The Littlest Who and I have been reading Harry Potter together for the last few years. Even though he doesn’t have to wait for the next book in the series to come out, like his older brothers did, I’ve paced it out partly to give him time to grow up with Harry, and partly to prolong the pleasure of lingering in that magic world with my youngest child.
We read the first book the year he turned seven, and we threw a wizard party to celebrate. I came across the photos the other day, and thought I’d pass them along for anyone looking for a fun birthday or Halloween party theme.
Hogwarts School of Wizardry.
You are invited to a very special gathering.
Expect magical things to take place.
Guests may wear wizard garments, or you may dress in the casual manner of the day.
RSVP by owl, or use your muggle phone to call ******* by _____.
As guests arrived, they were sent to the wandmaker (my middle son), who gave them each a dowel rod tipped with a stick-on gem, and explained the unique magical properties that wand had–elder wood, perhaps, with a unicorn hair core. Then they were sent to my oldest son for training in wand maneuvers and spells.
Once everyone had wands, they drew slips of paper from the Sorting Hat (a well-crumpled paper bag with a little help from scissors and masking tape), and were sorted into one of four school “houses.” The house names were written on a piece of poster board, and points were assigned for games, riddles, and GOOD MANNERS (one of my best kid party hacks ever). Throughout the party, wizard pupils accumulated inexpensive little prizes, like plastic critters they found in the Magical Creature Hunt, and the “baby” dragons inside the metallic hollow eggs used for the outdoor Spoon and Dragon Egg Race. I love old-fashioned party games, and I find them so easy to adapt to a theme.
The table was decorated with potion jar centerpieces. I wish I had gotten better pictures. The cocktail onion “pickled eyeballs” and slimy Hippogriff Gizzards (smoked oysters in oil) were as wonderfully gruesome as the jar of canned pasta “bloodworms.”
On the buffet, I arranged some owls from my collection, Witch’s Broom Favors (filled with a mix of candy corn and Bugles), and Wizard Hat Cupcakes. For beverages, each guest mixed a magic brew by adding powder from a pixi stick to goblet of clear lemon-lime soda.
The most popular activity was one I came up with on my own: Defense Against Dark Dreams class. I bought various colors of craft sand, and decanted them into clear plastic cups labelled with Nightmare-Repelling qualities: Giggles, Happy Thoughts, Hugs, Monster Repellent, Courage, etc.
Each child was given an empty glass “potion” bottle (from the wedding favors section of the craft store), and could custom mix his own spell against nightmares, to keep near his bed at night. The kids were so excited at the thought of having a defense against all the things that go bump in a seven-year-old’s imagination at night. Each went home happily clutching his potion. My son still has his on his bedroom shelf, and tells me it works like a charm. I hope everybody else’s did, too.