Magic Summer Camp
Since events have severely slowed down during the pandemic, I've had a lot of time at home to hang out with my kids. Which led me to put this magical experience together.
Who else out there has been dealing with kids that are ready to break out of the house?! I know mine would rather spend a week at Azkaban than find things to cure their boredom at home! Which gave me the idea to "send" my kids to summer camp. Obviously I'm not shipping my children off to some made up place with Dementors, but I instead put together a week of activities to make them feel like they're not "stuck at home".
I drew a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, and will include the original links that gave me the ideas for the activities we completed. So buckle up, jump on the platform, and learn how my kids spent a week at the (best) school of witchcraft and wizardry.
*Note: this plan was put together for kids at an early elementary school age*
Ok, I admit, this was a fusion of Charms class and Transfiguration class, but truth be told, my kids had no idea, and they loved it none the less. For parents with huge Harry Potter fans, you might want to make the distinction between the two.
There are so many fun ideas for making your own wands!! We hot glued fun "wand" designs onto pipettes, painted them, added glitter/texture, and then sprayed them with Mod Podge.
*Disclaimer: the pipettes didn't hold the paint very well, so I would definitely recommend using wood of some sort! Check out Or So She Says for an awesome wood wand tutorial.
Obviously, we made ours by hand with supplies we already had at the house (cardboard from a cereal box folded in half, covered with construction paper, and pages of construction paper glued in). You could also print out a copy of a spell book from Inspiration Laboratories. I also added a Transfiguration spell called "Chocoloccio" which turns objects to chocolate.
The lesson plan for Charms class was actually pretty easy. We literally just worked our way through the text book. The kids practiced their "spells" on each other, with the exception of Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa, and Chocoloccio. When we reached the Incendio spell, they "lit candles" with their wands! I used LED tea lights and when they performed the spell, I flipped the switch. The Wingardium Leviosa spell was a little trickier, and took the use of fishing line and a hook in the ceiling. I wrapped fishing line through a container, and then looped the line over the hook. When the kids cast the spell, I pulled the string and they made the container "float" in the air. For my final trick, I had the kids turn gold coins into chocolate! Ok, it was way easier than it sounds. I picked up some chocolate coins from Hobby Lobby, and told the kids they had to transform the coins. Fun and delicious! To end the lesson, the kids flipped to the back of the book and created their own spells, which kept them entertained for quite a while!
You can use any fun jar that you'd like! I used adorable little circular bottles that I found at Hobby Lobby, and added some fun green jewels to the top and a tag for each kid.
You will need Lacewing flies (baby oil), shredded Boomslang skin (green food coloring), Fluxweed (green glitter), and the hair of a person you would like to turn into.
We decided to make Polyjuice potion!! I gave each kid their own plastic beaker, and they added their ingredients to "brew". You don't have to use a beaker, we just happened to have two in the house, so it worked well. We started with 60 mL of Lacewing flies (baby oil), then added 10 shreds of Boomslang skin (green food coloring drops), and then a couple shakes of Fluxweed (green glitter), and finished up with a hair from each kid (added to the opposites' potion). Once all of the ingredients were added, we used popsicle sticks to stir the potion. I then poured their potions into the potion jars and glued the lid shut. They know that their polyjuice potion isn't to drink, just to shake up and watch the sparkles move around. The ingredients in this potion will separate over time, so the kids like to shake them back up and watch them separate again (that's how they know they turn back to normal from the Polyjuice).
You could also change up the potion or make more potions by changing the color of food coloring and glitter.
This one was super easy, and SO MUCH FUN!!! Seriously, if you don't have the energy to do any craft, this is the activity for you! I decided to have the kids learn about Mandrakes. All you need for this lesson is a jar of brown Play-Doh, brown paint, a fake leaf stem, and a tag. I painted the Play-Doh jar brown, added a tag to the front of the jar, and let it dry overnight. The next day, we opened up the Play-Doh and the kids created their own versions of Mandrakes. Once they completed their creatures, I poked the fake leaf stem down the center, and then poked it through the lid of the Play-Doh jar (it helps if you cut a tiny slit in the lid before this step). I hot glued everything to make sure it would stay in place, closed up the Play-Doh jar, and then let them dry. And viola, the kids have their own adorable Mandrakes!
Magical Creatures Lesson:
Monster Book of Monsters:
This was such a fun one to make!! You'll need faux brown fur (another grab from Hobby Lobby), cardboard (we used another cereal box folded in half), big wiggle eyes, white felt, construction paper, two popsicle sticks, and a tag. Cut your fur to match the size of your cardboard (one fur piece made both of the kids' books) and hot glue it to the card board. Attach the tag and wiggle eyes to the front of the book (you can see a picture of placement below). Glue in your construction paper (with the information for Pygmy Puffs already drawn on) to the center crease of the card board. Cut the white felt to match the length of the book, and then cut in zig zags to make the teeth. You can decide how big or small you'd like the teeth. We made ours on the larger size. Glue each set of teeth to the edge of the book (the back of the felt will be glued to the edge of the cardboard). Glue the popsicle sticks behind the teeth at an angle to hold them up. Just like that, you have your very own Monster Book of Monsters.
These are super easy to create! You'll need a large pom pom (I used white and dyed them purple with ink, but you can buy purple or pink to save time), jewels, and construction paper in the shape of a heart. Glue two jewels to the front of the purple or pink pom pom (I used the kids favorite colors), and then attach the heart to the bottom (the top of the heart should be facing forward to look like little feet). Boom, you've made a little Pygmy Puff!
You have two options with this lesson plan. You can either have them craft the Pygmy Puff, or you can do what I did, and have the Pygmy Puffs already made and then let your kids make their own mini creatures (it fits really well since these creatures are mini versions of another creature). Once we talked about where these adorable little fluff balls came from, the kids were assigned to pick a mythical creature and draw a mini version of the creature in their Monster Book of Monsters. Then they actually crafted the creature they drew (it was super tough when my daughter decided to pick a dragon, but luckily my son made up for his sister's difficult request by picking a snow man monster). The second option was definitely a little more stressful to figure out how to craft their requests on the spot, but so much fun in the long run! They still walk around with their crafted creatures.
First Year Flying Lesson:
My kids had a super high expectation for this one since they made things float on the first day, but the activity portion of it made up for the lack of their actual flight.
I used the house hold broom and "taught them how to fly", aka I shook the broom around until they could grab it and then showed them how to bob and weave without damaging our living room. Once they got the basics (it didn't take long), we pulled out yellow construction paper and made our own Golden Snitches and cut them out. One would hide the Golden Snitch somewhere, and the one with the broom would search for the snitch. Not the most extravagant exercise, but still fun!
There you have it, this was our "Week at Hogwarts" and we loved every second of it! I hope you and your family have as much fun as we did!