Home School: The Harry Potter One

After nearly two weeks of distance learning from school we are now on our term break for two weeks. Originally we were meant to be going away on holiday for a week and then having a week filled with playdates, days out, cinema trips.

But now? Now we are socially distancing within our compound and with no focus from school that they have to do {read I can bribe them with Hairbo and reminders that I send their work to their teachers} the first day didn’t go well.

I had grand plans, we set up the whiteboard with a lot of activities and ideas which were fun and that they WANTED to learn more about. And yet the first day went terribly. I had all sorts of notions that we would be bonded over space, excited to learn.

Home school holiday whiteboard planning

It turns out that worksheets clipped together weren’t doing it for them. Despondent I told them that they could do whatever they wanted to do as long as it involved no screens.

Cue temper tantrums. From everyone. (Particularly my four year old…..)

That night I decided that I would be more prepared. We would pick a topic from the board and when they came down in the morning they would have a variety of learning activities they could choose from.

Welcome to Wizard School

My eldest is Harry Potter obsessed so you can guess what our first port of call was.

Finding the Ultimate Harry Potter Project was a godsend. So my husband and I set to work setting up our workstations.

It worked like a dream, from coming downstairs at 6:30am we were starting on the first activity by 7:02am.

I adapted these to suit my reception and year 2 child, but the most important thing was that they had a lot of fun…

Design your own jellybeans

Anyone who has ever read Harry Potter knows that one of the most famous sweets in the series are Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jellybeans. And they mean every flavour. Strawberry, Rhubarb and Custard, Lemon, Vomit, Earwax, Bogey……

Using a free printable design your own sheet the boys set to work.

With mostly nice flavours like bubblegum and raspberry the odd grass, blood and trophy flavour worked their way in.

Workstation set up for Harry Potter day design your own jellybean
Design your own Bertie Botts Jellybean

The wand picks the wizard

No young wizard is complete without his very own want. And we all know that the wand picks the wizard.

So this morning we went on a hunt around our garden to find a good wand tree (being careful to appease the Bowtruckles with fairy eggs) before creating our wands.

Our Real Family Journey suggests using a glue gun to create knobbly patterns in order for you to have something to hold onto. Being on lockdown and not having a glue gun we worked with what we had – and I think that the end results worked well!

I simply mixed poster paint with PVA glue set them to work and let them play with the glitter glue.

Heading out to find wand sticks
Decorating wands
Harry Potter Wands

And of course after watching his big brothers play with paint this one also wanted to have a go….

Edible Wands

I mean, chocolate, breadsticks and sprinkles. What more can you ask for??

Simply melt chocolate, dip your breadsticks in and then decorate with sprinkles. Pop in the fridge for ten minutes to harden and then eat!

After we’d made these I extended the activity a little bit further by having my year two son write a list of instructions using this recipe template and my reception son wrote a sequence story board.

making edible harry potter wands
edible breadsticks chocolate sprinkles (Harry Potter Wands)
Writing instructions

Potions with Professor Snape

Having done a similar experiment with the children earlier this week I knew they would love to play this again.

All you need is white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and food colouring, and voila – an explosion of foam!

We mixed this up using potions numbers sheets (place values particularly) so one more, one less for my reception aged son and ten more, ten less, five more, five less for my year 2 son.

Making Hedwig and taking a letter via Owl Post

Hedwig is widely known as Harry’s owl, and owls carry post. What better way to get some writing practice in with my hugely reluctant writers than making an owl, then writing a letter for her to take to Harry?

Gluing cotton wool onto paper plates, adding white paper wings, googly eyes, an orange beak and feet, Hedwig was done.

Next up was the letter. And we had to make authentic parchment paper. Using the tea bag method where you rub a tea bag over a crumpled piece of paper before drying it out. We ripped the edges and burnt them before letting them loose writing a letter to Harry!

Harry Potter home school - Hedwig

Writing spells

Using their wands we did a little spelling/writing practice in sugar.

Simple words for my reception aged son and Harry Potter spells for my eldest!

Watched the movie

We decided that we all deserved a little break after all of that – and sat and watched the Prisoner of Azkaban!

These activities filled pretty much the whole day for us, and we were going ALL day rather than just in the morning as we have been previously.

They were engaged, happy and there wasn’t too much shouting going on…

Other ideas

As we ran out of time we didn’t get to do everything we had planned for the special “Harry Potter Day” we will be incorporating these ideas into other home schooling mornings whilst we are on holidays.

  • Create an edition of the Daily Prophet
  • Design a Harry Potter book cover
  • Grow some “magic” beans overnight
  • Make your own broomsticks
  • Quidditch lessons (!!)

These are just some of the activities – I suggest that you search the Ultimate Harry Potter Project for further activities on this theme, as well as understanding what your children are gaining out of each activity.

I picked these activities as I was able to do so using things I already had in the house!

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