Five-year-old Madeline Jones has always had an affection for the slimier, scalier things in life. When it came time to plan her fifth birthday party, it was no surprise to Madeline’s mom Rachellee that her daughter’s hand-written wish list was void of princesses and fairies but instead consisted of snow, slime, dry ice and animals. “She’s very into things girls are usually scared of,” Rachellee says. “Even at school, if all the girls are going to play with dolls, she’ll choose to dig in the dirt.”
Over the summer, Madeline went to day camp at The Lab in Lakewood, where she enjoyed participating in science experiments and petting a variety of rodents and reptiles. When Madeline and her mom set to work planning the birthday party, the duo agreed that The Lab was the ideal destination for Madeline’s slimy celebration. Madeline selected a theme from The Lab’s five science-theme party packages, and Rachellee started planning.
Fifteen of Madeline’s kindergarten classmates replied yes to an Evite asking them to join the birthday girl as she rang in year five with more than an hour of messy fun. Kids made snow and slime, watched a dry ice demonstration, petted a python (Madeline’s favorite part) and even fed worms to an iguana. All the while, Madeline played lab assistant in The Lab’s birthday gift to her: a white coat complete with a name tag designating her “Slime Specialist” for the day.
When the kids weren’t elbow deep in green slime, they noshed on apple juice, lemonade and vanilla birthday cake. Madeline helped a family friend decorate the dolphin-theme cake (dolphins are her favorite animal) with buttercream waves before the party; Rachellee says this ended up being one of her daughter’s favorite parts of party planning. In fact, Madeline was thoroughly involved throughout the entire planning process. She helped Rachellee fill chevron goodie bags purchased from pickyourplum.com with candy and plastic frogs and snakes found at Target before hand-stamping each bag with an owl and, of course, the number five. Rachellee encourages other moms to let their kids in on the party planning. “They enjoy it a lot more,” she says.
Staying true to family tradition, Madeline also helped decoupage and paint a numeral five as tall as her with the help of dad Kevin. The Joneses have a birthday custom of working together to create an oversized number out of cardboard then letting Madeline’s imagination take flight as she paints the number however she sees fit. The multicolor Madeline-size number was used for birthday photo ops and as a party decoration. “She is already talking about the six she wants for next year,” Rachellee says.