03 Oct Harry Potter Birthday Party
Harry Potter Birthday Party
The series is huge, but lets be honest, no one wants a birthday party in 7 parts; the children are older, and it needs to be dynamic, so the first step: choose 1 book. If you’re part of a democratic household, you could let your child choose their favourite book. However, in our house everyone is ruled with an iron fist! Therefore I’ve chosen to theme the party around “The Goblet of Fire” (book 4, for those of you who don’t know).
T-25 – As you know, the theme for Jules’ 11th birthday party is Harry Potter.
T-25 – STILL – Small recap for those who aren’t following, (aka “Harry Potter for dummies”): The Goblet of Fire is a competition for the best young wizards (yes, we’re quite sure that all the children that surround you are the best. Yes, they’re definitely the best!!). The four wizarding schools (of which one is Hogwarts) choose their 4 champions, who must be older than 17. Harry (of course, otherwise the book wouldn’t be called Harry Potter) is selected despite being too young, along with Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson <3) to represent Hogwarts! The two make it to the final but are trapped by Lord Voldemort who has transformed the trophy into a portkey. For the first time Harry is confronted by Voldemort and his Death Eater friends. In the end, Harry wins but Cedric dies. It’s tough and we all have to get out our tissues. It’s the moment where Harry Potter becomes gloomy, almost a man. Children want to be like him, they’ve fallen in love with him. Harry is everyone’s idol!
T-25 – STILL – I decide to make my invitations myself, although these ones by Mathilde Cabanas are great. But I’ve always dreamed of being like Dumbledore so I make my own invitations to Hogwarts. I get out my fountain pen and I write them in my calligraphy style, the way my friend Seb taught me.
T-21 – I dream that Hedwig is going to deliver the letters that I carefully handwrote. However, when I wake up, Jules says he’s going to distribute his letters himself.
T-17 It’s time to get an idea of what you’re going to do. If you’re on this page it’s because you have decided to do everything yourself, and the good news is that the following list is thorough and well thought out, and should allow you to make your own list.
T-15 It’s time to buy or order what you need based on the games and activities you have chosen, along with all the decorations you need to transform your interior: confetti, a bunting garland, balloons, lanterns, etc…
T-10 I’ve made my orders. I know what I’m going to do with my little wizards, but it remains to be seen if I’ll be Bellatrix Lestrange or Minerva McGonagall. It’s a dilemma. In both cases let’s be clear, I won’t look my best. Hosting a party is a bit like acting, you don’t choose a role just to show off!
T-7 Prepare the playlist, print out the printables, print out the list of games and organise the games themselves, so time to create my maze and the quidditch rings…
T-1 THE EVENING IN MY KITCHEN – I make a yoghurt cake and cover it with ganache. Tomorrow I will add the golden snitch. For those who don’t know, it’s the most important ball in a quidditch match (according to the Harry Potter Wiki)!
T-1 -STILL THE EVENING – NOW IN MY LIVING ROOM – I’m recreating platform 9 ¾. “Platform 9 is here, platform 10 just next to it. I imagine that the platform can be found somewhere in the middle, although I don’t think it’s been built yet…” The overall result is suprising ! I put it between my living room and my dining room. It’s now time to transform my dining room into the Hogwarts Great Hall! And in the Hogwarts Great Hall there are hanging candles!! I don’t know about you, but I find that crazy!!!! To tell you the truth, I’m still not really sure whether to make Death Eater decorations!!
9:00 am I have to get up. If it was up to me, I would get under an invisibility cloak and make myself forgotten for the whole weekend.
10:00 am I get up. Jules is still sleeping. I don’t dare to go into his room. The snoring is so strong you could say that my baby has been replaced by Hagrid.
10:05 am I cover the books for the library of my “Great Hall” with calliagraphed kraft paper covers!
10:30 am I make my golden snitch and put it on my cake. I make some more golden snitches (6). I love it, it’s relaxing.
10:45 am I fill the sweet jars and glue on some sweet labels (fudge flies, fever fudge, exploding bonbons, Drooble’s best blowing gum…)
11:15 am I wake Jules and ask him to fill in the party bags: a slimy slug, some Harry Potter glasses and a tube of fake blood!
1:00 pm I don’t set the table, it’s intentional. (“What?” You might be saying to yourself, “she’s forgotten a step, my beloved witch is half asleep!!”). I put everything to one side: my plates, cups, napkins…
3:00 pm They’re here. They’re all wearing a white shirt and black jeans. I ask them all to cross platform 9 ¾ and sit down at the table. I sit at the end of the table and introduce myself. I’m Minerva McGonagall, Dumbledore couldn’t make it, so I’m leading!
