Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I Made Wednesday {A Harry Potter Birthday Party: Class Schedule}

Hogwarts Class of 2012
Welcome to Week 5 in this Harry Potter Birthday Party Series. I've shared with you the Invitations, Setting the Scene, the Props, and the Food, now it's time for the actual Partaayy!!
Since I've given you the details from the previous posts, I'll share with you today only the itinerary for this Harry Potter Party. So, grab your Hogwarts Express train ticket, climb aboard, and get ready for a wizarding good time!

The party began at 4:00 PM and ended at 7:00 PM, but continued on into the evening as all the kids stayed to watch the 5th Harry Potter movie.

As you will recall, the party guests were required to bring their own broomstick and the contents of the invitation including their galleons to purchase their items in Diagon Alley upon arrival and their Hogwarts Express train ticket.

Hagrid greeted our guests at the garage entrance at the side of the house. The entrance was disguised as a fireplace mantelpiece where the excited wizards-to-be were about to be transported to Diagon Alley to procure school supplies. Their mode of transport? Flue powder, of course! Hagrid had a brass mini-cauldron filled with sawdust and Party Snaps. The children grabbed a handful and threw down the contents while saying "Diagon Alley". The Party Snaps popped loudly and sparked and the kids entered through the "bricks".

Diagon Alley
Upon entering, the party guests discovered how "real" this party was about to become. Diagon Alley awaited them and there were several tasks to complete while there. The abundance of staggered activities helped to keep each of the kids occupied while waiting for everyone to arrive. Some were lead to Flourish & Blotts to get their Hogwarts textbook and quill pen. Others had the pleasure to partake in Pumpkin Juice at The Leaky Cauldron and play some Pin-the-Tail-on-Dudley, while others were initially asked to go to Ollivander's Wand Shoppe. One-by-one, each young wizard was greeted by Super Hubby. He went through this whole script starting with, "Ah, Mr. SoandSo, it seems like just yesterday your parents were in here buying their first wands." Super Hubby took a wand box off the shelf, opened it up and told the child to "Give it a whirl." Nothing happened. Perplexed Super Hubby took the wand from the child and said, "Hmmm, perhaps not that one, but I wonder..." He then took the wand actually designated for the child and opened it up. When he asked the student to try the wand, Super Hubby's foot powered on the surge protector and a beam of light and a fan pointing directly at the young wizard started to blow. Super Hubby rigged this contraption and it was so cool for the kids!!!

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
When everyone had their wands, quills and textbooks, they were led out of Diagon Alley, gave their train tickets to me and I led them to the front entrance of the house where another "brick wall" awaited them underneath a sign that read Platform 9-3/4. Each child ran through the "brick wall" to find Hagrid in the foyer welcoming each one to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They were then escorted to the Great Hall and the evening's proceedings were summarized by me, Professor McGonnagal. I explained to them that each house would by vying for the House Cup. I made 4 different jars, covered them with coffee filters and made slits at the top, then used plastic coins as points. I started handing out the points right after the Sorting Hat Ceremony, since at that point we knew who was in which house. The first points went to the House who was first to arrive at the party.
Sorting Hat Ceremony
The Sorting Hat Ceremony was a hoot! Super Hubby and I rigged my cell phone to the inside of the Sorting Hat and set it to 'Loudspeaker'. The phone connection was made to the house phone and Super Hubby went into the basement to "talk" for the Sorting Hat. Although he couldn't see a thing, Super Hubby could figure out what and when to talk because he could hear our end, too. I gave cues like, "OK, now that you have the Sorting Hat on, let's see what it has to say about you." This was so much fun and the kids were surprised and really enjoyed it.
Each student received a coordinating House Seal sticker to place in their textbook.

Care of Magical Creatures
We went over the Class Schedule and dismissed everyone to the Dungeon for their Care of Magical Creatures class. Here, they each painted a wooden, slithering Basilisk. I bought these snakes in the dollar section at Target - what luck! The kids really had a good time making their Basilisk their own.

I made the Care of Magical Creatures class into two parts. The first was "lab work" - painting the Basilisk. I did this first so the painted snakes would have the most time to dry! The next part was "field work" - hunting for hidden dragon eggs outside in the backyard. I do this kind of planning intentionally with every party as far as keeping the venue changing. Inside one minute, outside the next, up, then down. Calm activity, exciting activity. It keeps the party moving, combats boredom, and keeps the kids guessing.

