Triwizard Tournament 10yr - School of Witchcraft
Lisa in Boulder Colorado, USA
June 2005 Winner
Harry Potter Triwizard Tournament for 8-10 year olds When my daughter wanted a Harry Potter birthday party we got so many great ideas from this site and others. We put a twist, and an update on the themes we saw by moving into Book 4, The Goblet of Fire. We did not try to recreate the book, but assumed that we were past all of the books so far and that we were hosting a second tournament.
Invites were printed in green on cream parchment as follows: You are hereby invited to the Tri-Wizard Tournament at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, currently disguised as a muggle home at (give the street address) The training and tournament will take place on Friday the 3rd of June between the hours of 5:30 and 9:00 pm And will include a Tournament Feast In honor of the birthday of Birthday Child's name Please respond by owl post or muggle telephone to your phone number Wizard or witch attire is encouraged, but muggle clothing is always appropriate We printed a photo of the Hogwarts castle on the bottom of the page and mailed them in large cream colored envelopes with a Hogwarts crest on the front that we printed via a download.
The party was broken into 3 parts- Arrival and Feast, Classes, and The Tournament. As children in arrived they were greeted by Dumbledore, (my husband) who supervised them in making their own potions with a variety of kool-aid colors, seltzer waters and pop rocks in plastic goblets. The children did not all know each other (from 3 different schools, you know). So we played a "who am I?" ice breaker with names from the books. As they arrived, each child came to me and my son(14) in private to get their wands. I made the wands from straight sticks from the back yard, darkened with shoe polish and embellished with a bit of glitter glue. Dressed as a witch, I would ask the students if they had brought their wands, of course no one had. I also asked if they had read the books or seen the movies because not all had and they needed a bit more explanation. They chose a wand from the selection and aimed at my son saying the name of any animal. When the wand was right for them, I pulled a party popper behind their back which shot confetti and my son turned into the animal. He got really into it and interacted with the child (the goat started chewing on the child's clothes for example) and the child needed to turn him back into a person again. They all thought this was very funny. We labeled each wand with their names on masking tape.
When everyone had arrived and had a wand and a drink, it was time for the feast. Our feast reflected my daughter's favorite foods, Chinese and Italian and also our visiting schools- Incantesimo and Shenghua. (Incantesimo is Italian for 'Charm' and Shenghua is Chinese for 'mystery')We said that our house elves were on strike (this in the future of the books remember) and several students thought it was high time that the house elves went on strike! So anyway, the kids had to come up and fill their plates with spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and broccoli and rice. Italian Bread and Mandarin oranges rounded out the menu. Everyone seemed to find something that they liked from the offerings. The feast table was two tables end to end with white cloths, metallic gold table runner, star confetti and little Chinese animals I downloaded and cut out. I didn't find a lot of Italian decorations, and you might do better with a Mexican school because there is plenty of Cinco de Mayo stuff for decorating.
After the feast we counted off to get into 4 groups to go to classes where they would learn what they needed to know for the Tournament. The classes were Potions, Herbology, Defense against the Dark Arts, Care of Magical Creatures and Divination. Each class had a different professor, lasted about 10 minutes and classes were changed when we rand a big set of brass bells. In each class the students learned something they needed to know for the Tournament. I gave them a booklet with things to fill out from each class, but the use of these was random at best. In potions they learned how to follow a potion recipe. In this case it was the red cabbage juice, mixed with powdered laundry soap to get a green, vinegar to get pink and the addition of baking soda to turn in blue and make it bubble all over. All items were named things from the books or our own imaginations- basilisk venom, dragon sweat, troll blood, powdered root of asphodel, etc. We also put poppy seeds (spider eyes) sun dried tomatoes (hinky punk hearts) and dried lemon peel (scorpion stingers) in little jars for the kids to examine. In Herbology we went to my already established herb garden to identify flavors of plants by smelling, touching or tasting. I happen to have mint, lemon balm, oregano and chives which are all pretty easy to guess at. I let them know that hippogriffs are especially fond of oregano. (they will need this knowledge for the tournament.)
Then I told them that times being what they are with the return of You Know Who, Dumbledore was seeking allies in all areas and he needed our help to reach the giants as quickly as possible. I asked if they knew how to reach giants? Did they know of anyone who had ever reached giants by planting something? Most of them came to the answer of Jack, who planted magic beans. We talked about how it is dangerous to go giving magical things to muggles like Jack, but none-the- less, we had magic beans of our own and needed to plant them. So I held out a handful of Bertie Bott's beans, let them eat one or two and choose one to plant in my half barrel where a tomato cage was waiting for the beans to grow up. I led them to believe that if the beanstalk normally grows to the sky by the next day, then surely we should see something before they left that evening. In fact, I had a second tomato cage covered with bean vines (greenery from the dollar store) and magic bean pods made from jelly beans encased in fruit by the foot and taped to the vine. I recommend leaving the plastic on the outside of the pod to keep it clean and prevent it from getting goopy in humidity (it poured rain during our party!) Part of the tournament involved harvesting a bean pod. It was dark at that point so I put a flashlight inside the tomato cage, shining up to illuminate the beans. I didn't put it out until they were all busy eating cake and opening presents.