3:05 pm You need to choose a wizard name. To help you, you could add an IX, a W or other sounds…
3:15 pm Now you have a name, we can proceed to the Sorting Hat ceremony. I’m going to call you one at a time (of course, you have already written their wizard names onto some paper) and you’re going to sit on this chair and put on the Sorting Hat. Then, put your hand into this bowl (filled with fake spiders) and pull out the name of your house (Slytherin or Gryffindor) !
3:25 pm The kids have their name and their house. I suggest you make capes and let the kids write a label to stick on it with their wizard name, using the harry potter style writing (a medieval, celtic style for the best effect). I know that they’ll love copying the letters, just to put at the centre of the cape!
3:40 pm The cape makes them look the part. But without the tie, you’re not ready for Hogwarts. So there’s still a bit of work to do. Here’s some pieces of felt…
3:57 pm We’re going to have a wizard’s duel / musical statues! The kids dance two by two, Slytherin versus Gryffindor, and each time the music stops, they transform into Dumbledore casting a curse on Voldemort. The one who is the most convincing wins the point. Attention: 3 songs, 3 rounds, the one that wins 2 points wins the duel and the point!
4:07 pm It’s time to get serious and onto the Goblet of Fire competition! To start, make a circle. Test their Harry Potter knowledge with a quiz! The winner will become the O.W.L champion!
4:20 pm It is now time for the dragon egg trial!! You must first of all make your egg. There’s a tutorial to make them with thumbtacks (for a small group that has the patience)!!
4:35 pm Your eggs are super, I’m going to call Dumbledore who will be delighted to display them in Hogwarts. Whilst Dumbledore works, we’re going to do mimes between houses. Whisper in the player’s ear the name of a Harry Potter character, give them a drink of the polyjuice potion that I’ve made (or if you have time, you could make them do it) and suddenly they’ll transform. Whoever works out who it is wins the point!
4:45 pm It’s time for the hunt. The first one to find their egg will become the dragon champion! (Whilst they search for the eggs, set the table).
4:55 pm Bravo to the dragon champion. Come and eat, you’ve earned it! You could do another quiz while they eat (an advantage of 7 books is that there is plenty of material!). It’s a bit like a retake of the O.W.Ls!
5:10 pm The second trial in the goblet of fire is a test of breath holding. You may be champions, but we’re not going to lie, you aren’t Michael Phelps. For those of you who have a pool (and champions who can swim 1000 metres), you could organise a fun relay race in the water. For others, like me, we’ll replace one sense with another. I suggest you play pin the lightning bolt on Harry Potter! Blindfold the kids one after the other, as each kid tries to stick the lightning bolt on Harry’s head so he finds his famous scar. The closest will be the lightning champion!!
5:25 pm The third task: the maze (Find a large cardboard box and cut it to leave just the base, on the back, glue a polystyrene dome to give it a wobbly effect, paint it in black and create a maze with red and yellow straws or toilet paper tubes, not forgetting to add some holes ! Get out your marbles!). We’re going to have a duel. The quickest person in each duel wins a point! Well done to the champions of the maze!
5:40 pm A little Quidditch match, that’s essential! If you have a garden, even better. Otherwise, get your wizards to help you clear the tea table and ask them to set up a triangle of yellow cups and a triangle of red cups at each end of the table and 3 rings (goals) in the middle. The idea is to throw the golden snitch through one of the circles and make it land in one of the cups! Two by two, team against team, each one has 3 golden snitches. Stand around each side of the table as if you were at a ping pong match and let’s go! Those who fill the most cups win a point!
5:52 pm I’ll let you count the points and add them up! Which house has won the Goblet of Fire?
5:55 pm Jules isn’t Harry, and I’m not Petunia Dursley, so there are plenty of presents to open!
6:10 pm The minister of magic is calling me, I have to go. Actually, I’m going to check out The Crimes of Grindewald under my invisibility cloak . In truth, I’m going to check out Jude Law.
An alternative to a Harry Potter birthday party is a pyjama party/film night. We decorate the room like the Gryffindor common room (armchairs, tartan, red and yellow fans). We customise our capes and ties, we make ‘Deathly Hallows’ biscuits together, we make magic potion labels and have a photobooth session ! A quidditch match in teams and then we watch films all night !
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