February 5, 2018

Harry Potter Birthday Party - Part Two - The Activities (Hogwarts Classes)

If you haven't, check out Part One of our Harry Potter Birthday Party here.

This past Saturday, we celebrated Cooper's Birthday with a Harry Potter theme. Eight classmates joined us for the fun. After all the friends arrive for the party, I had them all come down to be "sorted" by a cute little sorting hat. If the Sorting Hat called out Slytherin, we just pushed it again. I found the little electronic sorting hat on Amazon.

I then handed them each a bag of Gold Galleons (chocolate coins) to purchase their school supplies. First they bought their robes from Madame Malkins, then they picked up their house scarves, then they closed their eyes to let the wants choose them, and then they picked up their Spellbooks and Potion books I created. The kids loved the spell books and instantly started shouting out spells to each other from the book.

After getting their school supplies, the kids were ready to go to Charms Class where I would perform some magic tricks for them. My husband got them to select an object in the room while I ran out for a minute, and when I came back, we performed this "Black Magic Trick", and it was great! They were impressed. I then used my "Magic Coloring Book" and further impressed the boys. It was then time for the boys to do some magic of their own in "Transfiguration'" class. I had each boy come up and pull a card from a bowl with an animal printed out on it. They had to act out the animal (transform I mean into the animal) and have the other kids guess what they were supposed to be. So charades. They did a great job.

After Transfiguration, we headed into my kitchen for Potions Class. This class required the most set up time of all. The night before, I set up 4 different experiments for the kids to do in their house groups.

The first potion we created as edible. They made pudding from powder mixes of milk and pudding and elixir of life (water) I had all set out in containers and could add insect eggs (sprinkles) or goblin eyes (candy eyes) if they wanted. After pudding, we did an exploding foaming potion that had to turn green and smell of flowers to be successful. The kids loved this one. It was simply vinegar, baking soda and yellow and blue dish soap in cauldrons (big bowls).I then performed this Burning Basilisk Skin trick following the directions from here.  Pretty exciting because of the fire, and it smelled like s'mores. The kids wanted more potions, so we did a quick Dragon's Milk Fireworks experiment which consisted of dripping dye into milk and adding dish soap.

The kids were getting thirsty at this point, so we then had a Divination Class. Each kid closed their eyes while I poured 7Up into their cups and the 7 Up turned colors to reveal their fortunes. I saw this idea on Pinterest. You simply put food coloring into their cups the night before to let it dry. Add ice right before you perform this class, and then add the liquid and it will magically turn a color for them.

After Divination, it was time for Quidditch. I was really hoping we would be able to play following ideas I found from this Camp website, but the weather was awful (sleeting and cold), so instead I hid 40 snakes, lizards, frogs and one fat rat (Scabbers) in my basement for the boys to find. I told them Hagrid accidentally let all the Magical Creatures out and they needed to round them up for me. The boys were then ready for "Classes" to be over and for some free time, so I was then able to prep the cake and butterbeer for the kids. I used cream soda in beer mugs, and ladled homemade whipped cream with butterscotch drizzled on top for butterbeer. For the cake, I made a fun Monster Book of Monsters.

We of course used magical relighting candles and all sung Happy Birthday to my almost nine year old boy! Tomorrow is the real day. I can't honestly believe it!

Each kid was then awarded a trip to Honeydukes and picked out chocolate frogs, gummy worms, Bertie Botts Jelly Beans, slugs, Gumballs, Acid Pops and Snitch chocolates. I think they had a pretty darn good time together. Later that night, two moms told me their sons were still wearing their robes and scarves shouting spells with their wands and spell books. "Ridikulus!"

If you are hosting a Harry Potter Party and want to copy any of these party ideas and I left out a link, just let me know in the comments and I'll try to send you the link.

One party down and another to go this weekend for my daughter Lily. Can't wait!

Harry Potter Birthday Party - Part One - The Planning, Preparation, and Decorations

This past Saturday, we celebrated Cooper's 9th Birthday with a Harry Potter inspired party. I had a great time planning and preparing for the party since I love all Harry Potter books so much and there were hundreds of pinterest and blog ideas to inspire ideas.

It all started with a homemade invitation. I forgot to take pictures of the invitation, but we made it into an acceptance letter to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry with a train ticket for Hogwarts Express included and stained the invitations with tea bags for an authentic look. We even dripped red candle wax to seal the envelopes and stamped them with an H stamp I had on hand. I'll have to see if my husband captured a photo. I simply drafted the letters up in Microsoft Word after looking at several ideas on Etsy.

