My sweet little Brigette turned 7 last Sunday, and to celebrate, we threw her a Harry Potter themed birthday party at her request. I was really surprised this was what she wanted; up until recently she showed little interest in Harry Potter while her big sister has been an ardent reader and fan, but something changed and she has been set on this as her birthday party theme for a few months now.
Brigie is in first grade, and according to her, not many of her friends know much about Harry Potter, and quite a few of them just aren't interested. I wanted to come up with some ideas that would make all the girls super excited while staying true to the Hogwarts theme, and here is what I came up with.
A few months back, Chip let Vivi and Brigie take the sorting quiz on the Pottermore app, and Brigie was sorted as a Hufflepuff. She was SO proud and excited, and it was totally adorable, so I went with some Hufflepuff fun for her party, which involved her most favorite theme: cute and fluffy.
(and yes, you are right, it would have been perfectly authentic and fitting to have Hagrid's pink birthday cake with green iced letters, but she insisted on white with gray letters and lighting bolts and an owl, so I obliged!)
The concept for the party was that the girls were getting a preview of some of the classes at Hogwarts, beginning with Care of Magical Creatures. I sat them all down and first asked if any of them already had a Magical Creature, and their answers were hilarious. I told them that Eeylops Owl Emporium was kind enough to host a pop up shop just for the party, and wheeled out this cart full of little fluffy animals, including owls, kittens, and mice.
(Brigie wanted me to get toads, but (1) I had to stop somewhere and (2) I really didn't think those would be in high demand.)
The girls each selected a magical pet, and were given an adoption certificate with their pets' name.
Next we moved into the living room where the girls sat with their pets. I wheeled out my other cart full of potions and herbology contents. I told them we were going to create some "potions" for our pets, and handed them a recipe card with different formulas they could select from. I had bowls full of tiny pom poms which they scooped into little glass vials (they loved it) and they made little labels for them. While some were busy making potions, I went around to the others and cut ribbon for their pets to have collars.
Next, we did a little Herbology, and I handed out these adorable little plants I found at Home Depot (I can't find it on their website, but here is one so you can see what it is a little better). I was originally going to do succulents, but when walking through Home Depot I found these fuzzy purple guys that were too good to be true, and were also much less expensive. I repotted (it would be super fun to let older kids re-pot them themselves, but I felt like that was too much to manage with first graders when it's too cold to be outside) them into these cute little tiny pots, printed up papers about how they are Venomous Tentaculas, and instructed the girls on how to care for them with extreme caution.
After all of this, we escorted our future students into the dining hall. We had mini sandwiches and fruit and tea (I was going for sort of a high tea feel), and then cake.
I was having a hard time finding plates I liked, and then I found these shield plates, which are so perfect, and pair so well with the lightning bolt napkins. Each place setting also had a feather quill (so fun!) and a small linen bag with gold galleons (i.e. chocolate coins). For the centerpieces, I used some leftover faux black and white pumpkins from Halloween and these awesome remote control flameless candles (Vivi had a super fun time pretending to turn them on with her wand while hiding the remote). For tablecloths, I used these iridescent photo backdrops (leftover from Vivi's party a few years ago) which have a fun, magical feel.
We also had Atlanta Fairy Hair come and do fairy hair for the girls (it is so much fun, and they loved it!!!, and they took turns during the party).
For the banners, I used this pretty gold felt, which felt Hufflepuffy and also a bit Hogwarts-y. Red and Burgundy are kind of my least, ok very least, favorite colors, so I tried to find a slightly different color scheme. For the Hogwarts banner, I printed the letters out on regular paper, cut them out, traced them on cream felt, cut them out, and then hot glued them to the banner. Super easy peasy. I also hot glued the trim on as well. I free handed the H banners and sewed the middle seam, but hot glued everything else. We want to do Harry Potter family feasts in October, so this will be perfect to be able to use for those!
We managed to hang a few floating candles. I really didn't want to make candles like all those cute tutorials out there (just too much work!) , but the plastic candles are pretty heavy. I didn't want to tack or put anything permanent on the ceiling, so Chip strung a few with fishing line and tacked them above the door trim where the holes will never be seen - that is why there is just that one line of them. The girls still thought they were pretty cool.
Also - it isn't easy entertaining 12 first grade girls. I tried to have a pretty good lineup of activities, and I managed to keep them busy for an hour and twenty minutes (it was a two hour party), so after that they played with their pets, and some were still getting fairy hair done. It worked out pretty well! Just fyi if you are thinking through party logistics. I also think it would be super fun to bring in a guest/relative/friend who would act like a professor from Hogwarts and dress the part and have an accent. I wanted to do it, but in the end I chickened out and didn't want to completely embarrass my children.
So, there you have it - let me know if you have any questions!!