Harry Potter Potions Party

April 8th, 2014 by Dionna | 10 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Children, Eclectic Learning

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Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Pastimes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about family pastimes.

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Harry Potter Potions Party

Kieran caught the reading bug early and honestly – we are voracious readers. Along with traditional picture books, which we all love, Kieran has been into chapter books since he was three or four years old. I’ve enjoyed sharing some of my favorite books with him, including the first three books in the Harry Potter series (edited on the fly for age appropriateness).

Along with pretend play to bring books to life, we also like finding other ways to connect books with real life experiences. One of the best activities we’ve ever done has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. It was actually a homeschool cooperative class I offered last year, and every child who came was thrilled. The class was a perfect combination of literature, dramatic play, science, and art.

Below are the resources I used to create our potion recipes, the ingredients and tools we set out for the kids to experiment with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!

Tools to Create

When the students first arrived, they each selected a wand (sticks we had gathered before class). They used the wands and the tools below to concoct their potions:

  • Balance
  • Funnels
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Syringes
  • Eye droppers
  • Cups, bowls, and jars
  • A variety of stirrers: spoons, chopsticks, etc.

Ingredients

I raided Professor’s Snape’s supply closet and made a midnight run to Slug and Jiggers Apothecary to gather the necessary ingredients for our potions. Every recipe used ingredients that were straight out of Harry Potter, so that true Potter fans would feel like they were part of Hogwarts.

  • Chopped Onions: Chipped Runespoor Fang (used to make Faux Floo – a homemade, more dangerous version of Floo Powder)
  • Ketchup: Salamander blood (has healing and rejuvenating properties)
  • Flower petals: Fairy wings (used to make Girding Potion, which gives its drinker extra strength and endurance)
  • Shampoo: Flobberworm Mucus (used to thicken potions)
  • Red jello powder: Octopus powder (used to increase the strength of potions)
  • Green jello powder: Fluxweed (an ingredient in Polyjuice Potion)
  • Baking soda: Horn of Bicorn (powdered horn of bicorn is an ingredient in Polyjuice Potion)
  • Vinegar with purple (red and blue) food coloring: Belladonna (fluids from this poisonous plant are part of every Hogwarts student’s standard potion making kit)
  • Seaweed: Boomslang Skin (shed from the Boomslang snake; an ingredient in Polyjuice potion)
  • Club Soda: Exploding Fluid (found in the horn of the Erumpent; highly dangerous, causes anything it is in to explode)
  • Cornstarch: Ground Moonstone (an ingredient in love potions)
  • Rice: Splintered Griffin claws (used to make the Strengthening Solution)
  • Cooked spaghetti: Asian Dragon Hair (obtained from a Chinese Fireball dragon; used to make hair potions)
  • Glitter: Left Handed Nazle Powder (used in a potion that causes one to become left handed)
  • Cooked black eyed peas: Puffer-fish Eyes (an ingredient in the Swelling Solution)
  • Frozen blueberries: Sal Ammonioac (an ingredient in the perfect medicine, along with salt, urine, vinegar, and Sulphur Vive)
  • Water with blue food coloring: Arcomantula venom (venom from large spiders, like Aragog)
  • Alka seltzer: Mistletoe Berry (used to make the Antidote to Common Poisons and the Forgetfulness Potion)
  • Vegetable Oil: Camphirated Spirit (used as a disinfectant; a treatment for mad dog bites)
  • Food coloring: standard ingredient (used in many potions)

Potion Recipes

We only had two potions for the kids to follow directions to create. After they finished these two, they were free to come up with their own recipes, and we wrote down their creations for them to take home. They had a lot of fun coming up with their own measurements and chemical reactions.

I utilized the Harry Potter Wiki to create these potions. Use at your own risk.

Polyjuice Potion

½ cup horn of bicorn
1 pinch boomslang skin
½ tsp fluxweed
1 cup belladonna

*Gently stir dry ingredients in cauldron clockwise
*Wave wand 3 times over potion
*Using funnel, slowly add belladonna

(The Polyjuice Potion is essentially a baking soda and vinegar volcano.)

Harry Potter Potions Party 2

Forgetfulness Potion

1 cup Lethe River Water
1/3 cup Arcomantula venom
4 drops standard ingredient
1 mistletoe berry

*Pour lethe river water into cauldron
*Add arcomantula venom and 4 drops standard ingredient
*Wave wand and say “Alieno!” 3 times
*Break mistletoe berry into 5-6 small pieces
*Drop the berry pieces in one at a time, slowly

(The Forgetfulness Potion is an alka seltzer lava lamp, which the kids thought was very cool. We did ours outside in the daytime, but for an added fun effect, do it in a darker room and shine a flashlight at the reacting liquid.)

