Is there anything better than a themed birthday party for kids? Yes, there is. The STEM birthday party! These parties are the absolute favorite with kids because they are activity filled so the kids don’t feel bored even for a second. Moreover, they even learn something useful while having fun.
So what are some STEM birthday party ideas that you can prepare all by yourself? Find out below!
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Why Celebrate Birthdays With a STEM Theme?
STEM-activity-packed birthdays come with a lot of benefits. Here are some:
- It can help foster a love of science in your children.
- The party can be a fun way to teach your children about science.
- You can also use the party to get to know your child’s friends better.
- It’ll turn into a precious lifetime memory for your child
- You’ll have lots of fun, too!
How to Plan a STEM Birthday Party
Planning an activity-packed birthday party doesn’t have to be nerve-wrecking. You just need to follow the simple steps.
1. Choose a Theme
You can base the party around a specific branch of engineering, such as civil engineering or mechanical engineering. Alternatively, you could choose a more general theme such as ‘building bridges’ or ‘exploring space’.
2. Plan Activities
There are lots of great activities that tie in with an engineering theme. For example, you could build towers out of blocks or cardboard boxes, or design and race paper airplanes. You could also set up simple circuits using batteries and light bulbs, or use LEGO to build working machines.
3. Make Invitations
Get creative with your invitations and make them look like mini construction projects! Include information about the dress code (e.g., hard hats and safety goggles) and any other important details about the party (e.g., time, date, location).
Transform your home into an engineer’s paradise! Hang streamers in the shape of bridges, or blow up balloons that look like planets. You could even set up a ‘construction zone’ complete with traffic cones and warning signs.
5. Serve Food
No engineering themed birthday party would be complete without some delicious construction-themed snacks! Think about serving food that can be ‘built’ such as gingerbread houses, pizza towers, or spaghetti and meatball skyscrapers.
6. Have Fun
Most importantly, make sure you and your guests have a great time! Engineering is all about problem-solving and creativity, so encourage everyone to use their imaginations and have fun with it.
21+ STEM Birthday Party Ideas
Here are some ideas for everything related to STEM birthday party preparation, from themes, decorations to food, activities and places.
STEM Birthday Party Themes
Here are some theme ideas:
Bright colors, bubbly decorations and explosive activities are the perfect formula for an amazing “mad science” birthday party. This versatile theme works for girls and boys from preschoolers to teenagers.
Decorate with a periodic table of elements banner and giant balloon molecules. Serve up petri dish Jell-O and invite guests to make ice cream sundaes in an ice cream lab. But the best part of a science-themed party are the experiments, of course! Your little scientists will love conducting fun experiments using inexpensive kitchen ingredients.
2. Star Wars
A Star Wars themed party would be perfect for kids who love the movies and are interested in space. You can wear Darth Wader, Yoda, Jedi or Storm trooper costumes to this kid’s birthday party.
It’s important to choose a technology-themed theme that is appropriate for your child’s age group and interests. There are many different ways that you can customize a technology-themed birthday party and electronics themed party would be great for kids who are into gadgets and technology.
An architectural themed party would be perfect for kids who love building and designing things. You can get bricks or 3D puzzles and have them build something.
A planes themed party would be great for kids who are interested in aviation or travel. There are some DIY planes crafts that kids can make as an activity, and you can also decorate with DIY clouds, balloons and costumes to make the party even more real.
A space themed party would be perfect for kids who are fascinated by the universe and outer space. Make the party even more interesting by having the birthday kid dress up as an astronaut and the rest of the kids as aliens.
A coding themed birthday party would be ideal for kids who enjoy working with computers or programming languages.
STEM Birthday Party Decorations
First, let’s start with the decorations. You’ll want to choose items that are related to the sciences, such as planets, space, astronomy, chemistry, and biology. You can find many of these items at your local party store or online.
- Decorate with a periodic table of elements banner and giant balloon molecules.
- Balloons are a great way to add excitement and fun to a STEM birthday party. You can use them to decorate the room or as part of the challenge/game that is being hosted at the party. Balloons are easy to store and transport, which makes them a perfect choice for parties.
- Banners – there are many different types of banners that you can choose from, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for your party! Customize the banner for your party. You can add text, images, and other elements to make the banner unique to your event. Hang the banner up in your party space. This will help to decorate the space and make it more festive!
- Confettis are an absolute kids’ favorite. Get a few different ones and pop them up to stir the atmosphere. Everyone will love it but don’t forget that they may be a bit difficult to clean afterwards.
What Are Some Goody Bag Ideas for a STEM Birthday Party?
You may add:
- Get a pack of pencils in the desired color and style.