Hunting for Dragon Eggs
Tallying the House Points















So, taking it outside, the Dragon Eggs were hidden prior to the start of the party. I got the eggs, again at Target's dollar section, during Easter time so I took advantage of the holiday's offerings! Remember, every House had 2 team members so they always worked together as a team of two. Each egg contained a stress ball in the shape of an owl (found these at Oriental Trading Company). Each child got one and was placed in a plastic cauldron for safe-keeping. They were told they could pick-up their basilisk and their Familiar (the owl) at the end of the party from Dervish & Banges in Hogsmeade. This activity was going to allow them to score mega-points towards the House Cup. Each color was worth a certain amount of points (or coins), with the golden eggs being worth the most. Finding even one of the golden eggs would almost certainly secure a House victory...but anything can happen!

Potions Making & Elixirs
We went back inside to the Dungeon for our Potions Making & Elixirs class. We were able to borrow all the test vials, beakers, syringes, and gloves from a friend of mine that works in an actual lab. Each vial and bottle was marked with a label identifying its magical name. The kids really took this whole thing very, very seriously. Again, each House worked together on the experiment. Their textbook walked them through each step of the process and also asked questions along the way to make sure their potion was the the correct color it should be at each particular stage.

The first potion was a Protector Potion, producing a Protector Charm against all dark spells. I'll give you the steps and ingredient quantities for this great experiment but here is the name conversion first for all you muggles out there.
Mandrake Root = tongue dispenser to be used as a stirrer
Phoenix Tears = water
Basilisk Venom = cabbage juice (see photo for directions)
Boomslang = powdered laundry detergent
Crashed Dragon Scales = glitter
Leech Juice = white vinegar
Shrivel Figs = golden yellow raisins
Horn of Bicorn = baking soda
Powdered Root of Asphodel = PopRocks

Before you take my quantities, you must try the experiment for yourself, first, and adjust any quantities because the concentration strength of your cabbage juice may be stronger, or milder, than mine. It all depends on the cabbage.
Prior to the party, make cabbage juice by cutting up half a red cabbage, pour 2 cups water over and boil. Strain for the juice. Awesome purple color!
Concoction #1 Protector Potion
Gather the following and bring to the table:
  • Mandrake Root - Quantity 1
  • Phoenix Tears - 200 mL
  • Basilisk Venom - one vial
  • Boomslang - one vial
  • Crushed Dragon Scales - just a pinch
  • Leech Juice - 2 vials
  • Shrivel Figs - quantity 4
  • Horn of Bicorn - one vial
  • Powdered Root of Asphodel - one spoonful 
Instructions
1. Begin with a beaker of 200 mL Phoenix Tears.
2. Add one vial of Basilisk Venom and stir.
3. Add one vial of Boomslang and stir. (At this point the students had to write down what color their potion was at this stage. Answer: green)
4. Stir in a pinch of Crushed Dragon Scales.
5. Add two vials of Leech Juice and stir. (Students asked to write down in their textbook the color of the potion now. Answer: pink)
6. Cut Shrivel Figs in half and add to potion.
7. Pour one vial of Horn of Bicorn into solution.
8. Add one spoonful of Root of Asphodel to potion.
9. Rub a small dropper of potion onto hand for Protector Potion to activate.  



So neat to see them all concentrating intently on their potion and writing with their quills.
 
At this point in the party we were running way behind so we did not move on to Concoction #2. Do not fret! We brought down each House during the movie and had them do the experiment then. I'll share it with you now, though.

Concoction #2 is a Polyjuice Potion. This potion allows transfiguration of one object into another. In our case, dragon eggs transform into dinosaurs. For this experiment you will need a glass soda bottle, emptied, of course.

