Gear Up for Summer with thredUP

Here in Florida winter is long gone and summer is in full swing.  Warmer temperatures means it's time to take stock in the kids' closets and stock up on those summer essentials.  

If your kids are like mine, they grow like weeds.  It seems like the clothes I saved for them to wear again this summer are already tight.  Good thing for me thredUP carries a wide variety of clothes for boys and girls.  But the really great thing is that thredUP also carries clothes for ME!

So hop on over to thredUP and create an account.  You'll actually get $10 off your first order just for using my link.  You can search for shorts, bathing suits, even sandals.. pretty much everything you need to kick off your summer.


Mad Science Party Bags & Treats

My final post about our Mad Science Party with just a few tips about the party bags.  If you want to read all the details about the party you can visit the Jacksonville Moms Blog.

Favors: Now I would say that sending the kids home with their lab coat, ID badge and goggles would be enough and a party bag isn’t necessary. We had ordered some items before I realized we were going to be doing the lab coats so I went ahead and did party bags. 
Pro Tip: Skip the party bags and just send the kids home with their lab coats and goggles.


Mad Science Party Decorations and Details

Those little details are what really make a party pop.  You can read all about our recent Mad Science Party over on the Jacksonville Moms Blog.

Decorations: Our decorations for this party were a piece of cake. The banner I made using graphics from the Periodic Table Writer. On the tables were jars that I filled with colored water and random plastic snakes, spiders, brains, etc. The dollar store was a great resource for animals that “grow” when you soak them in water.   I added dry ice to our juice containers before serving and the kids thought it was amazing.
Pro Tip: Dry ice is an awesome special effect, but it should be handled with care and is NEVER to be ingested. I used it in containers with spigots where I knew the kids would not be able to drink it. Many Publix stores sell dry ice, and you can use the dry ice finder site to see where you can buy it in your area.


Mad Science Party Experiments

We did some great experiments at our recent Mad Science Party.  You can read all about it over at the Jacksonville Moms Blog.

Experiments: After all the kids arrived we began the experiments. This was the highlight of the party for everyone. I had premeasured and prepped all the ingredients ahead of time so that each experiment was ready to go when we got to that station. If you’re having a party for older kids (I would say 6 and older) then check out my post of science experiments, complete with ingredients and directions. If you’re having a party for younger kids (under age 6) then take a look at some of the experiments in Nicole’s post.
Pro Tip: If it’s in your budget, purchase some test tubes with lids and use those to premeasure some of your ingredients for your experiments. It made the kids feel like they were real scientists.


Mad Science Party Graphics

I loved using my Etsy graphics on so many different items at our Mad Science Party.  You can read all about it over on the Jacksonville Moms Blog.

Graphics: Although I usually like to create my own graphics, I decided to purchase some digital images off Etsy. The nice thing about purchasing a set of graphics is that you can use them for various different items at your party. I printed water bottle labels, stickers and even made cupcake toppers using the same set of graphics.
Pro Tip: Before you purchase images do a search for free clip art and see if there’s anything you can use.


Finger Scanning App for Mad Science Party

Just one of the fun details from our Mad Science Party.  You can see all the info over on the Jacksonville Moms Blog.

Checking In: Once the kids were all decked out in their lab coats and goggles it was time for them to officially check in to the party. I downloaded a Fingerprint Security Scanner app for our iPad (it’s also available for the iPhone) and set my nephew up at a station either allowing or denying access to the party. The rule was he had to allow access to all the little kids, but he could have fun denying the adults.
Pro Tip: Pay the $.99 for the ad free version of the app.


Kid Lab Coats and Goggles for a Mad Science Party

We gave each kid their own lab coat, goggles, and ID badge at our Mad Science Party.  You can read about all the details over on the Jacksonville Moms Blog.

