We have been reading the Harry Potter books to Atticus since this summer, and he’s been extremely excited about them.
We had not planned to read them to him quite yet but we have a lot of Harry Potter stuff in our house so he got interested. He kept asking, “When can I read THE AMAZING HARRY POTTER?!” and we caved. We have stopped after Prisoner of Azkaban and don’t plan to get to Goblet of Fire for a while. We might re-read the first three while we wait.
Our very cool local nerd coffeehouse had a Yule Ball event for grownups in December, but they also had one for kids in the afternoon (it only went through book 3, so we didn’t have to worry about too many spoilers). A friend and I took our kids and they had a great time. Harry and the Potters played, the kids got sorted (Atticus was Gryffindor), they got a Patronus (Atticus got a rabbit, RIP Big Bunny), they played a “potting the mandrakes” game, there were chocolate frogs and butterbeer, and there was an owl post. It was very nice.
Because of the insane fun that he had, Atticus wanted a Harry Potter party for his fifth birthday. I was kind of hoping for a Star Wars party myself, but, no, he wanted Harry Potter. I did point out that most of his friends wouldn’t really know about Harry Potter (because their parents are responsible citizens of the world, unlike us who are reading them to our much too young child) but he said what he wanted was Harry, so we went with it.
I got the invitation idea here (which also has information on the fonts). One word of warning: I was just basically copying the language but there were kids who really did expect it to be a little bit more exactly what the invitation said, and the only school supply I made for them was the wands. If I had it to do over, I would maybe change the wording a bit (but when I sent the invitations I wasn’t totally sure what activities we would be doing).
At the party the kids were sorted and I ended up putting them all in Gryffindor so that they were competing together instead of competing with one another. They were all earning points for Gryffindor. We bought this sorting hat. I don’t really have good pictures of the sorting but the kids were very excited.
Then they got their wands.
I made the wands using these instructions and they were surprisingly easy. I spray painted all of ours with oil rubbed bronze so they were all the same color. I did the glue and the beads and they came out so well. Highly recommended as a very easy craft.
Then we took the kids outside for some classes (we were lucky it was a pretty mild day). Mike taught them the “swish and flick” and then we had them practice by popping bubbles. This was a huge hit.
Then Mike taught a potions lesson using some ideas he had gotten online. Atticus also got a “magic science” kit for his birthday so we used that as well.
The potions were one of the biggest hits of the day. After we finished the other activities, the kids wanted to do more potions stuff.
Then the kids came inside for a few more games. We tried a game where they put headphones on and had to throw a beanbag/mandrake in a pot. I think they had fun but it would have been better to do that one outside (I would also have been able to explain the mandrakes better to them if we had kept it outside – our living room was a little crowded). We did it inside because we were using a pot but I think it would have been a better choice to do it with our corn hole boards outside, so that’s my suggestion if you are thinking of something similar. I don’t have any pictures of that one.
Then we played two games that had to do with quidditch. One was pin the snitch on Harry Potter’s hand. That was Atticus’s big request. We printed this picture really big (just on the printer – three sheets by three sheets) and it worked great.
(Most of the kids cheated.)
Then we played a game where they had to go find a snitch to earn points for Gryffindor. I placed snitches around the house that I made.
After that it was time to eat! Mike took the projector and aimed it at the ceiling with a picture of clouds so that it looked like the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall, which I thought was very funny. I didn’t focus a ton on the food because I figured that snacks and cake were good enough.
We also had butterbeer – we kept that pretty simple and did cream soda with whipped cream. We had butterscotch sauce but only the adults used that.
The cake was made by a friend of ours. We googled ideas for Harry Potter cakes and Atticus really wanted a quidditch cake so she whipped this up for us.
At the end of the “feast” we said that Gryffindor had over 700 points and we awarded them the House Cup. Everyone got Harry Potter glasses. So the kids each got glasses, a wand, and a snitch as their party favors.
After we were done with that, the kids popped bubbles, did some more potions, and just generally ran around. This was a surprisingly inexpensive party to throw, plus the kids got to play together for most of the activities, which we prefer. I thought I would post this because I was looking for Harry Potter party ideas and some of it was pretty complicated, but ours ended up being fairly easy.
Things we bought:
Things I made:
-wands (hot glue + chopsticks + beads)
-snitches (yarn + pipe cleaners + paper for wings)
-pin the snitch on Harry game
Things we had:
-animal crackers (fantastic beasts)
-celery sticks (herbology bites)
-cheese puffs (cheese snitches)
-pretzel sticks (wands)
-butterbeer (cream soda + whipped cream)
Go forth and Harry Potter party, friends! If we can do this, anybody can.