Here's the muggle translation for the items, first.
Bladder of a Hippogriff = white balloon
Hippogriff Sweat = white vinegar
Gillywater = water
Thestral Dandruff = baking soda
Dragon Eggs = those dinosaur eggs that look like pills and when you put them in warm water, the coating melts away and you are left with a sponge in a shape of a dinosaur

Concoction #2 Polyjuice Potion
Gather the following and bring to the table:
  • Glass bottle - quantity 1
  • Bladder of a Hippogriff - quantity 1
  • Hippogriff Sweat - 100 mL
  • Gillywater - 100 mL
  • Thestral Dandruff - 3 spoonfuls
  • Dragon Eggs - quantity 2
Instructions
1. Begin by carefully filling your Hippogriff Bladder with Thestral Dandruff using funnel #1. Set aside.
2. Pour the Hippogriff Sweat and Gillywater into your glass bottle using Funnel #2. Add both Dragon Eggs. (Note: if the water can be hot, all the better.)
3. Stretch the open end of the Hippogriff Bladder over the neck of the glass bottle. Make sure it is on tight! DO NOT mix the Thestral Dandruff with the solution in the glass bottle.
4. One person holds on to the neck of the bottle, tightly holding the opening.
5. When secured, the lab partner will pick-up the heavy part of the Hippogriff Bladder and allow the Thestral Dandruff to mix with the bottled solution.
(What actually happens is the balloon will inflate by itself, almost as if by magic. And, if the water was hot enough, the dinosaurs should have emerged from their eggs.)

Quidditch Match
Dumbledore explaining rules and fouls.
The pennants marked out-of-bounds.
It was now time for our Quidditch Match so we headed outside to the Field! This was so much fun to watch and the kids took to it like true Quidditch players. We had the Houses pair up and play against each other, so 4 people to a team. Each team consisted of a Keeper (the goal keeper), a Chaser (a goal attempter), a Seeker (snitch capturer), and a Beater (the tagger outer). The Beaters could not cross the centerline of the field. The balls in play were the Quaffle (the ball that scores points), the Bludger (the ball that tags out), and the Snitch (the ball that, if caught, ends the game). We used a clear SuperBall for the Snitch and every so often, Super Hubby (Dumbledore) would throw it up in the air and the players had to catch it before it bounced. If it wasn't caught, it was removed for a few minutes. We had the kids play a couple of rounds while holding their brooms. Then we did a round without the brooms. I think they could have played all evening!

The Great Feast
Check out the Food post for details!
See the "brick wall" in the foyer?
After all that running around, it was time for The Feast! While the Quidditch game was going on, I was in the kitchen heating up all the food. We all went back to the Great Hall and ate. Hagrid delivered the birthday cake at the end of the meal, the wish was made, and the candles were blown out.
While all this feasting and jubilee was going on, the behind the scenes action was full of hustle and bustle! The signs were all changed in the garage. Remember, Diagaon Alley turns into Hogsmeade so that meant our Ollivander's Shoppe sign turned into HoneyDukes and Flourish & Blotts turned into Dervish & Banges. Their painted Basilisks and familiars were put into place for pick-up and the sheet over the shelf containing all the HoneyDukes candy was revealed - all ready for their arrival. And, finally, The Leaky Cauldron turned into The Three Broomsticks - whew!

Spells & Enchantments
After The Feast, we all headed downstairs into the Common Room for our next class: Spells and Enchantments. I put a list of spells into the textbook for reference and I made up flashcards representing at least 8 spells. For example, a flashcard that showed a picture of a locked door would be for the spell Alohomora, the charm that unlocks, locked doors. The students needed their wands and went up against each other to yell out the correct spell. Each correct answer earned points for their House.


Transfiguration
The next class was Transfiguration. I wish I came up with this activity, but I cannot lay claim. This is brilliant. You write names of characters from Harry Potter onto a post-it note, one note to each name. You tape the name to the back of a student. Their job is to find out who they are (the name on the post-it note taped to their back) by process of elimination from looking at everyone else's name on the other's backs. Each student has a list of names in their textbook so they go around looking at the backs of the others and cross that name off. If they did it correctly, the last name should be the one on their back. Whoever figures it out first and is correct wins points for their House! I highly recommend doing this activity. It's a great take on Transfiguration.


Defence Against the Dark Arts
This final class was Defence (that's the way Harry Potter World spells it) Against the Dark Arts. We practiced the Expecto Patronum spell with our wands and learned the 3 Unforgiveable Curses: Avada Kadavra, Crucio, and Imperio. Then I had the Houses scatter and answer the following question: Name as many professors as you can who taught D.A.D.A. class. If anyone in the House read the books, then they would have come up with all 8 (6 were in the movies). Those Houses who got the most answers correct, won points.

