Monday, 8 February 2016

A Harry Potter Birthday Party

Last Friday the day my eldest had been looking forward to since his birthday finally arrived - his birthday party. This year the theme was Harry Potter.

(Click picture for link)
We've been reading the Harry Potter series books in English together for about a year now, having just started the fourth one, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. My son loves them. I surprised myself and found that I love them too. Prior to last year I had never read a Harry Potter book.

When we decided on the Harry Potter theme it didn't click straight away that my son's friends would know the Dutch versions of everything but probably not the English ones. And that means that some of the characters have different names: Dumbledore is Perkamentus; Hermione is Hermelien;  Ron Weasley is Ron Wemel and Vernon Dursley is Herman Duffeling. The snitch is a snaai and even Hogwarts changes and becomes Zweinstein. Another twist of expat life when you're least expecting it! It went ahead in English - but the films were watched dubbed in Dutch.

The week leading up to the party I landed in bed with flu and my husband was still battling the mother of all ear infections that had had him consulting an ENT specialist in our local hospital. We mumbled about postponing. There were tears. We backed off. And it went ahead......

It all started with the invitations of course and my son and I thought this was just perfect for a Harry Potter party....

The table was set with a gold and black theme, scattered with gold stars, adorned with candle sticks, and we hung lantern and spider decorations from the ceiling (all purchased from  Tuf-Tuf).

We also bought little candle holders, aged them with paint, and hung them from the ceiling with fish line so they looked like they were floating once the lights were out. All these supplies were bought at our local DIY store.

And of course there were owls..... (cage from Xenos).

and my husband crafted beautiful wands with chopsticks, a glue gun and wire ..... (see tutorial here)

And we had a potions shelf with Skele-Gro and other interesting concoctions....Interestingly enough, this sparked a suggestion from my wise ass nine year old that maybe I should use Skele-Gro to grow an extra arm as I am always highlighting to my kids that I only have two hands.......

As the children came in they joined in with an ongoing game of Lego Harry Potter which kicked the party off nicely with lots of laughter. The game seems extremely hard to get hold of - we ended up at a local Lego shop called Zevenspoor where the price was reasonable too. When they had finished playing that we got out Bean Boozled  (Amazon UK link) (also available in Xenos including refill packs).  This involved lots of running to the kitchen and spitting out jelly beans into the bin....... some of the flavours are truly vile. And I mean VILE.

Click on picture for Amazon US link

And of course there was some food of the edible variety too. At my son's request there were hapjes, so bits and pieces. We'd also agreed that he'd have a birthday cake on his actual birthday and cupcakes for his party. You can find instructions for the broomsticks here.

I had added a couple of sparklers but as soon as they had gone out 'Harry' was trying to get them on again with a quick wave of his wand and a cry of, "Lumos!"

We had a Honeydukes too with sweets the children could pick out, much to their delight.... Printable candy labels came from here.

Once the children had eaten, waved their wands about and turned each other into frogs, statues and zombies, done a word search (which turned extremely competitive!!) they sat and watched the first Harry Potter film, which was one of the highlights for my son as it was the first time he had seen the movie.  Some of the children then went home, and those who were staying for a sleepover magicked on their pyjamas and settled in to watch the second Harry Potter film.....

It was all in all a successful party - my son was actually quite depressed on Sunday that it was all over. There was lots more we could have done (see my Pinterest board for more Harry Potter Party ideas) if we hadn't been ill, if we had wanted to turn it up a notch, but for my son it was the perfect party! In fact, we've kept all the props we used because I have a feeling this won't be the last time Harry Potter makes an appearance in our house - my five year old was blown away by the theme too....

Over to You: Ever thrown a Harry Potter party?  Are your children Potter fans? What are the main characters called in your language?


  1. Wow, this is an AMAZING party! What fun! I can't imagine how you would have turned it up a notch!

    1. Thanks Leanna - there were lots more Pinterest ideas to try out...... probably goid flu got the better of me!! :-)

  2. That was absolutely fabulous! Over and above the call of duty, I'd say (I'm a lazy host). The floating lanterns look incredible. Now I want floating lanterns in my living room. And your husband is very talented too; those wands are gorgeous.

    1. Those floating lanterns almost didn't come back down - they looked cool!! :-)

  3. This is great!! I love Harry Potter's books :-) I am so waiting for my son to be ready to read the first book and see the movie! Congratulations for making your son so happy!

  4. I love this!! My daughter would love it even more!

  5. thanks for sharing this information