The Ultimate Harry Potter Project

The day has finally arrived for us to share our Harry Potter project with you! I kid you not that this love affair could go on forever. An unending list of crafts and educational ideas because we have loved every second of this and would welcome so much more. I have no doubt that we will continue to filter Harry Potter into most of the things we do for the foreseeable future but for now, I have compiled our favourite of all of the tasks undertaken and put together a complete Harry Potter curriculum for you to enjoy with your little ones.

We have been swept up in a whirlwind of spells and potions which has reignited my old passion for all things Harry Potter. I loved reading the books and watching the movies when they were first released but it has become all the more magical seeing my two absorbed into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. We have strolled down the corridors of Hogwarts, been bowled over by the snitch and produced potions that Snape himself would be proud of. We have covered history, English, maths, creativity, science, art, design, sensory play, geography and engineering. This project has been engaging, enlightening and the most fun we've had doing 'school' all year!

Let's get started…

Books and Movies.

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It makes perfect sense to start your project here. Whether you choose to read the books or watch the films or both is up to you but everything else in this project will make so much more sense when you and your little ones are clued up on the story of Harry Potter. I understand that some of the movies may not be age appropriate for some of the younger ones so tailor make your viewing to suit the age of the children you have. All of the things in this curriculum will work just as well with one of the movies/books as they will with feasting on all of them so do what suits your family best.

What you will need:

What they will learn:

  • Listening skills

  • Reading skills

  • Writing skills

  • Imagination

  • Communication

  • Hypothesising

  • Storytelling

  • Relationships

  • Good vs bad

  • Teamwork

  • Make believe

Dress Up!

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I guarantee that after they've watched the movies they will have found their favourite character and will want to transform into them as soon as possible! If you don't have a regular supply of polyjuice potion then your best bet is to arm them with the supplies to try a little bit of dress up. Whether its an old sheet as a cape or a tie and grey socks your little ones will gain so much from this roleplay idea. Allowing them to feel what it's like to attend the most magical school in the world. It just so happened that the kids fell in love with Harry Potter around Halloween so we threw a Harry Potter Party where the kids dressed up and ate Harry Potter cake. Check out our video of the fun and games that we got up to.

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What they will learn:

  • Imagination

  • Empathy

  • Memory building

  • Communication

  • Vocabulary skills

  • Motor skills

  • Imitation

  • Social skills

Making wands

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Well, you can't expect your children to embark on a Harry Potter project without a magic wand in hand. We took our two on a lovely nature walk to find the perfect sticks and then spent an afternoon covering the sticks, the house and ourselves in glitter.

What you will need:

Method:

  1. Using your glue gun twist some knobbly patterns onto the handle of your wand and allow to cool. (Adults should be in charge of hot glue.)

  2. Paint your sticks in a 50/50 mixture of poster paint and PVA glue.

  3. Sprinkle your wands with magic dust (glitter) and start casting spells!

What they will learn:

  • Nature exploration

  • Motor skills

  • Design

  • Problem-solving

  • Confidence building

  • Creativity

  • Family bonding

  • Relaxation

  • Self-expression

Wand practice

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Well, they are going to want to put their new wands to good use and what better way than with this magical spelling tray. Both my two loved their writing trays. You can adapt this to suit most ages by changing the difficulty of the words you offer. You could even simply do alphabet recognition or number practice too!

  • What you will need

  • A drinks tray

  • Salt or sugar

  • Glitter

  • Stars

  • Wands

  • Card and pens for writing out the spellings on

Method:

  1. Pour some salt onto the drinks tray.

  2. Sprinkle with glitter and stars.

  3. Write out some age-appropriate spellings.

  4. Wands at the ready and get practising!

What they will learn:

  • Confidence building

  • Creativity

  • Word recognition

  • Reading practice

  • Writing practice

  • Motor skills

  • Sensory processing

  • Dexterity

Bookmarks

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You can find these amazing bookmarks on

artsyfartsymama.com

We found this amazing Harry Potter bookmark printable and wanted to share it with you. What better way to hold your place in the middle of the adventure than with your favourite character bookmark. Simply print, cut and stick onto card.