House Cup Ceremony
Doing the Dumbledore clap!
During the D.A.D.A. class, we tallied up the House Points to determine a winner to the House Cup. We all went upstairs, back into the Great Hall for the announcement. Dumbledore gave a great speech, he even clapped by hitting the top of his hand, just like Dumbledore in the movie. The announcement was made and Sytherin took home the House Cup (ironically, it was the birthday boy's House). The trophies were awarded to each person in the House and was theirs to keep. The others didn't mind not winning because they all knew what was next: Butterbeer and The Three Broomsticks and Honeydukes!!! The textbook had a description of each candy and treat offered at Honeydukes so they just couldn't wait to get their hands on some of it. Off to Hogsmeade we went. They picked up their Basilisk and familiars (the owls), then each House went to HoneyDukes, one-by-one starting with the House Cup Champions. While waiting, the others had an opportunity to partake in the delicious Butterbeer (our own recipe).

Hogsmeade
Butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks
So much to choose from at Honeydukes.
Go on, try a Bertie Bott's Every-Flavoured Bean!
Oh no - booger-flavoured!

Order of the Phoenix
After much discussion and debate, the kids agreed to watch the 5th Harry Potter movie, Order of the Phoenix. So, they took their goodies from Honeydukes, gathered around the screen, relaxed, and enjoyed!

Presents
Every one was gone by 11:00 PM but my son was too excited to go to sleep without opening his presents. A rule since day one with us has always been to not open presents during the party. We never have and it really helps the focus remain on the party, not the gifts. So, before midnight, the presents were opened and the gifts were so thoughtful and awesome.

We hope the kids had a memorable experience!

Next week's What I Made Wednesday is the final installment of this Harry Potter Birthday Party so stay tuned! And, for all you non-Harry Potter fans, thanks for sticking around.

15 comments:

Suzan Wood-Young said...

How awesome was that!!! I'm exhausted just reading it. What a great amount of work and planning with a fantastic payoff! Point of information: The spelling of defence with a "c" is how Brits, Canadians and other commonwealth countries spell it, not just the wizarding world. :)

Jill @Two Yellow Birds Decor said...

what a fun party!!! Looks like all the kids had fun! Thanks so much for inviting me over. I am now a follower!
Jill

I am LOVD said...

Ahh, I think I may have a little Brit in me because i always spell shop like shoppe and flavor like flavour. How does Canada spell those two words, eh?

Motivated Mommy of two said...

wow what a fun party it looked like it was a lot of fun. Thank you for stopping by I am not following you back

Suzan Wood-Young said...

I think Shoppe is more a Jolly olde England type spelling, and a very charming one i'd say. Flavour is the commonwealth way - Canadian and Britain etc. All those "or" words seem to have a "our" in them for some reason. Something else I recently discovered, and I'm not trying to single you out, is the fact that the word "eh" is used at the end of statements, not questions. When I read the comment, it seemed so wrong and I thought: "That person has no idea what they're talking about." Then I thought about it. "Not bad, eh?" "Beautiful day, eh?" came to mind. I've always thought it's similar to the American use of "huh?" Turning a statement into a question, using it to encourage someone to agree with you... instead of using the phrase "isn't it?" or "don't you think?". It's kind of like a short form, eh?

I am LOVD said...

Hi, Shirley,
I read your comment and felt a little bad about you "not"following me back but then I saw you in the Followers section and figured the "not" should have been "now". Amazing how one letter can change an emotion:-)

I am LOVD said...

Suzan, I think it's charming...and so are you:-)

CaseyWiegand said...

beyond amazing!!!!!

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Fun party!! So glad you linked this to Things I've Done Thursday!

Julie Marling said...

You went all out mom! Way to go! Awesome Party! New follower from Wiegand hop. Love for you to follow back when you get a chance

http://naptimeshopper.blogspot.com

Ladies Holiday said...

This is outstanding! I had a Harry Potter Party a couple years ago and it was so much fun! You went all out-missing no detail! GREAT!!!
Saying hi from The Wiegands Hop!

DebbieDoesCreations said...

I know he thinks this is the best birthday EVER! You have set the bar ;) Thanks so much for sharing at Toot Your Horn Tuesday :)

Debbiedoo's said...

Had to be the coolest party on the block! Thanks again for sharing.

Christine said...

This is a FABULOUS party idea!!! LOVE IT! Everything looked perfect!

Thanks so much for sharing at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you link up this evening! :)

zoe sugg in harry potter said...

We really are the Harry Potter generation! From here on, people will never know what it's like to wait for a HP book or movie to be released. I hope future generations love HP just as much as we do :).

 

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