Back to Hogwarts

I think my all time favorite lessons thus far were Welcome to Hogwarts and Accio Toddler Activities– the activities are so much fun you don’t even feel like you’re doing school!!! They’re also my most popular- I’m guessing it’s because there aren’t many learning activities out there for Potter fans with very young children, so when we find them we eat them up, am I right? Not only that, my littles truly get excited about Harry Potter right along with me, even at this early age. Even though we’ve been slooooowly trying to read the first illustrated book for like 3 years and still haven’t made it through, the boys really get into all things Harry Potter when it comes to learning activities. My 2 year old loves saying all the house names and my 5 year old thinks all of the fun details in the books are great (he really wishes he could fly on a broom and have his own “monster book of monsters” that tries to bite you unless you pet it! hahaha Of COURSE he does!) Because of the popularity of my first two HP blogs, I’ve known I was going to do another Harry Potter themed week at some point, and I’ve been brainstorming ideas for months- now that Halloween is almost here, I’m finally ready to share the magic with all of you and your littles! Accio MORE Harry Potter activities!

Ancient Runes:

-Harry Potter alphabet ordering: I printed this adorable set of Harry Potter character ABC cards from Teachers Pay Teachers, laminated them, and gave my littles 6 at a time to choose from to put in order until we had the whole alphabet laid out. This is also a fun way to introduce them to different characters! They really liked looking at all the cards!

-Scrabble tile SPELLing: I put out the letters for my little to spell Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hedwig, Hagrid and Dumbledore then helped him sound each one out.

-Wand tap syllable practice: I printed a list of HP words and had my little practice saying the letter sounds to read them (some are rather long, so I’d repeat the letter sounds again if he didn’t get the word at first). Then I had him use my wand (a stick will do if you don’t have one) to tap each word while saying the syllables to help him figure out how many there were- it actually worked great!

-Magic ink name practice: Ooly makes a set of markers that magically change colors! You can also use them to write with “invisible ink” then color over your writing to reveal it (while exclaiming “REVELIO!” of course!) I had my littles use these “magic markers” to practice name their writing (particularly last name for my 5 year old since he’s got his first name down).

-W is for wizard: I printed a few Harry Potter coloring pages and made them into letter hunts for my littles by writing several letters all around the picture and having them hunt for and dot all the Ps. (Even though we did it in my last HP blog, we did letter P again, but w is for wizard or H is for Harry works too! Just pick one your littles don’t know yet!) On the back, I drew a large P for my 2 year old to dot, and made upper/lower case P practice as well as tracing then writing “Harry Potter” and “wizard” for my 5 year old.

-Harry Potter story theme: This week I had my little choose his favorite HP character and write a story about why they are his favorite. He picked Ron- not because he’s Harry’s BFF, but because “He has red hair and can fly on a broom.” LoL

-Harry Potter booklist: I mentioned the illustrated HP books in my last blog, but this go-round we’re also reading “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” since all the wizards read those stories to their kids. I would skip “The Wizard’s Hairy Heart” though as it’s a bit gruesome. I also found a few cool HP pop up books my littles are wild over- they’re a perfect intro to the wizarding world!

Arithmancy:

-Harry’s letter from Hogwarts envelope count: Remember that iconic scene where Uncle Vernon won’t let Harry have his Hogwarts acceptance letter so a million letters come magically flying through every nook and cranny of his house while Harry madly tries to grab one out of the air (I once heard a joke that said that’s how we knew he wouldn’t be in Ravenclaw- he would’ve just picked one up off the ground…hahahaha) Anyway, in this activity you recreate that moment for your little by sprinkling a bunch of envelopes on their head, then have them gather them up and count how many there are. I had my 5 year old count the whole lot and my 2 year old count 10.

-House point counting: I made house points jars by labeling a few mason jars with the Hogwarts house crests, then sorting M&Ms into them by color (red for Gryffindor, blue for Ravenclaw, yellow for Hufflepuff, and green for Slytherin). I explained how the house points system works, then we counted the amount each house had, wrote it down, and compared the numbers to see who was winning (Slytherin) and who was last (Gryffindor). For the smaller amounts, we just counted the M&Ms but for the more full jars my little and I made groups of ten, then 100 and we counted by 100s, 10s and 1s to get our total, which my little thought was super cool.

-Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean graphing: This activity was hilarious and lots of fun! I gave my littles and my self one of each color bean, then we each tried the same color together and tallied whether we liked it or not. (I gave them their beans on a paper plate so they could spit out any super gross ones…which they did!) When we had tried them all (rotten egg is seriously nasty…but grass is rather pleasant!) we used our tallies to make a bar graph of our data. I had each little count the tallies (I counted for my 2 year old while he watched) then color the amount on the bar graph themselves.

-Hagrid’s pumpkin patch circumference measuring: I got a large, medium and small pumpkin (as well as all of our fake ones) and put them in a group on the floor. Then we discussed what circumference is and how you can measure it. Next I had my littles take turns “picking pumpkins” from the patch and we measured the circumference of each one.

-Potion bottle before and after: This activity actually matched up with the same one in my little’s math book we’ve been working on during calendar time, which was perfect! You have your little identify the number in the cauldron, then think of and write the numbers before and after it on the potion bottles. I got this from Lesson Plan of Happiness.

Potions/Charms/Care of Magical Creatures/Herbology:

-Felix Felicis: My littles LOVE mixing baking soda and vinegar and making “potions” of their own in the bathroom, so of course I had to put a Harry Potter twist on their favorite do. You get a small bottle (or cup- clear is the most fun so you can see the sparkly bubbles!) and fill it with about a tablespoon of baking soda and some gold glitter. Then give your little a pipette and some yellow dyed vinegar and let them squirt and mix and pour to their heart’s content! (I also gave mine an extra container of baking soda and some spoons after the pipettes lost some of their charm and the original baking soda lost it’s fizz). I also explained Felix Felicis is a potion for “liquid luck”.

-Accio: So we did a similar activity during Rainbow Fish week and I was like “Hey! This would be perfect for the spell Accio!” And here we are…lol So basically just cut out a cauldron from black craft foam (make sure it has a nice scooped out shape on one end), fill a pipette with dish soap and place the cauldron at the far side of a cake pan filled with water with the scooped side closest to the edge of the pan. Have your little practice saying “Accio cauldron!” while pointing their wand at the pan…as they say the magic words, drop some dish soap into the scooped out part of the cauldron and watch it magically soar across the water! (obviously this is actually just Muggle surface tension science, but it’s still pretty cool!) If you’d like to repeat the spell, you have to completely wash out the pan so no soap is left and fill it with clean water for it to work (the surface tension has already been disrupted by the soap so you need clean water/a new surface to do it again).

-Prefect’s bath bombs: We all know how the prefect’s bathroom has a magical tub that can be filled with different scents, bubbles and so on, so I thought it would be fun to make prefect bath bombs for our own muggle tub. The recipes are linked here, and the bombs can either be made in Easter eggs (think Harry’s mystery egg from the Triwizard tournament), in mini plastic cauldrons (just pop the whole cauldron in the tub and watch it fizz and foam- thanks STEAM Powered Family for this super easy/kid friendly idea) or by using bath bomb molds. Add your favorite scent, color, or biodegradable glitter to make them even more magical!

-Care of magical creatures: We reviewed all of the animal groups (which we’ve previously discussed during other weeks) then I showed my littles some pictures of the magical creatures from Harry Potter like hippogriffs, nifflers, thestrals and grindylows and we talked about how they’re made up of a mixture of different animal parts. Then I had my littles choose some animals out of magazines and put them together to make their own magical creatures. We also named them!

-Herbology: I had my littles gather different plant parts from outside and we identified each part and what it does for the plant- extra points if you find some Harry Potter-esque plants like this super strange balsam pear we have growing in our front yard!

Art:

-Monster book of monsters craft: GUYS! This came out so darn cute. It’s kind of a pricey activity, but it makes a great Halloween decoration so it’s worth it! I had my 5 year old help me by doing the glue gun, we just went over safety rules first and he did great. So first- have your little use a sharpie or other black marker to draw teeth on the shut pages of an old planner. Hold them tightly closed while they draw. Then, cut some faux fur to cover the outside of the planner (tip, you want about an inch or so of extra fabric all the way around the book so you can fold and glue it to the inside of each cover. Where the spine is, cut out a rectangular notch at the top and bottom since you can’t fold the fabric into the spine.) Hot glue the spine first, then the front cover (we did the outside first, then the inside flaps), and the back cover. Finally, belt that baby shut so it won’t bite anyone using a strip of leather or an old toddler belt! LoL

-Dragon egg craft: I follow MuddlyPuddly on Instagram and when they posted this activity back during Easter I knew I had to do it with my littles for Harry Potter week! It’s seriously cool and makes a great decoration! So you can do this with real eggs if you blow out the insides, but we opted for “goose sized” wooden eggs so they’ll keep for years. You just have your littles paint the eggs with black craft paint (we used acrylic because I was afraid water based would wash off in the next step.) After they’re dry, fill a large bowl with water and place a few drops of clear nail polish on top of the water near one side of the bowl…it will spread out and make a film you can just barely see. Then slip your egg under the water on the opposite side of the bowl from where you dropped the polish. Carefully lift the egg up so the film drapes over and around the egg (we had to do this a few times to cover our eggs, but they still turned out cool). The result is an iridescent, spidery webby looking egg that legit looks like it’s from a dragon!

