Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

Wait... you didn't know that July 31st is Harry Potter's birthday? Ok, I'll admit it, I didn't know until last week either. A bookstore nearby was hosting a Harry Potter birthday party last Saturday and I took T. We had an awesome time!

I started reading the Harry Potter series aloud to T when he was about 4 years old. We had been reading aloud to him since birth and he became quite advanced in his ability to comprehend complex story lines. At first I thought it might be too old for him but we gave it a try. He really enjoyed the story, as did I, so we continued. As we continued, we discussed the story line just to make sure that he was actually understanding the plot. We took breaks between books to explore other pieces of literature but we always came back to Harry Potter. I have to admit, I didn't expect that I would love it as much as I did. After each book was completed, we would sit together (sometimes Dad joined too) and watch the movie that went along with it. We would then discuss the similarities and differences between the book and the movie. Of course, the movies were never as good as the books but they did do a really good job on the movies as well.

In honor of Harry Potter's birthday we attended the bookstore's party which included the children being sorted into houses by the sorting hat. T was sorted into Ravenclaw, which disappointed him a bit because he wanted Slynterin or Gryffindor. Each child received a goodie bag with a coloring page of their house crest, stickers, a word search, a maze and two bookmarks. T's favorite part was the glowstick wand each child got. The served birthday cupcakes (the one pictured below was mine, T got one with green frosting for Slytherin but he ate it so fast, I didn't get a picture). They also served pumpkin juice which was sort of like a pumpkin latte but without the coffee. I thought it was yummy but T didn't care for it. 

While we ate, one of the employees read from the book "The Tales of Beetle the Bard", which we really enjoyed as we haven't read that one yet. They also had a Harry Potter trivia with prizes for the top two winners. We didn't win but it was fun just the same. Finally, we played a guessing game where the child randomly chose a character name from a jar. Everyone except that child got to see who the character was, then the child had to ask "yes or no" questions to determine which character they had chosen to be. T was a bit embarrassed that he first chose Hermione but he was thrilled that he chose Tom Riddle for his second character. For those who haven't read the books, the reason he was embarrassed is because Hermione is a girl. It was a really fun afternoon of Potter fun and it was all Free! 

When we got home we were on a Harry Potter kick and T suggested we watch one of the movies. I normally would have said yes, except that he had just gotten back from a week at his grandparents house where they let him watch TV all day long if we wants. I told him I had a better idea and pulled up a photo that I had pinned quite a while ago of DIY wands from chop sticks.

We collected supplies from our art closet and got to work. T decided that chop sticks were too short for a proper wand but we had some small wooden dowels that worked nicely. We slightly sharpened the tip of each dowel with a pencil sharpener. Then I used a low temperature hot glue gun to add lots of glue to one end. We didn't use many beads as in the inspiration photo we just used a 8mm round bead for the end. I rolled the glue in my hands after it had cooled a bit to smooth it out. T wanted his just smooth, I added a spiral of glue all of the way down my handle.

Before painting

Close up of my wand handle with spirals.

T mixed some red and green acrylic paint to make a nice dark brown for his wand. After his was painted, I added a little white and yellow to the brown to make a lighter brown that is almost gray once dry. Once painted and dry, they actually look like solid wood. We thought they turned out really nice. The wand with the longer handle that is lighter in color is mine, the darker wand with the shorter handle is T's.

T proceeded to dress in his Death Eater halloween costume from last year and enjoyed playing with his new wand.

If you or your children are interested in magic or other fun fantasy novels, consider reading the Harry Potter series. T is planning to reread the entire series soon on his own. The movies are really good too. I feel like the first few movies are fairly tame for younger children but you may want to pre-watch the second half of the series as they get quite dark. We read these and watched the movies over several years. I was comfortable with him, at 4, reading/watch the first books but he was 7 before we finished the series. Even if you aren't interested in Harry Potter, this wand craft would be super fun for any sort of magical play. Just supervise young children because these can be dangerous.

1 comment:

  1. Superb birthday party with different costumes and magical atmosphere. I am planning a surprise welcome party for my friend at one of marvellous San Francisco event venues next month. Will meet her after several years and want to make this moment memorable.