Herbology class

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Time to make some Mandrakes. I think this was one of my favourite parts of the project. We spent the afternoon crafting, squealing like Mandrakes (EEK!!) and laughing. Daddy journey even joined in with this one although I think you'll agree that his mandrake (far right) was a little on the scary side. He he!! You may want to print out some pictures of Mandrakes to help inspire your creativity.

What you'll need:

Method:

  1. Cut your sponge in half and place in the bottom of your plant pot.

  2. Print off your mandrake labels and stick onto the pots.

  3. Mould your mandrake out of clay and place into the pot.

  4. Fill around your Mandrake with green lentils and peppercorns.

  5. Cut out your leaves and either place them in the back of the pot or sprouting from your Mandrakes head.

  6. Allow to dry overnight.

What they will learn:

  • Research

  • Dexterity

  • Motor skills

  • Art

  • Design

  • Scissor skills

  • Relaxation

  • Cognitive skills

  • Confidence building

  • Communication

  • Engineering

Choccy wands

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This was definitely the most delicious part of this project! Such a simple food craft that gown ups and children alike can enjoy. Be warned though, there may be some sneaky fingers trying to dip into the choccy pot!

What you will need:

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a Baine Marie (One small bowl containing the chocolate over another larger bowl full of hot water.) Adult supervision required.

  2. Dip your breadsticks in and spoon over the end.

  3. Sprinkle with glitter and place on the greaseproof paper.

  4. Try to not eat them all before allowing them to cool and set!

What they will learn:

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Food confidence

  • Sensory play

  • Social emotional development

  • Creativity

  • Fine motor skills

  • Life skills

It's Quidditch time!

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Now, no Harry Potter project would be complete without a little quidditch but I am fully aware that it's not that easy to pop together a full flying game so instead, I offer you snitch catapult! Oh, the laughs we had with this one were fantastic. There isn't a day that goes by that there isn't something flying past me since building these catapults, even evil wizards! (Please be careful not to fling hard objects near eyes though!)

What you will need:

Method:

  1. Paint your balls gold and allow to dry.

  2. Cut out wing shapes from your card and glue onto the balls. (Adults must be in charge of hot glue.)

  3. Here is a tutorial video on how to make the catapult.

  4. Enjoy flying your snitch and seeing who gets the furthest. Make goals (buckets or cups) for your snitch to try and land in!

https://youtu.be/JVFD8gg0764

What they will learn:

  • Cause and effect

  • Engineering

  • Technology

  • Physics

  • Fine motor skills

  • Design

  • Assessment

  • Communication

  • Hypothesising

We went to Hogwarts!

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Ok, so technically it wasn't Hogwarts but it was where they filmed some of the scenes of Hogwarts. We are lucky enough to live within travelling distance of Gloucester Cathedral so obviously, we had to include a visit into our Harry Potter Project. Both the kids absolutely loved being there. There was a fantastic interactive computer screen that told them what scenes were filmed where and they both enjoyed reenacting some of the scenes. They were itching to come home after and get dressed up as their favourite characters again!

I appreciate that this particular destination isn't going to be achievable for some of you but for those of you in the UK here is a link to all of the places that scenes from the film were shot. There are places dotted all over the UK so I'm sure you'll find somewhere worth a visit. Of course, there is always the Wizarding World for those of you based in the US too!

Fancy a jelly bean anyone?

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Well, I think the safe answer would be no. Especially when you see what flavours my two made up! Disgusting children, I do apologise, he he!! They both had so much fun designing and colouring these sheets that they did them twice. We found a special Bertie Botts print out and then just to change things up we found this jelly bean print out too.

