Saturday, April 29, 2017

Harry Potter Party!

Honey Pot and Little M&M have read the first two illustrated Harry Potter books. As big fans ourselves, my husband and I were thrilled when Honey Pot chose this as her birthday party theme this year! Kids and adults agree: this has been our favorite party yet! Take a look at the details:

The Invitation

We had a small party with just family and close friends, so the invitation went out on Facebook. I quickly made this in Photoshop Elements and included it on the event page.

The Decorations

First and foremost we had to make one of these super cool entryways that I kept seeing on Pinterest. We ordered the brick backdrop from Amazon, and cut it to fit in our doorway. Notice Honey Pot is also wearing a Gryffindor shirt for her party (also from Amazon)!

Throughout the house we also had a few nods to the first two Harry Potter movies:

The "third floor corridor is out of bounds" sign, a giant balloon spider, a trail of magnetic spiders and a simple banner made from the four house logos and a couple of floating candles...

Hedwig (Amazon), a jar of floo powder (stones from Michaels), "the chamber of secrets has been opened" written in watered down red paint on the mirror, a framed Daily Prophet sign, the two books the party was based on and a Moaning Myrtle printed on vellum paper that we hung in the bathroom.


We made some green punch called Polyjuice Potion, and also offered water bottles with Skel-Gro labels.

We offered subs, chips, salads and fruit for our afternoon party. And we served the fruit up on these neat broom skewers that we made. 

Party Activities

First we stopped at Ollivanders, where the wand would of course have to choose the wizard. To make the wands, we followed the tutorial here.

We had the kids sit in a circle, and spun around one wand at a time on a lazy susan. This way the wand decided to whom it would belong! As each wand chose its owner, that child would leave the circle, and we continued until everyone had a wand.

Defense Against the Dark Arts Class

For our next game, we had hidden and taped up 36 images of Cornish Pixies around the house. The kids had to "round them up" and bring them back to their cage (our fire pit lid). They used their wands to stun them before bringing them to the cage. They loved this game--scavenger hunts seem to really be a hit with this age group (5-7 year olds)!

Charms Class

Next we headed to Charms class, where the professor first instructed everyone on how to perform the levitation spell. They learned the proper pronunciation of wingardium leviosa as well as the swish-and-flick motion.

Then they had to use what they learned to keep their white balloons up in the air! This was so much fun!

Free Dobby the House Elf - Egg Relay

For this next game we headed outside. The kids went in pairs from the starting line, around the cones, and back again. They had to balance a plastic egg (wrapped in a baby sock) on a spoon in order to free Dobby. (Remember he's freed when presented with clothes!)

Quidditch Practice

The next game was a favorite. My husband created a quidditch pitch out in our backyard, using hula hoops and wooden stakes. He spray-painted them gold and they were just beautiful!

Using sticks from around the yard, brown paper bags and Dollar Tree hula skirts, he also created a broom for everybody! The kids all worked together to score points with a large ball (the quaffle) while a few grown-ups threw two smaller balls (the bludgers) at them! So many laughs, and such a great time was had by all!

We played this for a while. And how does every game of quidditch end?

By finding the Golden Snitch, of course. So we headed inside for dessert to find it. We made chocolate cakepops, dipped in peanut butter candy melts. (We followed the basic cake pop tutorial here.) They were perfect, because they were gold and also because Honey Pot is a huge peanut butter fan! We only put wings on hers, but they were a huge hit! We served them with a variety of ice creams and toppings.

And finally, to conclude the party, we had one more activity:

Potions Class

This was deemed the favorite by all the kids. We made a few bottles of ingredients just for show: Dragon's Blood (flour + water + food coloring), Gillyweed (water + grass), and Infusion of Wormwood (water + food coloring + sesame noodles leftover from the previous night's Chinese food lol). I created a recipe for the kids to follow, using the ingredients that we left out on the table: Wolfsbane (dish soap), Lethe Water (vinegar + food coloring), Dried Nettles (glitter), and Powdered Root of Asphodel (baking soda). 

To begin, the professor read the recipe, which everyone followed carefully.

But then we left the students to add the ingredients in their own way. There were so many glorious, bubbling cauldrons and such sparkle and color!

The play went on for a long time like this. So glad we got some cake pans from Dollar Tree to contain the mess!

They really could have stayed here all day. When the Dried Nettles (ahem, glitter) started to run out, I told them all it was time to open presents. So they retired to another room, and we quickly cleaned up.

Party Favors

For our party favors, we recreated the Honeydukes Express. You remember, the trolley that comes around on the Hogwarts Express to offer sweets to all the kids? I transformed my small table into that trolley, and it came out super cute! I printed the blank labels from this website, and added the titles of the candies I was recreating: Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans (Amazon), Acid Pops, Liquorice Wands, Chocolate Frogs (mold is from Amazon, and we melted Ghirardelli dark chocolate into it, with a sprinkling of Rice Krispies cereal for crunch), Droobles Best Blowing Gum and Jelly Slugs. At the end of the party, each of the kids put together their own bag of goodies. They had such a blast trying out the Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans. And even some of the adults gathered around a table later that evening, with a deck of cards, to create their own tasting game. It was hilarious!

So there is our Harry Potter party, based on books one and two. Thanks for stopping by!