(This essay is one in a series of posts reviewing my favorite websites. Even though I don’t spend a lot of time surfing the Internet, I do have a file on my computer entitled “Random Cool Stuff.” Within that file are bookmarked Internet sites, an odd collection of webpages, among the millions of possibilities that tickled my fancy, intrigued me, or led me in a whole new direction.)
In all honesty, I’d rather cater a wedding reception for a hundred than put on a kids birthday party. For some reason, when the words “Birthday Party” are attached to an invitation, twenty kids who happily played together at school recess for the past nine months, stand around with the expectation to be entertained.
When my kids turned six and eight, I decided, bravely I thought, to put on a birthday party in our front yard. Since my youngest daughter’s birthday is in May and the oldest’s in July, I came up with the brilliant idea of a joint party in June. My husband thought it was lame, but since he was going to be at work, he didn’t get a vote. It was a bit of a hard sell to the girls, but they reluctantly agreed after I promised to come up with some extra fun stuff to do, and serve ice cream sundaes with all the toppings.
Driven by the promise of fun, I began an Internet search of “easy kids’ science experiments.” This led me to endless YouTube videos of teenage boys and idiotic men performing all kinds of dangerous tricks involving Mentos candy and soda, which when mixed together create a geyser effect. Eventually, my Mentos and soda search sent me to the highly entertaining and award-winning EepyBird.com.
The Eepybird site takes soda and candy to a whole new level. The mad scientist duo of Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz say that the purpose of their site is to creatively explore “the way ordinary objects can do extraordinary things.” And what they can do with a few bottles of Diet Coke and Mentos candy is simply amazing.
The girls and I watched the Extreme Diet Coke and Mento Experiment video about twenty times. We downloaded the theme song, “You Gotta Tap” by Audiobody, and played it over and over again until I heard it in my sleep. I ordered an EepyBird t-shirt (very cool but run small). We were WAY into EepyBird.
The day before the party, I bought several 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke (which works better than regular Coke or other sodas) and several rolls of mint Mentos. I took the cardboard from a toilet paper roll, cut it lengthwise, and retaped it to fit around the Mentos so I could use it as a quick, efficient delivery device. The day of the party, I led everyone out to a big grassy area in the front yard. As the kids gathered around, I lined up a 2-liter bottle of room temperature Diet Coke, place a notecard over the top, position the toilet paper tube full to the brim with Mentos. . . .and then. . . .I pulled the notecard out, and dashed away. Immediately, a giant stream of soda shot 15 feet into the air. The kids screamed and ran pell mell in the other direction. When the soda died down, they hollered, “DO IT AGAIN!”
And we did. Over and over and over again. Not as elegantly as the EepyBird duo, but with great fun.