Harry Potter Back To School Celebration
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My idea for a Harry Potter back to school celebration started with the new LEGO Harry Potter minifigure mystery packs. These little bad boys have been my nemesis the last few weeks. We have big Lego fans in our house, so the latest mystery pack series has us out at a variety of stores, spending way too much time feeling up Lego (that just sounds wrong on so many levels).
Tip: If you’re still on the hunt yourself, you might find this handy “feel guide” helpful. We did!
After successfully feeling and finding our way to a complete set (with the exception of Hermione), it got me thinking about all the ways Harry Potter weaves it’s way through our lives. And it was the perfect excuse to revisit some favourites, and create a little Harry Potter back to school magic!
Revisiting Harry Potter
My youngest has just turned 11 years old. While we have done some reading of the book series out loud during family time (mostly with his older brother), he has yet to embark on reading the books himself. I think he just might be ready to fall in love with the boy wizard and all his adventures.
But book-ish boys, mine are not. So to ease him into the idea of reading the book series, I decided to plan a Harry Potter back to school celebration for the last few weeks of summer vacation. While we were just celebrating back to school, these ideas would work brilliantly for birthdays, graduations, or Hallowe’en themed parties too. I’m using it as a way to ease back into homework and school routines, just as Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione would have been getting ready to start another year at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter Themed Activities
I started with some custom printable Hogwarts acceptance letters to get the boys in the spirit!
We had some fun shopping for school supplies, joking at every item, “Is this on the Hogwarts approved list?” Pens and pencils, instead of quills. Notebooks and binders instead of parchment. But I did spot some cute Harry Potter themed school supplies (that I may be ordering myself)!
Watching all of the Harry Potter movies is definitely on our list…
My hope is when school starts, they will be more willing to start hitting the books again, to continue our adventures. Particularly if we start reading the Harry Potter series as a family again at home.
Teaching Moments from Harry Potter
One of the best things about the Harry Potter stories is the teaching moments for my kids. Lessons about inclusion, standing up to bullies, and defending your friends are great reminders, especially when kids are heading back to school for another year.
Both my boys have some learning disabilities and challenges at school. They often get very down, and hard on themselves. Pulling out quotes, such as when Dumbledore says “It’s our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”, helps us to change the focus from that impossible math homework, to their efforts and perseverance.
My youngest struggles with regulating his emotions, and oftentimes gets in trouble. He, being his own worst critic, often thinks he’s a bad person. When watching “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, one particular quote made him lock eyes with me and smile; “Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” (He really is a good kid, that one.)
Stress from our ongoing custody battle weighs heavy on our whole family, especially the boys. Another quote that helps cheer us up…
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”
If your kids are older, certainly issues about good and evil, loss and death are also addressed in these books and movies, and can pave the way for some productive discussions, especially about emotions, and how we can all deal with them, even as adults.
Talking over a Butter Beer makes it just a little sweeter.
Got some other Harry Potter ideas you’ve tried? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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