Birthday Party: Science Theme

Use our recipes and décor ideas to help transform a party space into a laboratory.

By: Rae Friis

If you’re looking for a birthday party theme that’s both doable and fun — and appropriate for both boys and girls — consider throwing a science-themed party. Bring in “elements” that the kids will love, showing off the knowledge they’ve learned in school.

Periodic Table Sugar Cookies
Simply transform plain sugar cookies — cut into squares and frosted — into the periodic table of elements. Include an atomic number and abbreviation of various elements, and then arrange them out to resemble the periodic table.

Tip: Frost the cookies before guests arrive and have them build the table as a fun party activity.

Test Tube Snacks
Fit small candies or snacks inside a test tube. Fill some up and set out for the hungry scientists or add a stopper to the top and give away as a party favour.

Tip: Consider using plastic test tubes to avoid broken glass accidents.

Beaker Drinks
Serve drinks out of chemistry beakers for a festive (and fun) touch. If you can’t find any, there is an easy way to DIY — buy clear plastic cups and use a black marker to make measurement lines.

String Cheese Helix
Cheddar and mozzarella string cheese (the kind that is twisted together) has a strong resemblance to a double helix, making it the perfect quick snack to serve.

Melon Ball Atoms
This is a fun and nutritious addition the menu and something the kids will enjoy doing.

  1. Purchase some melons (honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.) at the store and cut them in half, discarding seeds if necessary
  2. Start scooping bite-sized pieces of fruit using a melon baller
  3. Use toothpicks to put the fruity atoms together to make molecules

Petri Dish Desserts
For a delicious experiment the kids (and adults) will be dying to taste, pour prepared gelatine dessert into clean petri dishes. Top with worm- or bug-shaped gummy treats and let set according to package directions.

Tip: Can’t find petri dishes at your local teacher supply store? Use shallow plastic lids from a craft store instead!

Science-Themed Décor
What good would be turning your kitchen into a lab for a day if you didn’t have the scientist garb and equipment to go with it? Use these ideas to create a full-fledged set!

  • Protective eyewear: For décor guests can wear, provide glasses or goggles and white lab coats. They’ll have fun getting into character.
  • Dry ice: Create a unique centrepiece and give the party a mad-science look by filling a large vase with water, adding a few drops of food colouring and having a careful adult drop chunks of dry ice in as needed. Try your local ice cream shop to find dry ice. (Do not consume liquid with dry ice and check with the supplier to make sure you’re handling it correctly.)
  • Biohazard area: Search online for a biohazard area graphic (the yellow triangle with circles inside) and print it out. Cut and hang them up around the party or use as pennants. Make smaller ones and set them out by the food or project area.
  • Old textbooks: Use old textbooks to help layer food and dessert on your buffet table. For a uniform look, or if you don’t have extra textbooks, simply cover with brown paper bags and label with a black marker.
  • Scientific balloons: Turn a birthday party staple into an experiment in static electricity. Blow balloons up and then have the kids rub one on their hair, the carpet or a blanket and see if they can then get it to “stick” to the wall.

Rae is a graphic designer and the creative director of She spends her days working from home — usually with any one of her four lovely (and rambunctious) kids hanging on her side. Her skills range from the computer, to the kitchen, to the sewing machine and craft table, where she enjoys creating everyday adventures using ordinary things and making them extraordinary. She also really loves clothes, chocolate, her husband and her iPhone (in no particular order).


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