Safety

Of course make it clear to kids that they should not eat or drink any of the ingredients. We played up the possibility of forgetting their names and turning into toads.

I would also recommend that, as much as possible, you do not use glass jars if you are working in an area where they could drop and break on the floor. Our potions party ended up with a glass jar broken (despite our “no leaving the table with the jars” rule) and a very expensive trip to the children’s urgent care clinic after Ailia stepped on a piece of glass that didn’t get swept up. My mistake for allowing young children to work with glass!

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Photo Credits:
Potions: Adapted (added text) with permission from Rebecca Siegel via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License
Lava Lamp: Shared with permission from Stephanie Clark via Flickr Creative Commons

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • 8 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids — The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, Mandy of Living Peacefully with Children, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains why you should consider hitting the trails with your kids.
  • Crafty Cohorts — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys crafting with her kids, and the skills they are learning.
  • 10 Hobbies For Families With Young Children — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama knows that finding hobbies families can do together (with young children in tow) isn’t always the easiest of feats. She has compiled a list of 10 family friendly hobbies that children of all ages can enjoy and that won’t break the bank!
  • Helping Himawari — Sophelia’s family at Sophelia’s Adventures in Japan share a passion for helping when a dog is abandoned at the nearby elementary school.
  • The ‘Art’ of Having FunMarija Smits shares some thoughts on family art and fun.
  • How we made our own Family Day — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how her family celebrates the best day of the week, a chance for connection and adventure and endless possibilities: Family Day!
  • Our Family Hobby — Survivor talks about how animal husbandry has become her family’s favorite hobby at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters.
  • Sowing the Seeds of Passions — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs wonders if her interests, and her husband’s, will shape her children’s passions as they mature.
  • Harry Potter Potions Party — One of the best activities Dionna at Code Name: Mama has ever done with her family has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. She is sharing the resources she used to create their potion recipes, the ingredients and tools they experimented with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!
  • Pastimes Have Passed Me By — Kati at The Best Things takes a new perspective on projects that never get done.
  • Food as a cultural experience for preschoolers — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings finds that food is a good way to engage her preschoolers on a journey of cultural discovery.
  • 10 Reasons I Love Thrifting With My ChildrenThat Mama Gretchen has always enjoyed shopping, but with a growing family she’s become more frugal and thus, her little ones are now in tow on her thrift store adventures.
  • Pastime with Family vs Family Pastime — You can share lots of pastimes with your family, but Jorje of Momma Jorje discovered a family pastime was much more pleasant for sharing.

10 Responses to:
"Harry Potter Potions Party"

  1. Marija Smits   MarijaSmits

    How brilliant! I will definitely be using these potion recipes one day :-) Thank you so much!

  2. Camille Flores   SurvivorinMx

    What a creative way to teach! I am sure that the kids will never ever forget the Harry Potter party and will continue reading the series (and others like it) with enthusiasm.

  3. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    Love these! I’m going to have to have a Harry Potter party soon. :D

  4. Sophelia   SopheliaJapan

    These are brilliant, and would be great fun at a themed birthday party as well!

  5. Gretchen   ThatMamaG

    What a fun idea – for a birthday party or homeschool activity! I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a chapter book with Jemma and reading you say that Kieran began at 3-4 has given me the oomph. Now, just to pick one :)

    • May I make a few suggestions? :) Mercy Watson by Kate Dicamillo will let you sample the chapter book structure with tons of awesome pictures and not a lot of text. Same with Bink and Gollie (same author) our Dragon Tales (Dav Pilkey, crude humour warning, but our whole family was sitting
      there laughing until we cried, even Ailia). The Frog and Toad series are another good read.

      Kieran’s first real chapter books were Little House. He loves them, and they give us tons of things to talk/learn about.

  6. nathalie   nabejero

    What a great idea! I love how it ties a popular story in to so many disciplines! Pinning for future reference :-)

  7. Christy   ChristyRollo

    This is fabulous! I know many kids who would love this party. Going to pin it for future use. Thanks for the cool ideas.

    I love planning theme parties and my favourite one was a secret agent party. The kids had t memorize their code name and secret password, they learned a secret handshake, create ID cards that included their fingerprints, went through a “laser maze” (made with painter’s tape), and had to follow clues to find the mystery object.

  8. This is awesome! We love making potions with old spices and ingredients from outside too. I never thought of creating recipes and your Harry Potter theme is outstanding! I can’t wait to read those books with my kids!

  9. Momma Jorje   MommaJorje

    Oh my gosh, SO much fun! I’ve read about parties that have potions as one of the activities. You really put a lot of work into this and I bet those kids will remember it FOREVER!

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