- Select a goody bag that is large enough to fit the pencils.
- Place the pencils in the goody bag.
- Add other desired items to the goody bag, such as pens, paper, or a science kit.
- Get a pack of pens that the birthday child and their friends can use.
- Put the pens in a goody bag with other items such as notebooks or stickers.
- Make sure to include a note with the pens explaining why they are a goody bag idea for a STEM birthday party.
Stickers can be a fun addition to any goody bag or a Christmas stocking. They make a great decoration for any STEM-themed birthday party and are easy to put together. You can customize them to fit the theme of your party perfectly.
Goody bags for a STEM birthday party should include stickers. Themed around science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), these bags should be gender-neutral and include fun and educational items related to STEM.
- Use building blocks or other small toys to create keychains with a STEM theme.
- Attach a keychain ring to the top of each keychain.
- Decorate the keychains with stickers or other embellishments related to STEM themes.
A lanyard is a type of neckwear that consists of a metal or plastic strap with an identification or user identifier attached. Lanyards are often used to identify people and possessions, especially in dangerous or hazardous environments. Lanyards can also be used as an ID badge for employees, students, or customers in retail settings.
They can be worn by workers at factories, construction sites, and other hazardous areas where it is necessary to keep track of who is where and what they are doing at all times. They are also popular among sports fans for wearing around their necks while attending games and other events outdoors .
- Choose your button size. The most common sizes are 1 inch and 2.25 inches, but you can also find larger sizes like 3 inches or even 4 inches.
- Pick out your design. You can either use a pre-made design or create your own using a template or online button maker.
- Print out your design on paper to make sure it fits the button size you chose.
- Cut out your design, leaving a small border around the edge.
- Glue your design to the front of the button using a glue stick or clear tape
STEM Birthday Party Food
Once you have your decorations sorted out, it’s time to move on to the food!
- Serve up petri dish Jell-O and invite guests to make ice cream sundaes in an ice cream lab.
- Easy marshmallow pops – these are easy to make and only require marshmallows, sticks, and candy melts. They can be decorated with sprinkles or other toppings of your choice.
- Elements cake – this is a cake that is decorated with different elements from the periodic table. It can be made with different flavors for each element or one flavor for all of them. There are many decoration ideas for a STEM birthday party that include cake. Cake is a common decoration idea for a STEM birthday party. Cake can be used to make the party more festive and fun. Cake is one of the most popular decorations for a STEM birthday party. Decorate a cake with colorful frosting and decorations. Make a cake that is STEM themed. Create an edible science experiment on top of your cake. Serve the cake with ice cream or whipped cream for extra fun!
- Brainy food – from building bricks with edible ingredients, designing a pet using building bricks, making a science experiment using household chemicals to pizza, cupcakes, and snacks are all great options to serve at a kids STEM birthday party. However, there are many other food options that can be selected to best suit the party theme. The food should be both healthy and tasty for the guests attending the party.
STEM Birthday Party Activities
A STEM birthday party for kids wouldn’t be complete without games. Luckily, I have added plenty on the list!
1. Conduct Fun Experiments
2. Set Up a Science Experiment Station
Have a science experiment station set up where guests can learn about the different experiments.
3. Planetarium Show
Have a planetarium show with astronomy lessons during the party.
4. Microscope Station
4. Have a microscope station so guests can see how things look under the microscope.
5. Build a Robot
Ryan’s world has a great tutorial on how to build a robot for kids. However, building this robot needs to be done under adult supervision.
- A cup
- A few straws
- A scrubber
- Cotton balls
- A battery pack
- Electrical tape
- Hot glue
- Clothes pin
- Toilet paper roll
- Bottle caps
- Other things for decoration
You’ll be able to make 3 robots out of the material, but you’ll need to watch the tutorial with the children or by yourself then instruction the children on your own. These robots are so easy to make and kids will absolutely love them!
6. Make a Model of an Animal
- 2 polystyrene balls, one medium and one large
- Blue and white acrylic colors
- Paint brushes
- Super puff noodles
- Wiggle googly eyes
- Pipe cleaners
- Mini glue dots
You can find the instructions for making a lion and an elephant animal model on Baker Ross’ YouTube video.
7. Design and Build a Machine
Building machines for kids doesn’t have to be complicated. 123 Homeschool 4 Me has some great ideas and instructions for building different kids of machines from simple to complicated.
8. Create a Game Using Cards or Dice
You’ll need to obtain some basic material and set the imagination free.
Get some sturdy, firm paper, or buy a deck of standard cards.
A pack of markers, pencils or other paint that you intend to use. Alternatively, you can use a design software like Canva, design and print.
