Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Outdoor Party Activities

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!"

words to reveal the Marauder's Map, from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

After the three-class rotations, we moved the whole party group to Outdoor Activities. Our outdoor activities were Quidditch Practice and a Dragon Egg Treasure Hunt.

Quidditch Practice

I just set up a simple soccer goal we already had. Water balloons became Bludgers. "Practice" was kids trying to hit Hagrid with the Bludgers while he tried to bat them away with a small plastic baseball bat.

Other ideas for Quidditch:
  • hang a hula hoop from a tree for a more realistic Quidditch goal
  • practice swatting wiffleballs through a goal
  • practice "Ground Quidditch" for inexperienced broom fliers -- just play crab soccer with a big ball

Dragon Egg Hunt with the Marauder's Map
I drew a crude map of our house and the surrounding areas. My daughter and I actually painted sheets of regular paper with a very strong tea solution to make the paper look old and used. After the paper was dry, I ran them through my copier/printer to make the Marauder's Maps. I was amazed that it actually worked!

Marauder's Map
The dragon eggs were plastic Easter eggs, spray painted gold, filled with small encapsulated sponge creatures. We included directions to put the capsule in hot water and watch it grow.

For the hunt, each child got a map. I explained that they had to follow clues hidden on the Hogwarts grounds to find the Golden Dragon Eggs which Hagrid had hidden in the Forbidden Forest area. Before starting, the kids touched wands to maps, saying, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

The first clue was to "Follow the Spiders." The kids followed a trail of small plastic spiders down our driveway until they got to the Owl Postbox. (You could also draw chalk spiders on a walkway.) The second clue was inside the mailbox, directing them to the "Whomping Willow." In the tree was a hidden sign directing them to search the Forbidden Forest. Once they found the dragon eggs, they could gather at Hagrid's Hut to hide their maps and dragon eggs in the party bags, because as Ron statess, "dragon breeding was outlawed by the Warlocks' Convention of 1709, everyone knows that."
Remember to touch the map afterwards and say, "Mischief managed!"
Next Stop: Party Food