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What you will need:

What they will learn:

  • Design

  • Creativity

  • Fine motor skills

  • Imagination

  • Innovative thinking

  • Communication

  • Collaboration

Broomsticks

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I have always been a fan of the STEM challenges and this one is no exception. Quite often I am so involved with my children's learning that sometimes it is nice to step back and watch them figure out things on their own. I love the pure delight on their faces when they realise that there is no right or wrong way to approach the task in hand but more a question of which way they will try first. It is a very freeing way to approach education as it encourages them to trust the process and the decisions that they make. They are not limited on time and understand that if things don't work out the first time around then they can try and try again until they achieve the result they were after in the first place. Or indeed come up with an even better design than they had originally intended.

The lovely thing about this challenge is that they can be in charge of the design from beginning to end. Head out on a lovely nature walk and ask them to collect the right type of sticks for their broomsticks. Discuss with them what items they think they will need to achieve their design and let them be in control from start to finish.

What you will need:

  • Tuff spot tray

  • Sticks

  • Elastic bands

  • Sticky tape

  • Blu tac

  • Glue

  • String

  • Ribbons

  • Scissors

Method:

  1. Lay out all of the items that your children have suggested they wanted and maybe add a few items yourself too.

  2. Ask them to make witches or wizards broomstick in any way they see fit.

  3. Watch the magic happen!

What they will learn:

  • Design

  • Creativity

  • Engineering

  • Technology

  • Science

  • Maths

  • Confidence

  • Cause and effect

  • Assessment skills

  • Hypothesising

  • Perseverance

Voldemort Venn diagram

I loved this part of the project and we were all totally surprised by how easy it was to find things that Harry and Voldemort had in common and what a challenge it was to find things that were different about them. This is a fantastic visual way to see how clever JK Rowling was when writing the link between the two powerful wizards. It suddenly became blazingly obvious how entwined they had become throughout the books/movies.

We spent ages chatting and coming up with ideas to pop on the diagram. It really gave us a chance to stretch our memories and go over all of our favourite parts of the story to come up with ideas. It is so lovely to see them become excited and animated when solving the problem we had set ourselves. I will for sure try and filter this style of learning into our next big project. Maybe you could let us know if you can come up with any other things to add to our diagram!

What you will need:

  • Paper

  • Pens

What they will learn:

  • Critical thinking

  • Communication

  • Sorting and categorizing

  • Maths

  • Confidence building

  • Relationships

  • Listening skills

  • Presentation skills

  • Cognitive skills

Potions class

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Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble. This is probably up there with the kids most favourite thing to do, EVER! We have put together this simple science activity many times in the past but the moment you label it as potions class they went a little nutty over it. I think it supported the roleplay idea that they were the students of Hogwarts and just added that extra layer of play to the madness. What a lovely way to spend a rainy afternoon in or a sunny afternoon outdoors fizzing and bubbling and creating the perfect potions to make all your magic wishes come true.

What you will need:

  • White vinegar

  • Bicarbonate of soda/Baking soda.

  • Food colouring

  • Bottles and jars

  • Pipettes

  • Protective mat

  • Spoons

Method:

  1. Set up a tray full of jars of vinegar. Add a drop of different colours into each jar.

  2. Give them a bowl of the soda and a spoon and get them to carefully spoon the soda into the vinegar and enjoy the eruptions! (Be careful of little eyes and always make sure that their skin isn't sensitive to the ingredients before play.)

  3. Encourage them to think about what each potion would be used for.

  4. Sit back and watch the wizards at work! They are going to love this one.

What they will learn:

  • Science

  • Cause and effect

  • Design

  • Dexterity

  • Imaginative play

  • Roleplay

  • Chemistry

  • Maths

Free Dobby!

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Apologies for my very dodgy drawing of Dobby but could I find a print out of Dobby that would work for this idea? No, I could not so instead you have this slightly odd-looking version of a house elf. I am a little ashamed to share it but the kids liked it and it fit the bill for this particular idea so I thought I'd brave it out and share the idea in case any of you clever mums out there want to make a better stab at it and then send me a copy to practice with too!! (Please.)

