Harry Potter Themed Children’s Garden Party
The world of Harry Potter has been delighting children since 1997. But with a family ticket to Harry Potter World in London costing up to £150, it can be an expensive passion! So why not host a Harry Potter party of your own? I hosted a Harry Potter summer school. The premise was that the children had been invited to a one day induction experience, before they started at Hogwarts in September!
As any Harry Potter fan knows, you are invited to Hogwarts via letter. It is easy enough to find the Hogwarts crest online, add this to a word document, find a fancy font and personalise your invites. In Harry Potter, owl post is one of the most common ways that wizards communicate with each other. So why not deliver the children’s invites to Hogwarts via owl? In case you don’t have any trained owls to hand, you can always pick up a packet of white balloons and draw owl face on to them with a black sharpie. Attach their (tea stained) welcome letters to balloons with a piece of ribbon and hide them in trees. When the children arrived, I welcomed them and asked whether they had received their letters? Their confused faces gave the answer I was looking for. “Oh dear, those silly owls, they are always getting stuck in trees”. I handed them a stick each. Perhaps you can help them down and see if they have your letters. Thirty minutes later, all the children had found their letters. “Now that you have your letters, we had better get your uniforms sorted!”
The group got dressed up in cloaks and Harry style glasses. Once we were all suitably dressed, we had photos in front of a hanging photo frame. Portraits good enough to hang in the Great Hall! Our next activity was wand making. We used ribbons and glitter and glue to decorate sticks. Soon it was time for our first lesson. We used the Gin Bar as the teachers desk (covered with green plastic sheeting!). Our first potion was a potion to make things grow. This is a simple Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar experiment, dressed up as something a lot more magical. Add Pond Water (vinegar), Dragons Blood (food colouring), spiders (plastic creepy crawlies), pixie dust (glitter) and bug slime (washing up liquid) into your container. Say the magic words and then add bone dust and watch the magic happen! It is useful to have a bucket of water handy to wash up containers and have another go! Our second experiment was Cornflower and Water, to create a magical slime that is both hard and soft at the same time! Make sure you have extra stock of these ingredients as the kids loved doing these experiments 2 or 3 times (at the very least!).
When potion class was over, it was time for quidditch! We hung three hula hoops in the trees and the aim of the game was to work as a team (to avoid any arguments) to get the golden snitch (netball) through the rings. The kids started at the far end of the garden, and with netball rules (you weren’t allowed to move once you had the ball) they had to work their way down towards the tree to score a point. Meanwhile the Dementors (myself and my cousin, wearing scary masks and capes on backwards) tried to stop the kids from scoring. Worn out from the running around, it was time for an afternoon picnic in a F&M Hamper! Butterbeer, golden snitches, jelly beans and witches hat cup cakes, there were plenty of tasty treats to go around.