to share some inspiration for your next science themed party, complete with yummy snacks and hands-on experiments (or should I say eggsperiments?) for kids of all ages. These ideas are great for weekend playdates, birthdays, and beyond, and they'll keep everyone motivated and excited about science throughout the school year.
A little bit about my own children: my oldest son, Connor, is nine, which means he started fourth grade this year! It's going to be a busy time for him as he begins meeting with multiple teachers each week. Connor was accepted into his school's Hyper Accelerated Math program, so in addition to his two primary teachers, he meets with a H.A.M instructor each morning. He's also in the Gifted and Talented program at school (it's his third year in the program!), so he spends a full day learning with a G.T. teacher weekly. Connor absolutely loves school and learning new things! He has a passion for math and science, and we both love the fact that his school has made STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) such a big part of the curriculum.
As for my daughter, she just started kindergarten...pinch me! If you're a parent, you probably have the same thought that I do every school day: where did the time go? I'm so excited to see Claire continue to grow and become curious about different subjects. She spent two years learning about robotics, and it was in this class that she developed an appreciation for science and technology. I couldn't be prouder, and I can't wait to see where kindergarten takes her.
It goes without saying that Connor and Claire were both super excited to help me set up this science themed party. They had so much fun experimenting with eggs and sharing their findings. We all learned something new!
Science themed d√©cor
To set the scene, I created a colorful science- and school- inspired tablescape with colorful pencils, beakers full of party beverages, apples, test tubes filled with candy, and paper plates with gridlines that look just like a graph paper notebook! For the backdrop, I made a colorful garland by stringing and taping balloons together. Then, I used wooden hoops, mini balloons, and string to make atom decorations. When I hung them above the table, they really completed the whole look!
STEM egg experiments
Once your living room or dining area is set up and the kids have arrived, kick off your science themed party with these eggsperiments! They'll teach your children about everything from force and pressure to osmosis in a fun and hands-on way.
Walking on eggshells
My daughter bravely volunteered to try walking on eggshells. She was a little worried about cracking the eggs at first, but she carefully stood up on top of them, and you could see the excitement in her eyes when she exclaimed, "this SO much fun!" If you would like to try your hand (or foot) at walking on eggshells, inspect all of your eggs first to make sure they're free of cracks. The eggs need to be set in the carton the same way up to create an even surface area for your body weight to spread over. Once you've done that, place your feet flat on eggs so that your body weight is spread evenly across all 24 of them. Check out the full step-by-step instructions from Five Marigolds to execute this experiment successfully!
The stain experiment
For this experiment, I filled up drinking glasses with grape juice, soda, and water, then placed an egg in each glass. When you give this one a try, make sure each egg is completely covered by liquid. Let them sit overnight, and ask the kids what they think will happen to each egg. The next morning, check out the results! The egg in the grape juice will have a slight stain on the shell, while the egg that sat in water will look intact. Depending on the color of the soda you used, the egg that sat in soda might be stained or appear untouched. This is a great way to help kids visualize the effects that certain drinks have on our teeth!
Creating a naked, bouncy egg
Before you try this experiment, ask the kids what they think will happen to eggs soaked in vinegar for 24 hours. My son and daughter were wowed by the result: naked, bouncy eggs. They were amazed to see that the shell dissolved completely! Watch them play with their bouncy eggs:
After my kids were done with their eggsperiments, they wanted something to keep them in. That's when the idea came to me: eggsperiment cartons! I designed printables that you can download, print, and affix to empty Nellie's Free Range Egg cartons. My son and daughter were so excited to organize their eggs and show them off in a neat way!
Science themed party snacks
After all this learning and experimenting, the kids are sure to be hungry. Now's the time to usher them over to the table where they can sit down, relax, and enjoy a few snacks. Keep the spread simple by making individual snack cups filled with brain food. Fruits, veggies, popcorn, veggie chips, and mini egg salad sandwich bites were all part of my selection.
Banana oat chocolate chip muffins recipe
To add something sweet yet nutritious to your snack table, look no further than these banana oat chocolate chip muffins. They're filled with goodness, free from refined sugar, and made with my favorite eggs: Nellie's Free Range. These muffins truly are the perfect after school snack, especially when you've got a group of tired and hungry kids and just a few hours between now and dinner. Best of all, you can make them ahead and defrost in the microwave a few minutes before serving so they taste like they're fresh from the oven.
- 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 4 Nellie's Free Range Eggs
- 6 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/5 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats, plus extra for topping
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spray 2 muffin tins (recipe makes 20 muffins) with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and maple syrup until well combined. Add eggs and mix well. Mix in the mashed bananas, milk, baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add flour and oats to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small a pinch each of oats, then bake muffins for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Finally, get your muffins ready for the party by dressing them up with my printable science muffin toppers.
I hope you feel inspired to invite a few of your kids' classmates over for a playdate or party. Any opportunity to learn is an opportunity for fun!
Did you throw a science themed party? Tag your photos with #nelliesfreerange so we can see! Or click here to see our other themed parties in the series. And don't forget to check out Twinkle Twinkle Little Party for more inspiration.