Sunday, February 26, 2012

Harry Potter birthday party

I am very lucky that my beautiful daughter found Harry Potter late in his fame. The intention being that everyone out there in our vast universe has already done all my research for activties when she begged and pleaded for a HP party. To be honest she's been begging and pleading for a little while now, but I've managed to avoid this theme. For purely selfish reasons of course. The main one being I'm really not a HP fan and the other being I knew it would be a major undertaking it.
So, since she is the first of my children to turn a double digit and frankly I can't keep saying no to that face, this was the weekend for the big shindig.

We decided to host 7 girls for a sleepover, so we could have a total of 8 girls, two in each house.

Girls were greeted at the door with the 9 ¾ sign to catch the Hogwarts express.

Once inside there was a Happy Birthday sign we had made out of the Gryffindor colours with Hedwig, naturally.

While we were waiting for everyone to come, the girls worked on a Harry Potter Crossword puzzle that I had created for them.

When a majority of the guests arrived, they each got an invisibility cloak to wear for the rest of the night. I had made these cloaks the night before (NOT recommended) by just getting a yard of fabric, cutting off 10 inches from one end to turn that into a hood and then sewing it back on the full pieces. To be honest what took the longest was trimming everything.

Then they sat in the sorting chair (with the sorting hat near by) and picked pins out of the top hat to determine what house they would be a part of for the rest of the night. The birthday girl got first pick and of course got Gryffindor.

I set up two working tables and a display table that housed all our supplies for the crafts. This display table was looked over by the Monster Book, who keep an eye on everything (and everyone).

Our first craft we worked on was creating bookmarks in the shape of House Ties. They used crayons to colour their ties and then we put them in the Xyron laminating machine.

I combined the second and third craft, since they both required gold paint. The girls made Gringotts Galleons and Snitches. For the Galleons, the girls painted wood discs that I had gotten at Joann in a gold colour and then used black ink and letter stamps to write out the word Galleon across the top.

The Snitches were a bit more complicated to create. First the girls painted their paper mache balls gold. Then they bent some copper wire into wing shapes, leaving a tail behind, and covered it with yellow paper. I drilled two holes in the side of each ball and the tails were poked into the balls.

Our fourth craft was to create Flying Key necklaces. I had talked a local locksmith into giving me 8 keys to use. The girls picked a feather, glued it on the back of the keys and flipped them over to glue gems to the front side. I then measured out leather cords for them and tied the keys on the cord so they can wear their necklaces.

While they were busy creating their keys, I took the girls one by one into the kitchen to create their potions jars. I had gotten some halal jello and mixed it before hand. When it was almost ready to set, I had each girl put some into her jar and fill it with halal marshmellows, grapes and oranges. We put these in the fridge so that they could set.

Our last craft for the night was creating wands decorated in their house colours. I had gotten dowels from Joann, which they coloured with crayons. They had a lot of fun deciding on the designs they wanted to put on them.
We then played a game of Harry Potter bingo, which I must say was probably the highlight of the whole party. I created the sheets myself and the chips were parts from the pins I sell. We played regular bingo, blackout and of course creating the letter L, in honor of the birthday girl. Each time someone won, they got to pick a prize from the prize box of goodies.  Wait, maybe the box of goodies was the highlight since I had no limit on the times they could win?

It was time for a break, so we stopped for dinner and cupcakes. For dinner, I set up the table with fancy placemats and lots of candles, to mimic the Great Hall. While they were laughing and giggling through dinner, this was my chance to clean up the green jello mess in the kitchen.

Since they were a bit wired from the cupcakes, I sent them upstairs for a game of Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. They divided up into houses and Hufflepuff house took the grand prize (helping themselves to even more toys from the box of goodies).

After the game, everyone settled in their sleeping bags, blankets and pajamas to watch the first Harry Potter movie. Since so many of them had watched it before, they were cracking each other up saying all the lines.

When the movie ended, we tried to turn off the lights in hope of quieting them down, but alas, they were too excited to sleep and I’m sure I passed out before them. I heard later that there had also been a pillow fight, but it must have been a quiet one as I didn't hear it at all. The next morning, they were up at 6:30am, full of energy and talking and laughing to see if they can wake each other up.

We had a breakfast of pancakes, egg sandwiches and turkey bacon. And then they played another round of bingo and then took their wands outside to cast spells (I think it worked too well since it started to snow!). Once inside, they ate their potions jello and played with Harry Potter Legos while they (and I) awaited their parents’ arrival. As they were leaving, they also got to take home some quilled feathers.  Originally I had bought them so they could make pens out of them, but to be honest we ran out of time with so many other activities.

Overall, it was a great party and I think everyone had fun.  I got a lot of thumbs up throughout the wonderful event.  Now I wonder what we'll do for the next party?

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