In the meantime, think of some rules, how players will interact and how to win.
9. Fizzing Rainbow
The best thing about fizzing rainbows is that they are an awesome activity even for little kids. To make a fizzing rainbow, you’ll need:
- 3-4 small bowls filled with some baking soda.
- Food colors
- Baking dish
- Squirt or spray bottle
- Distilled vinegar
- Dish soap
Take the small bowls with baking soda and add a few drops of the food colors in them, then mix them well. Once the colors blend with the baking soda into a consistent color, pour each colored baking soda into the baking dish creating a layer. Do the same with each colors.
Next, fill the squirt or spray bottle with distilled vinegar, add a little dish soap and shake it well to mix it.
Now, you’re ready to start! Let the kids spray onto the colored baking soda little by little to create erupting volcanoes. Once the chemical reaction is finished, let the kids make swirls of colors in the baking dish.
10. Chromatography Butterflies
To make chromatography butterflies at kids STEM birthday party, you’ll need to obtain the following materials, in a number corresponding to the number of kids at the party:
- Coffee filter (for each kid)
- Drinking glass
- Binder clip
- Craft stick
- Clothes pin
- Pipe cleaners
Take the coffee filters first, and the markers. Ideally, the children should draw concentric circles on the coffee filters but if they are toddlers, you can let them design the butterfly wings however they like. Once done designing, fold the coffee filter in half. Then fold it in half once again, and once again (3 times total).
Take the thus folded butterfly wings and attach them at the sidest part to a craft stick with a binder clip. Next, set the craft over a drinking glass filled with water just enough so that the point of the coffee filter barely touches the water. Note that you’ll need the coffee filter to touch the water so that the water starts soaking in the filter and mixing the colors. However, you shouldn’t dip more than the point of the coffee filter in the water so as not to mess up the whole design.
When the colors are done, open the coffee filter and let it dry. See how the colors have mixed to bring forth an exquisite design made by your little scientists!
After the butterfly wings (the coffee filters) have dried, take the clothes pin and put it in the middle of the coffee filter to get two beautifully colored wings. Add the pipe cleaners, and other decorations if you like. The chromatography butterflies are a simple yet so beautiful STEM activity for kids to make.
11. Egg Towers
For the simple egg towers STEM birthday activity you’ll need:
- A cardboard box
- Hot glue
- Plastic eggs
Get the cardboard box, and hot glue the straws to it. Wait for it to dry before you start playing. In the meantime, you can prepare the kids and the plastic eggs. When the straws are dry, kids can go one by one stacking plastic eggs onto the plastic straws then one onto another to create a tower.
To make this activity more fun you can turn it into a race or a challenge. Either have several cardboard boxes ready and plenty of plastic eggs for more kids to play at the same time or have the kids compete in turns. You can keep the scores and see who will stack the most eggs and build the highest egg tower!
12. Balloon Towers
This is an incredibly simple STEM birthday activity for parents because you only need pipe cleaners, balloons and a timer. However, it’s a complicated one for the participants who will need to use their brains and team skills to come up with an engineering solution for building a balloon tower!
So, here’s how it goes:
Divide the kids into groups of 2-4.
Give each group 15 pipe cleaners, and 20 balloons. Tell the teams that they have 12 minutes to build the highest tower possible with the resources at hand.
Depending on the age of the kids, you can either keep the activity as simple as that or spice it up by setting up obstacles such as “freeze” time, playing with one hand only, play without talking to each other, etc. You can get as creative as you want!
I personally love this activity! It’s a brilliant ice-breaker that teaches children to interact and work together as a team.
13. Raindrop Clouds
Raindrop clouds are an activity that both pre-school and school children will enjoy. Here’s what you’ll need for each child:
- Blue paper
- White construction paper
- Cotton balls
- Paper plate (optional)
- Yellow paint
- Clear tape
- White or blue yarn
- Paint brush
First cut out the cloud and the raindrops from the corresponding sheet of paper i.e. blue or white. You can either let the kids draw the cloud and the drops themselves then cut them out or have them printed beforehand. Next, cut a few strings of yarn, and glue them to the back of the white cloud with the clear tape. You should leave some space between the yarns so that you can glue the raindrops without them tangling. Once you glue the yarn to the cloud, you can glue the raindrops to the yarn. When done with this, turn the cloud the other way and apply a generous amount of glue on it so that the cotton balls stick well and create a puffy cloud.
If you want to make the activity more playful, you can get a paper plate, paint it yellow then cut out sunbeams and glue it to the cloud to create a sun picking out.
