Every guide unit seems to have a Harry Potter night or camp, at least once every couple of years. Harry Potter never gets old or boring – and there are so many things you can do with the theme!
Here are a few ideas we used at our Harry Potter night. Please comment with your own ideas and experiences – link to anything great, or send it to the library for sharing!
We have a guide-level unit and so we always start with a small opening activity. For Harry Potter night, we sorted the girls into houses.
We used this very pretty Harry Potter Cootie Catcher to sort the girls, but I think they would have been happier to be sorted based on some sort of quiz, which would match their personality closer and not be so random.
Once sorted, the girls used coloured felt to make a “scarf” bookmark in their house colours. They pinned their “scarf” to their shirt for the duration of the meeting, then took it home. TIP: We used plain white glue to paste these together, but it didn’t hold up well. It would be better to sew on the coloured strips, or if you are short on time, use actual felt glue. ANOTHER TIP: These were made from standard felt squares cut into an even 8 columns.
We also made wands as a group activity. We had prepared these in advance with various lengths of dowel and hot glue drizzled over them and applied thickly to one end to form a “handle”. The girls just had to paint them and apply some glitter once they had chosen the one that “felt right.” TIP: Have cups on hand so the girls can balance their wet wands across a few of them while drying.
As part of this activity, we had each girl draw from a bag of “wand cores” to discover what the “core” of her wand was. Download the wand cores printable in the Girl Guide Library.
We did a few “classes” at our meeting – here’s a big list of all our ideas!
- do a science experiment – we did foaming volcanoes, downloadable in the Girl Guide Library here
- mix up a bath item, like bubble bath or lotion and put it in a fancy jar
- mix up an edible beverage, like make-your-own punch from a variety of ingredients, or add flavourings to hot chocolate
- Soak a bean and get it to sprout
- Plant a flower seed in a small cup
- Wingardium Leviosa – play games with balloons where you try to keep them in the air
- Alohomora – for unlocking locks. Play a pretzel game where you have to untangle everyone who mixed themselves up, or untangle knots.
Defense against the Dark Arts class
- Use a list of questions to help each girl determine what her Patronus is – then draw a picture of her patronus and list its powers (is it strong? Smart? Able to hide easily?)
- make/use a wand and then practice a few defense spells. Anyone caught using the unforgivable curses will have to pay a penalty of running around the entire gym three times!
- Learn about palm reading
- Or, have each girl blindly pull out three smarties/skittles, and then use the three colours she pulled out to predict her future (Yellow means they are going to have a happy day, green means a lucky day, red means they will have an adventure, blue means they are going to be surprised, purple means they will find peace, pink means they will encounter danger, orange means they will vanquish an enemy – or whatever code you want to write!)
History of Magic class
- Learn about famous real-life magicians
- Learn to perform a magic trick
- Create a Harry Potter themed craft – take these supplies, and transform them into something else! Try: making a golden snitch, making candles from toilet paper tubes, making small brooms, making a lantern.
- Play a game with clay – one person draws a card, then tries to build the item on the card out of clay, while the others guess
Care of Magical Creatures
- Invent your own magical creature and draw a picture of it or create it out of clay.
- Make an owl or do an owl craft, then write secret message in code for your owl to carry.
We had an ongoing game where the “seven horcruxes” were hidden around the room. Whenever a girl was done early at a station and needed something to do, we gave her the Seven Horcruxes scavenger hunt list to try to find all the hidden objects. Download the Seven Horcruxes Scavenger Hunt List from the Girl Guide Library.
Close to the end of the evening we played a group game similar to Four Corners, but with Harry Potter House Trivia. The leaders read out a trivia question where the answer was one of the Hogwarts Houses. We had the four crests of the four houses hung in the four corners of the room, and the girls had to run to the corner that they thought was the right answer. Download the Harry Potter House Trivia Questions in the Girl Guide Library now.
Visit to Hogsmeade
We ended our evening with a “visit to Hogsmeade” where of course, we made butterbeer!
There are many recipes online but we used this very easy recipe – just three ingredients and it allowed each girl to make her own cup, which was more interactive than just handing them a drink. Download the Butterbeer recipe from the Girl Guide Library.