The Harry Potter books are spectacularly great at getting the kids reading. In our house we’ve been ploughing through the illustrated editions, while we can’t let our seven-year-old anywhere near a stick without them waving it around and calling out “expelliarmus!”
That interest in all things wizardly can be channelled into other things too, ranging from the science of popular magic tricks to arts and crafts afternoons with a bewitching Harry Potter theme. You can spark all kinds of inspiration by looking to the books, movies and Warner Bros Studios Harry Potter Tour, but to get you started, here’s some of our own favourite ideas for “Witch” craft!
A magical feast
One recurring theme through the Harry Potter books is an abundant love of food. From Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans to Butterbeer and magically growing gobstoppers, the wizarding world is a great place to eat – and there are a few quick and easy ways to make your own magic-themed food.
Stick some paper wings on the back of some Ferraro Rocher and abracadabra! You have a plate of edible golden snitches! Want to try chocolate frogs? There are plenty of places you can get the right moulds, as well as numerous recipes for Butterbeer you can try!
The Marauder’s map!
The Hogwarts community are strangely blasé about Harry having a surveillance tool in his pocket at all times. Using paint or dark felt tip pens, work with your children to draw out a map of your home, school or street. You can even write everyone’s names on little paper counters and blue-tac them to the paper to show where everyone is.
Once the art is done, dip the paper in a shallow tray of weak tea to give it that proper old-fashioned parchment look. The only step left is to solemnly swear you are up to no good.
Make your own wand
Everything from pencils to the remote control can be used to turn people into frogs and summon patronuses. Even so, the bond between wizard and wand is a powerful one, so it’s important to have the right magical tool for the job.
You can make a Harry Potter-style wand out of nothing more than a sheet of A4 paper. Lay a strip of tape diagonally (or Diagon Alley, if you prefer) from one corner of the sheet to the other. Roll the paper tightly into a tube from one corner to the other, making one end ever so slightly tighter than the other so that you get a slight cone shape tapering to a point. Once you’re two thirds of the way across the paper, glue the rest before you finish rolling. Wait half an hour, then snip off the very ends.
At this point you’ve got a perfectly serviceable wand, but for some extra detail you can fill the ends in with a glue gun and draw swirls and patterns along its length.
Harry Potter glasses
Harry Potter wouldn’t be Harry Potter without his famous glasses. After all, wizards have the ability to make a person’s bones grow back, but they’ve not yet developed a spell for short-sightedness. Get some black pipecleaners, twist them into an eye-glass shape and wrap some sticky tape around the bridge of the noise. With a bit of brown face paint you can even paint in a lightning bolt scar to complete the transformation spell!