Schedule keeper, meal planner, chauffeur, tear-wiper, and nurse are roles that come with the territory of being a mom. But some mom roles still shock me. My boy scout son threw me into the role of camping food expert. What? He recently tossed a pair of jeans at me to tailor. Huh? My curly, wavy-headed girl asked me to learn to be a hairstylist. Are you kidding? But most recently my daughter asked me to throw her “the best Harry Potter birthday party ever.” Do you even know me?
So what did I do? I did what moms always do: I rose to the occasion. To be honest, I ran to my bedroom and moaned and complained to my husband. I think I might have said something to the effect of, “Why can’t this child have a cooking class/bowling party/indoor trampoline party/laser tag party or any far-from-home party?” He looked at me and agreed.
Then he said, “Just tell her you can’t do it.”
Well, right then I decided that I was going to throw an epic Harry Potter party! After consulting a million sites via Pinterest, I promptly created a Harry Potter board and then waited until almost the last minute to get started on “the best Harry Potter birthday party ever.” This is what I came up with:
Invitations: I found tan paper and a great font, and mimicked an acceptance letter to Hogwarts for the invitations. That was simple enough. I tried to channel my inner Martha Stewart by creating a melted Crayon seal on the envelope, but it turned out to be an epic fail. So I opted for a Harry Potter stamp.
Decorations: I had delusions of decorations upon decorations to recreate the Great Dining Hall and other amazing areas of Hogwarts. The reality was…good. I got plastic tablecloths in the four colors of the four houses of Hogwarts and hung them over my existing living room curtains. I drew owl faces on white balloons and taped them to each dining room chair. I cut paper towel rolls in half and added battery operated tea lights on top to make hanging candles from my kitchen chandelier. I covered my semi-large kitchen table and kitchen island with gold tablecloths. I made signs to label the different areas of “Hogwarts.” Voila!
Activities: I used hot glue to create squiggles and wiggles on small wooden dowels. I covered a small table in my front room with a black tablecloth and hung up a Wand Shop sign. The kids painted the “wands” with brown and gold glitter paint and LOVED them. I made a great book of spells that the kids ignored and a poster of wand movements that they all enjoyed learning. I also set up a picture station with Harry Potter props: glasses, ties of each of the four houses, etc. Wizard trivia took place in the Common Room. It was competitive once the kids knew they were playing for the different houses. We also played “Pin the Scar on Harry Potter,” which was actually hilarious. Each player’s scar was labeled with the house that he/she was representing. The competition aspect was an added hit!
Food: I found a recipe for butter beer and potion on Pinterest. I threw green grapes in a big bowl and called them Gryffindor Grapes. A big bag of cheese puffs went into another bowl to create “Hufflepuffs.” We recreated Honeydukes Candy Shop by placing a couple of TV tables in my hallway with various candy-filled jars, including Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jelly Beans and chocolate golden snitches. And then I caved and had regular ol’ Domino’s pizza. The little wizards attacked and enjoyed it all. Of course, there was also birthday cake.
Special Event: My teenage son, a closet Harry Potter fan, ran a Potion Class out on my back porch. There was fizzing and bubbling in overflowing beakers. It’s amazing what you can do with baking soda and vinegar. Children lined up for a special drinkable potion (water with food coloring). Everyone raised their paper cups to receive the magic drink while “magical words” were chanted. It was a hit!
Takeaways: Nope, there were no goody bags per se. Each party goer was given a necklace with the crest of Hogwarts on the front and a stamp on the back that indicated which house each oneof them had been “sorted” into. They also took home their painted wands and their bags of candy from Honeydukes.
I came away exhausted. I’m still hoping that next year my daughter chooses a cooking class/bowling/laser tag/indoor trampoline party or any far-from-home party, but I must say that I think I might have done a pretty awesome Harry Potter party! I guess I’ll have to keep adding to my mom resume as I learn to do things I never thought I would. And I guess my children will keep making me take on mom roles that I never, ever thought I signed up for, because apparently I did!