-Make wands: This is super simple and comes out really cute- my friend did them for her daughter’s birthday a few years back! You just decorate the larger end of a chopstick with hot glue, allow it to dry and then have your little paint it- accio wand!

-Hogwarts house crafts: If you do the sorting cupcakes (under “extras” below), you can have your little make their house animal, or just let them choose their favorite. My 2 year old is super crafty, so he made 2! If you’re not sure which animal goes with each house it’s: Gryffindor- lion, Ravenclaw- eagle, Hufflepuff- badger, Slytherin- snake. I got the badger idea from Crafts on Sea, but the others are my own.

-Expecto Patronum: I gave my littles some black paper and white chalk, explained what a patronus charm does, and had them choose their favorite animal to draw. After drawing we blended our animals with our fingers to give them that ethereal patronus look…theirs aren’t fully formed yet, but they turned out great considering they’re not even close to being of age! hahaha

Hogwarts crest coloring page: I actually printed these by accident but my littles love to color so color they did! LoL

Extras:

-Sorting cupcakes: These are THE easiest way to sort your kids when they’re young! LoL You just make a batch of chocolate cupcakes and when they’re cool, use a cupcake corer to pop the center out. Then fill an equal amount with all blue, all yellow, all red, and all green M&Ms. Frost them to cover the M&Ms and throw on some fun sprinkles (I love these star sprinkles we had from my son’s Star Wars birthday last year!) Let your littles each choose a cupcake to eat- the color of M&Ms denotes their Hogwarts house: red- Gryffindor, blue- Ravenclaw, yellow- Hufflepuff, green- Slytherin

-Pumpkin juice: Pumpkin juice is one of the main beverages in the Harry Potter series, and if you’ve ever been to Universal Studios Harry Potter world (as I call it), you know how delicious it is! I made up a recipe this week that’s equally yummy- and gets your kids to drink their veggies! LoL Just blend: 1 cup apple cider, 2 TBSP pumpkin puree, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Serve over ice. This makes one serving, so just double or triple the recipe as needed!

-Tri-wizard tournament maze: I set up a Harry Potter themed tri-wizard maze in our house complete with a hallway of riddles (which I placed in some gold Easter eggs we had laying around- the boys had to answer them all before moving on), Hagrid’s pumpkin patch, a spiderweb tunnel, a Nagini snake chase, and a grindylow “rock” balance.

-Owl activities: If you’re looking fore even MORE Harry Potter related activities, besides this blog and my two original HP themed ones, I have an entire owl themed week you could do as well at Who-Whooo is Ready to Learn?

-Letter of the week: Hh, each day we do a different activity focused on our letter- introduction/have your little practice it on the chalkboard (or white board), think of words that start with the letter and make a list, workbook letter writing practice, workbook word writing practice.

-Word of the week: or, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, and workpage practice.

-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “Let us not grow weary of doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.

-Character trait of the month: perseverance…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates perseverance I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “Learning larger numbers can be so tricky- I like how you’re showing perseverance and trying your best every time until you get it!”)

Supply/Shopping list:

  • wand (or a stick)
  • ooly ink magic changing markers
  • scrabble tiles
  • pack of envelopes
  • 4 mason jars or cups
  • M&Ms
  • Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans
  • Small, medium and large pumpkins
  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • yellow food coloring
  • gold glitter
  • small vial or bottle
  • old magazine
  • dish soap
  • cake pan
  • citric acid
  • essential oil
  • coconut or olive oil
  • Epsom salt
  • Easter eggs OR small cauldrons OR bath bomb molds
  • eggs (real or wooden)
  • black paint (acrylic)
  • clear nail polish
  • paper bowl
  • old book/planner
  • craft fur
  • old belt or leather strap
  • paper plate
  • feathers
  • chalk (white)
  • stick or chopstick
  • glue gun
  • cupcake mix
  • frosting
  • sprinkles
  • apple cider
  • pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract

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