DD is turning 7 in a few weeks and her chosen birthday party theme is "Wizards Chess." It combines her two favorite things--Harry Potter and chess.
She has friends at school, and she fits in very successfully. She does not really share the super geek aspects of herself with them. But this is the party she wants, and she has invited mostly home friends (who do know her) and a few school friends.
What in the world can I do to make this a successful party? She seems to think that the kids will like standing on a giant chess board and playing a round of wizard's chess (where the kids are the pieces). I know these children, and they will NOT enjoy this!
So far, I'm thinking that I'll make her a chess cake, and the kids will each make their own mini pizza. That should take up a little time. Then what? How do I turn this interest into something that the kids can "play"? We can put all of her HP lego kits out, but most of these children don't even know or like HP.
We did a Harry Potter party a few years ago. Some of my favorite things:
I don't seem to have saved my list, but it had things like lemon juice as phoenix tears. Make sure to use an acid and a base. You can download a Harry Potter font online, and get inexpensive plastic vials with stoppers from amazon, and it is useful to have a wooden stand. You can have white labels and pens or calligraphy markers so kids can label their potions. (This was my kids' favorite.)
do a sorting hat, and hide a cell phone inside the hat so the hat actually "speaks", and hand out house badges. (This was my favorite--loved seeing DS's face light up when he was assigned to Gryffindor).
the pinata was a golden snitch that said "i open at the close." I think we had the kids whack at it with a broomstick.
Bertie Botts jelly bellies tend to be a hit with that age
Butterbeer was a hit with the parents :)
When it comes to HP parties, the internet is your friend!
(I've seen the potions done at a more mainstream event where kids just used lemon juice plus sugar plus water and make a tube full of lemonade, if this is not wholly a flobberworm mucus crowd :)
black beetle eyes
lacewing fly powder
I think we did baking powder for the lacewing fly powder and honey for armadillo bile....
We got something like this for the test tubes:
plus something like this wood test tube rack
" rel="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/familybed2.gif"> DD1 12/05, DD2 12/08
Computer Engineer- I write better in 1's and 0's. ;-)
You might consider Tic Tac Chess. My kids liked chess and this game and it might be more accessible to friends who have not been exposed to chess as of yet. I used it with a strategy game club I used to run and it was popular with the 7-year-olds. http://www.educationallearninggames.com/how-to-play-tic-tac-check-game-rules.asp
I agree that the giant chessboard would be a struggle. Not only would there not be enough kids to cover the board but many would spend a large portion of time standing on a square waiting to be moved. Fun for her, not as much fun for them.
Don't pull out her Potter Lego sets. They are expensive and difficult to replace should any of the special pieces go missing. One or two friends over for a playdate? Fine. A cluster of kids in party mode? No, don't bring out any personal toys.
You could have them make themed crowns or party hats (kings, queens, wizards.) You could also take a bunch of standard games and rename them... add a wizard or chess element. How about dress-up relay but with wizard hats and capes and robes.
There is the easy cop-out - put on the video of HPSS!
for serious ideas: have them all glue together a wizards hat from cardboard and make a wand. Some kids get Gryyffindor and some kids get ravenclaw or hufflepuff badges and then ust organize ordinary party games of the kind you know these kids have played before and enjoy, with the kids "sorted" in "house teams".