14. Color Changing Milk
Here’s what you need for this simple activity:
- Milk (either whole or 2%)
- Food coloring
- Dish soap
- Shallow dish or bowl
Pour the milk into the chosen container until it covers the bottom. Add 3-4 drops of each color into the milk. Add a drop of dish soap into the center of the milk and notice how the colors start spreading out creating an amazing mixture of nuances.
15. Make a Homemade Lava Lamp
- A clear plastic bottle with a screw-on lid
- Vegetable oil
- Food coloring
- Alka-Seltzer tablets
Pour vegetable oil and water into the bottle, filling it about halfway with each. The water should sink to the bottom and the oil should float on top. Next, add 10 drops of food coloring to the water and screw on the lid tightly. Gently shake the bottle to mix everything together. Cut an Alka-Seltzer tablet in half and drop one half into the bottle. Screw on the lid tightly and watch as your lava lamp comes to life!
17. Create a Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano
You will need:
- A clean, empty plastic bottle
- Baking soda
- Red food coloring (optional)
- A small funnel (optional)
Add about 1/4 cup of baking soda to the bottle using the funnel (if you’re using one). Add a few drops of red food coloring to the baking soda (this is optional). Pour about 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bottle. Quickly put the lid on the bottle and step back!
The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will create carbon dioxide gas, which will cause the volcano to erupt!
18. Conduct an Experiment to See How Different Materials Absorb Water
This experiment will show how different materials absorb water. By testing how much water different materials can hold, we can learn about the absorbency of those materials. This information can be useful in many real-world applications, such as understanding why raindrops are shaped like they are or designing a better way to remove water from surfaces.
19. Memory or Spot the Difference
These two games are great to play at birthday parties because kids get to play in teams and compete against each other.
To play “Memory“, you’ll need to have a set of memory cards, either one or several depending on how you’d want the children to play. Then make groups of 3 and let them play in turns. Each team member can choose to open 2 cards a the same time and gets one shot to guess which two cards make a pair. If they guess, they get another shot.
To play “Spot the Difference”, you’ll need to print out a couple of spot the difference images so that the children can play several times against different pictures. Again, divide the children in groups of 3 and let them guess in turns.
Keep the score for both games and present the winner at the end!
20. Word Jumble
This game challenges players to unscramble words related to engineering concepts. This game is an absolute favorite among school kids but you’ll need to get several Word Jumble board games or have children take turns. Most of the school kids are already familiar with this game so you’ll have very few instructions to explain.
To play hangman, kids will only need a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. Alternatively, you can get a white board and a marker and play with all children at once.
To start have the birthday kid think of a word and write it down on the board only with the first letter showing. The rest of the kids will then take turns to guess the word letter by letter or right away (for the bolder ones!). Whoever guesses the word is up next to think of a new one.
Children Birthday Party Places for STEM Theme
If you don’t think you can do throw the party at home, or if you make the party even more exciting, you can arrange to celebrate the birthday at birthday party places.
1. Science Museum or Center
A science museum or center can make for a great birthday party venue for a STEM themed party. Many science museums and centers offer birthday party packages that include plates, napkins, tablecloths, party bags and decorations. This can take some of the stress out of planning a birthday party, and leave you more time to enjoy the festivities. Plus, your guests are sure to have a blast exploring all the interactive exhibits!
2. Children’s Museums
The Wonderlab in Bloomington, Indiana offers a Super Science Party package that includes a party room for one and a half hours, science-themed activity, and some hands-on museum fun. The Wonderlab even provides plates, napkins, tablecloths, party bags, and decorations for the party!
The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut also offers a STEM birthday party package that includes use of the museum for two hours, a science experiment or activity led by museum staff, and goody bags for all guests.
The Exploratorium in San Francisco offers a Science Birthday Party package that includes use of the museum for two hours after closing time, a private tour led by an Exploratorium educator, and goody bags containing an Exploratorium t-shirt and other fun science items.
Planetariums are places where you can see stars and planets through a telescope. They can be found indoors or outdoors, and are designed for children aged 3-12 years old. Planetariums often have thrilling add-ons like cotton candy making, hovercraft rides, and rocket launches that make them even more fun for kids!
The Vancouver Aquarium has an exhibit that focuses on the marine ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has an exhibit that focuses on ocean conservation and research. The Toronto Zoo offers a range of exhibits that focus on animal conservation and research.
STEM birthday parties are a great opportunity for children to have fun. Some STEM games are a fun way to teach children about mathematical concepts such as multiplication or division regardless of the age. Build up the atmosphere with bright colors, bubbly decorations and explosive activities and you already have the perfect formula for an amazing “mad science” birthday party!