Lab Gear: When the kids arrived we had a lab coat, badge and safety goggles waiting for each of them. The lab coats are nothing more than men’s dress shirts with the sleeves cut off. Since I sew, I hemmed the sleeves to be the correct length but you could easily just roll them up. I asked our friends and family to give me any white dress shirts that they weren’t using and the rest I found at Goodwill for just a few dollars a piece. The badges were printed out at home and put in holders from the office supply shop. 
Pro Tip: The goggles we got for free when the kids attended a Lowes Build & Grow Event (also free). We just kept putting them away until we had enough for the party. You can always buy them, but remember I’m frugal, so free works for me.


Mad Science Birthday Party Invitations

Here are the details for the invitations we sent out for our Mad Science Party.  You can see all the details over on the Jacksonville Moms Blog.

Invitations: We decided to send all the little scientists a padded envelope that included the invitation, a mini magnifying glass, and a small test tube filled with candy. The Thank You Notes you see pictured were created in using a free Periodic Table Writer. I also used this program to create the banner we hung to decorate for the party.
Pro Tip: Do NOT place stickers on the outside of the envelope that read “toxic”. The post office does not think this is cute and they will question you as if you are on the terrorist watch list and possibly even make you remove them. Trust me on this.


Science Experiments {Live on the News}

A few weeks ago the kids and I made an appearance on our local Chanel 4 Morning Show to do some science experiments live on the air.  It was shot in 2 separate segments so you can view our clips here and here.  If you're interested in doing some of your own science experiments you can get the full supply list and instructions over on the Jacksonville Moms Blog.


Spring Cleaning {with a little help from thredUP}

Ahhhhh spring, my favorite time of year.  Not only does it mean beautiful weather and playing outside, but it’s also the time of year I go through and gut my children’s closets.  Since here in Florida our temps can go from cool to down right hot in the matter of a week it seems like by mid March I’m ready to pack away the winter clothes and bring out the bathing suits and shorts for the season.  But once the closets have been cleaned out, what do you do with all the extra clothes?  Since I have a boy and a girl (and no plans of adding any additional kids to the family) I rarely save items to be passed down.  So what do you do with all your outgrown clothes?  That's where thredUP comes in and saves the day!

When you go to thredUP.com and create an account you can request one of their adorable polka dot clean out bags FOR FREE.  I actually keep one in the bottom of my daughter's closet at all times.  Fill it up with all the clothes your kids have outgrown and then drop it off at the post office.  Postage back to the thredUP warehouse is free.  Once thredUP receives and processes your bag (and know that this can take several weeks) they'll offer you a payout which you can use in their online store or you can opt to cash out to paypal.  There you have it… spring cleaning made easy with thredUP.


Disappearing Iodine Water Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Disappearing Iodine Water Experiment.

Disappearing Iodine Water

Materials: 2 cups of water (about 1/2 way full), Vitamin C, Iodine, Droppers

Directions: Fill 2 plastic cups 1/2 way full with ordinary room temperature water. Crush up 2 vitamin C tablets and stir the powder into one of the cups of water. Add approximately a tablespoon of Iodine to the other cup of water. Use your droppers to carefully mix a few drops of iodine water into the vitamin C water. You’ll see that the dark brown Iodine water “disappears” when it hits the vitamin C water. Be careful with this experiment because Iodine will stain clothes (and lab coats). The good news is that some of that vitamin C water will get it out.

Why it works: When Iodine and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are combined in solution, a chemical reaction takes place. In this chemical reaction, the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) molecule loses electrons, which are transferred to the Iodine molecule.


Inflate A Balloon Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Inflate A Balloon Experiment.

Inflate A Balloon

Materials: Small Empty Water Bottle, Baking Soda, Vinegar, Balloon, Funnel

Directions: Use the funnel to fill your balloon with 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Fill your small water bottle about ½ full with vinegar. Carefully put the top of your balloon over the mouth of the water bottle. Don’t dump the baking soda in until it is secure. Hold your balloon upright and gently shake it so that all the baking soda falls down into the vinegar.

Why it works: The baking soda and the vinegar create an ACID-BASE reaction and the two chemicals work together to create a gas (carbon dioxide). Gasses need a lot of room to spread out and the carbon dioxide starts to fill the bottle, and then moves into the balloon to inflate it.