What you will need:

  • Paper

  • Pens

  • A guide picture of Dobby

Method:

  1. Draw your kids a naked Dobby.

  2. Let them design their outfit for dobby and have fun colouring and giggling together.

What they will learn:

  • Design

  • Creativity

  • Empathy

  • Communication

  • Dexterity

  • Fine motor skills

  • Confidence building

  • Self-expression

  • Relaxation

Wizarding worksheets

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For those of you that enjoy doing a worksheet or two then here are a few links to some of the ones that the kids enjoyed most. These are all free worksheets that we found and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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No Harry Potter project would be complete without a nod to the dragons. Beautiful mythical creatures are woven throughout all of JK Rowling's tales and are a lovely message to except all living things regardless of species or looks. You can't help but adore the way Hagrid loves all of his weird and wonderful animal friends and indeed this passion for the unusual creatures is carried onto the Fantastic Beasts stories too. A lovely way to learn about empathy.

What you will need:

Method:

  1. Set out the playdough and gems onto your tray and encourage your little ones to create their dragons eggs.

  2. Discuss what breed of dragon they are and what they will call them when they are hatched. Perhaps even draw out what the dragons will look like when they are born.

  3. Pop them in a box or basket to keep them warm before hatching. This would be a great time to learn about eggs, dinosaurs and birds to support this idea. Weigh and measure the eggs for extra fun!

  4. Over time the playdough begins to dry out and crack as if they are ready to hatch out!

What they will learn:

  • Life cycles

  • Creativity

  • Design

  • Roleplay

  • Fine motor skills

  • Empathy

  • Communication

  • Shapes

  • Maths

Writing letters

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When your children have fallen in love with the characters and feel like they have become firm friends it's a lovely idea for them to write them a letter. A simple note to their favourite character and they will feel suitably connected to their new pals. We decided to make some old looking parchment paper to make it all the more authentic.

What you will need:

  • Coarse paper

  • Instant coffee

  • Water

  • Pens

Method:

  1. Pop your paper into a deep dish or roasting pan.

  2. Soak your paper in your coffee solution (1 tbsp instant coffee to 1 cup of water) and leave for approximately 10 minutes.

  3. Drain off and either air dry or pop in the oven Gas mark 2/300F for 5-10 minutes.

  4. As an added extra you could singe the edges of your paper with a match or lighter but this is obviously a task for adults only. Make sure you are next to a bowl of water in case the paper catches fire.

  5. Now it is time for your little ones to write their letters. We even managed to find these wand pens to make it feel extra special.

What they will learn:

  • Creativity

  • Spelling practice

  • Handwriting practice

  • Imaginative play

  • Fine motor skills

  • Roleplay

  • Communication

  • Confidence building

Hedwig

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Who doesn't love Hedwig? A flying and fluffy companion to the witches and wizards of Hogwarts. Both of my two are crazy about him. Pops was always a mega owl fan anyway but the Harry Poter movies have furthered her love of these wise creatures. I thought a lovely simple craft would be the perfect way to create our own little snowy owls.

What you will need:

Method:

  1. Either cut your white foam into feather shapes or offer synthetic feathers.

  2. Gluecotton balls onto the main body part of the paper plate and feathers onto the wing area.

  3. Using the coloured card cut out beak, feet and eye shapes and glue on.

  4. Detail the eyes with a sharpie pen.

What they will learn:

  • Concentration

  • Fine motor skills

  • Patience

  • Problem-solving

  • Design

  • Creativity

  • Relaxation

  • Maths

Well, I hope I have managed to fuel your cauldrons with a little bit of magical inspiration to get you and yours started on your Harry Potter projects. I'd absolutely love it if you shared your ideas with me too. As I said before, we are probably going to run with this for some time yet and will welcome any new ideas along the way. Happy learning my fellow witches, wizards and muggles!!

As with all of the crafts we share with you, we ask you to make sure that they are age appropriate for your little ones. Never leave them alone with items they can choke on or use sharp or unsafe objects during play. (And don't forget to cover your best fabrics with protective mats!). Stay safe little Journey Jellies.

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