I sewed robes following this simple Tutorial and these scarves from Pieces by Polly as well. The scarves turned out great! So soft and warm. I decided not to make Slytherin robes because Cooper and I both decided that kids would not be very excited about being a Slytherin. Each robe took about 10 minutes once I got the hang of the pattern/cutting and each scarf took about 20 minutes from cutting to finish sewing. Not bad. I ordered a pack of 5 patches from Amazon to sew on to each robe as well to make them look slightly more authentic. This was the most expensive part of the party, fabric is always more expensive than I think it will be! I got the fleece and Oly Fun and plan polyester black fabric from Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon.

I also created all the wands by following a tutorial I saw on pinterest using chopsticks/dowels and hot glue! It was really easy to do! We just let glue cover the wands in different patters, then painted using brown, black, gold, and silver paint, and then when dry, painted all of them with Modge Podge to seal in the paint. Cooper helped with the whole process.


In order to decorate for the Party, I printed off a lot of printables from etsy. I ordered this package, on etsy which turned out great! I ordered plates and the banner you see in the background above from Amazon

And using this etsy package of printables for the Honeydukes sweets/party favors! Amazingly enough, most of the printables are free on instructables . I couldn't believe how many amazing free things you could download! 
 I made these banners by printing off free house emblems I found and cutting out black felt into banner shapes.  I hot glued the paper emblems onto the felt and we used yarn and tape to tape them on my wall. 

The treat table was so fun to come up with. I did rock candy swizzle sticks for "Acid Pops" and made the chocolate frogs from a cheap mold I bought on amazon.  It worked perfectly! The boxes I made from a free printable I found on Instructables. They even include Trading Cards you can print! Couldn't believe how well they turned out. I didn't have card stock and just used simple normal white printing paper for everything. I bought Bettie botts every flavored jelly beans on Amazon in packages that came with 8 boxes, sour gummy worms, and fake sticky slugs as well to add to the favor bags. The favor bags are from Michaels Arts and Crafts Store. 

Oh, and of course we had to decorate the front of the house to look like Platform 9 and 3/4! So, I ordered this brick wall plastic table cover and cut it and hung across the front door so that kids could run through it to enter the house. 
And I added a few more signs into the bathroom and to every room just about on the first floor of our house. 

Plus, threw in suitcases, brooms, and any knights/owls/books I could find into the party rooms to make my house seem more like Hogwarts. For the Great Hall, I made floating candles using toilet paper rolls that I spray painted white (following ideas I saw all over pinterest). 

Oh yes! The cake! I made a Monster Book of Monsters Cake for Cooper using this tutorial. For the cake part, I made 2 chocolate cakes from scratch, made homemade chocolate buttercream icing for the brown hair, and white marshmallow fondant for the pages, teeth, mouth, tongue and nose/face. It turned out better than I expected and Cooper loved it. We made snitches from Ferrero Rocher chocolates and cutting out white paper to look like wings that we then hot glued on to the sides of the chocolates. 

Check out Part II for the games/activities we did at the Harry Potter Birthday Party. 

February 22, 2017

Lily and her Pinkalicious Fifth Birthday

Every year I like to let the kids pick what they want to do for their birthday party. For Cooper turning 8 this month, we went to Great Wolf Lodge up in Cincinnati and had a great time! For Lily, we held a little party at home with a theme of her choice. Pink. So, that is what she got. A whole lot of pink.

For the party activity, we painted cupcakes following an easy youtube tutorial on canvas. They turned out great, but I didn't get a picture of us painting or the finished result unfortunately. I purchased cute aprons for each kid from amazon to make sure they didn't get any paint on them and used the painting and aprons as party gifts. At one point we had to let the backgrounds dry, so we played a quick game of Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake.

For the food, I made one table with pink foods (cupcakes and candy and fruit wands) and the other table with some green foods (pickles, broccoli, salad, etc) to cure pinkatitis. I found some sandwich slider recipes on Pinterest that were so good and made a strawberry spinach salad with homemade poppy-seed dressing.

I tried to make the cupcakes look just like the ones in the Pinkalicious book, and then set the table with a place for each kid to decorate their very own cupcake with sprinkles and cherries.

Plus a chocolate cake for all the chocolate lovers in our family. She was so excited all morning running around in her new pink frilly dress waiting for everyone to arrive.

The best part of it all was that Lily had such a great, happy day. Happiest of Birthdays my not so little Lillian.