For Defense Against the Dark Arts we taught the Patronus Charm. My brother-in-law came as an American wizard named Tex who kept his wand in a holster, and he taught them about Dementors and how to do the charm. My 14 year old wore a scream mask and a black cape which he put on in front of them so they would know he wasn't a real dementor and get too scared. The kids practiced the charm, planting feet firmly, aiming carefully and shouting loudly. When they were not successful, or if they ran away, the dementor would tag them and they would freeze. Then Prof.Tex would have to come and give them a mini chocolate bar to unfreeze them. Essentially this is Dementor Freeze Tag, best played outdoors. The kids loved it. And they learned how to defend themselves against the real Dementor who they would see during the Tournament. In Divination they learned how to read palms (any library has a book- in fact I got quite a few books on Divination of various sorts to stack in the room). We used my daughters bedroom for this class. I covered all her toys and things with sheets and put red material over the lamps to create the right atmosphere. The divination teacher (from the Incantesimo school, my sister putting on an Italian accent) also went into a trance and gave a "real prophecy" that On the -- day of the --- month, the guards of Azkaban will leave their posts and seek the place of great learning." At least a few kids were able to figure out that it meant that the dementors were coming to Hogwarts tonight! We just let the rumor circulate.
In Care of Magical Creatures we had planned a census of magical creatures in the garden and had placed spiders, snakes, faeries, unicorns, owls and fire lizards (dragons are illegal you know) all around to be counted and commented upon by the professor. (My neice in Chinese clothes)However the rain squashed that and instead we had them choose one creature and tell about how it was magical, what it ate etc. When the teacher's turn came she lectured on fire lizards and their eggs, giving the information the kids would need to figure out a puzzle later. In this case it was how fire lizard eggs always came in pairs of opposite colored tops and bottoms. But sometimes a basilisk would try to hide an egg with the fire lizard eggs, so they needed to know how to spot the basilisk egg. We made the nest from the top of a birdbath filled with plastic eggs that had been set up in pairs, all except one. They didn't find this until during the tournament.
When the classes were finished we gathered in the great hall for birthday cake. For the cake we made a bundt cake, frosted brown and embellished with candy jewels- the clear sparlkly sort. This formed the base for the goblet of fire. The goblet was made by taking a large, heavy glass goblet (we got one a second hand store)and putting clay letters of each school on it in fancy cursive writing. (Use the sticky, non drying play clay, not play doh or salt dough.) I also put circles of clay to hold jewels in place. I covered the clay and the goblet with foil, being careful to push it in close around the clay bits before smoothing it down. Then I went around the outside of the foil covered clay letters with blue glitter glue to highlight them further. The effect is of a carved metal goblet. I know that the book says it is wooded and plain and the movie previews look like it is glass and silver, so I made up my own! We set the goblet on top of a weighted glass in the center of the cake so it looked like it was floating a bit above the the cake base. With candles all around it, it looked pretty magical. I did not try to but fire in the goblet- seemed too risky to me. As the cake was cut, the goblet was passed around the table and each child put their name on a slip of paper into the cup.
While my relatives cut and served cake, I went upstairs with my son to turn him into a "real dementor". We used 3 yards of black burlap, 4 yards of black satin, a black balloon taped to a yard stick and solid black clothes for him, including gloves. We draped and pinned the satin around his body and over his head, but not covering his face. Then he held the balloon up above his head by holding the yard stick in front of him. I draped the burlap over the top of this and his face and shoulders, tucking it to keep it in place. Now he could use the stick to make the "head" move. While the kids opened presents and excitement for the tournament grew, we set up the tournament tasks- the firelizard eggs with their rubber dragon over seeing them, the bean plant and flashlight in the garden, a bunch of hippogriff feathers stuck into the oregano plant, and the potion recipe for gaseous spheres (soap bubbles) and all ingredients on the patio. We pulled names out of the goblet and randomly assigned the 3 school teams. We explained how after what happened last time with Cedric dying, no one was allowed to go into the maze alone. They must go as a team and stay together for safety. They had to find, 1 basilisk egg, 1 hippogriff feather, 1 magic bean pod and one witch head full of gaseous spheres. (we had witch faced halloween buckets.) We sent the 3 teams in 3 different directions out of the house and they rushed to find everything based on what they had learned in their classes. The potion making took the longest and they had to figure out how to fill the bucket with the bubbles. While they were running aroung in the dark, the dementor kept coming up behind them and everyone would use their patronus charm. The dementor had been instructed not to actually get anyone, he just came out of the shadows and then faded back into them. They loved using the patronus charm and started setting guards to keep him back while another team member made the potion or found the feather. When they had everything they came to the goblet to get their Triwizard earnings, paper wizard money I had downloaded from the internet and printed out.
Then they each got a goody bag and got to shop at Honeydukes where we had lots of magical candies in jars and other magical things like glow sticks, party snaps, magical creatures, those foam animals in capsules, and they all bought what they wanted for their own goody bags. I labeled the candies- like we had giant pixie stix and the sign said, "made with real Cornish pixies" and the bubble gum that paints your mouth, lemon drops of course, and Bertie Botts Beans, also Charm Pops and "magic" circus peanuts (they are magic because they don't taste like peanuts at all). The kids were thrilled with all their loot and a few of them were figuring out the wizard money math from a table I had posted in the "store".
All in all it was a great party and the adults had has much fun as the kids. Many of the ideas we used we got from others on line and we wanted to share our version with others who might want to do this. It is a lot of prep work- but so much fun. We'll always remember it.