There's too much to cover in one post, so here's the first, covering Invitations and Diagon Alley, the Sorting Ceremony, Hogwarts Houses, and Lessons. Check back for posts related to the dessert table, Hogwarts grounds and great hall, and many other things.
Invitations: The invitations for this party were Hogwarts acceptance letters, sent by “owl post”, complete with “H” wax seals and Hogwarts Express train tickets. The students were thrilled to receive these; some thought they were real acceptance letters. Lol!
Diagon Alley: Upon arrival at the party, the “students” entered Diagon Alley. The first stop in Diagon Alley was Gringotts Wizarding Bank to pick up their gold so they could buy their school supplies. At Olivander’s, they picked four of their favorite wands, then they used the patented “Wand Selector”®™ to figure out which wand would pick them. Each student then visited Madam Malkins’s Robes to buy their Hogwarts robe, Quality Quidditch Supplies to purchase a broomstick, and Flourish and Blotts to purchase a feather, writing quill. The guests also left messages for the birthday boy in a Monster Book of Monster’s guest book. We made the guest book from an old album and furry fabric that we bought at a craft store. Each student was given a Marauder’s Map, which was customized to show the layout of our home and labeled with various places from Harry Potter’s world. (The map was later used in the charms lesson and scavenger hunt; see below.) Before leaving Diagon Alley, the students took photos in the Platform 9 ¾ photo booth and the Prisoner of Azkaban photo booth. They then left Diagon Alley through the Platform 9 ¾ concealed “brick wall” entryway. After a trip on the Hogwarts Express using the train ticket they received with their acceptance letter, they arrived at Hogwarts.
The Sorting and Hogwarts Houses: Upon arrival at Hogwarts, the student entered the Great Hall and participated in a Sorting Ceremony. We used our cell phones and our Bluetooth AV system and speaker to project the “voice” of the Sorting Hat into the room. The kids loved interacting with the hat in this way and many were begging and pleading with the hat to be placed into one house or another. Once sorted, every student received a house tie in the color of their house and I explained to them the house point system—good behavior would earn points and bad behavior would lose points for their house. We used glass beads to represent points and the teachers gave out and took away beads throughout the party. At the end of the party, the students from the house with the most points were awarded house cups.
Lessons: The sorting was just the start. The real fun began when the students went to their lessons with their houses. Each house rotated through various lessons described below.
Charms with Professor Flitwick: In Charms, the students used their Marauder’s Map to locate various plaques on the floor around the house and backyard. The children had to stand on each plaque and perform a spell: Augamenti (turned on the waterfall in the pool), Incendio (turned on the fireplace), Alohamora (opened and closed the garage door), and Lumos/Nox (turned the lights on and off). Thank goodness for remote controls! A fifth plaque, for the spell Wingardium Leviosa, proved a little more challenging. Contrary to what my son may think, even I can’t make things levitate or fly! So I gave them balloon (to create static) and various small, light objects and ask them to figure out how to make the items levitate.
Herbology with Madam Sprout: Herbology lesson involved designing and making a baby mandrake root, using air-dry clay, raffia “roots” and leaves.
Professor Snape and Madam Sprout...!
Potions with Professor Snape: In Potions, the students used various household products (think vinegar, baking soda, powdered sugar, food coloring, pop rocks etc.) to make magical potions. I made potions booklets containing the “recipes” for each potion. I changed the names of the ingredients in the potions booklet to give everything a magical name. It was great fun watching them perform simple chemistry experiments with a magical twist.
Quidditch Practice with Madam (Professor) Hooch/Marauder’s Map Scavenger Hunt with Professor McGonagall: The fourth lesson was listed on the class schedule as Quidditch Practice with Madam Hooch, however, shortly after beginning the flying lessons, the lesson was interrupted by Professor McGonagall (me) asking the kids for their helping solving a mystery. I told them that one of their house members had been petrified and they needs to help me find the culprit using the clue left behind: a receipt from Eeylops Owl Emporium. The first clue led to many others, in a scavenger hunt game, ending in the Chamber of Secrets where they found the Hogwarts ID badge of the Professor who had committed the crime.
Here's one culprit...Professor Trelawny...it turns out she was under the Imperius Curse...
Check back for more to come.... For Part 2, click here.
Party styling by The Party Wall www.thepartywall.com
Party Printables www.birdsparty.com
Photography by Kathie Tam www.kathietamphotography.com
Cake Topper letters, Cupcake toppers
and sugar cookies by
MJ Tabush Sweet Designs www.etsy.com/shop/mjtabush
Cake pops by Fayes Cake Pops www.fayescakepops.com
Tableware, hard candy, jelly beans,
gumballs, lollipops www.partycity.com