In case you missed it, here’s the post where I talk about decorations and food.
Okay, so the house was all Harry Potter-ified, the cupcakes were made, and still we needed to DO stuff at the actual party. It never ends–the party planning! But Milo is pretty great, so I didn’t mind. Too much.
Things started off with a bang when Hagrid showed up. It pays to have friends with Hagrid costumes when you’re having a Harry Potter party. Here are the kids spotting him out the front door:
And then everyone headed over to Ollivander’s/our dining room so their wands could pick them (I talked about how I made the wands last week). Dave was Ollivander and handed the kids a wand to try waving around. Ari was in charge of sound effects; he hit a button to make it sound like glass breaking or someone screaming or a cat yowling or whatever, and then Dave would says, “oh, no–not THAT one!” and have the kid try another. When they got to the “right” wand, Ari played the Harry Potter theme music. This was all highly amusing. I probably should have done some video. Oh well:
Once everyone had a wand, it was scavenger hunt time. In keeping with the “Arrival Day at Hogwarts” theme, the idea was that Neville had lost his toad, Trevor, on the train, and everyone had to help find him. I divided the kids into two groups and set them up with their first terrible rhyming clues:
Milo ranked this as his favorite party activity (well, right up there with eating cupcakes). The last clue led to enough stress ball frogs (from Oriental Trading Company; they didn’t have any toads) for everyone:
And the final organized activity was sorting the kids into houses, right before we turned them loose on the ice cream. I thought about trying to DIY a Sorting Hat (affiliate link), but I wound up just buying one on Amazon instead. It was around $25 with shipping, and not having to try to make something passable out of paper bags and paint was worth that to me. I’m pretty pleased with the quality and look of the sorting hat for what I paid, BUT it is NOT adult sized as advertised. It fit the kids up to the 9 or 10 year olds, but was definitely too small for the bigger kids and grown-ups. They all had to hold it on their heads.
We taped a baby monitor up in there (some of the reviews say there’s a pocket in the hat for a monitor. Umm….I didn’t see one. I should probably go check again. Anyway, we just used masking tape), and Dave hid in the other room and made the hat talk and tell the kids which house they were in.
This got a little tiresome, honestly, maybe because everyone was waiting for cupcakes. I think it would have been better if we’d done it earlier and used it as a way of sorting kids into teams for the scavenger hunt maybe. (Milo and Gus quizzed everyone when they arrived about what house they wanted to be in, and put them wherever they said).
Oh! The spellbooks sitting up there by the Sorting Hat were the last of the party favors (so everyone took home a wand, a toad, and a spellbook). I used the printable spells from Heidi’s So-called Life (she has a few different chapters in hers with other activities, but I only printed the spell part. Oh, also….they print out 4 pages per sheet, but I could only use 2 of them because I needed a margin for the staples. You’ll see what I mean if you go to print. She glued her pages into notebooks, so she didn’t need a margin). Then I made my own covers. The covers were supposed to some fancy looking but normal thickness paper I had, but I ran out (printing the actual spells on it) and had to use card stock. Which made the whole thing to thick for my crappy stapler to make it through. So, in the end, I stapled the spell part together and then glued THAT booklet into the card stock covers. Which probably made them look nicer than they would have with staples though the whole thing anyway.
And that’s it! Phew! Party planning is not so much my favorite thing in the whole world, but I think Milo really enjoyed it, so it was worth it in the end (I can say now that it’s all over). Thanks to everyone who came out to share the day with Milo!
Check out some of our other parties: