Harry Potter Camp (Part 1)

“Harry Potter was at the Burrow, sitting outside while watching the stars in the sky above.stars  They were beautiful indeed, all sparkling like glitter that had been sprinkled on a dark canvas that was the night sky.” (Photo courtesy of Parker Grimes–my son)

Harry Potter Camp –Out of This World Fun!

I designed my first Harry Potter Camp before the first movie had come out. All of my grandchildren and I had read the three books that had been published, and we were all hooked for life!  It is one of the most fun themes ever! Today there are endless fantastical ideas, and now endless helps and resources on line. I’m sharing some of mine, because we had a great time, and 11 years later I had a new group of kids who loved Harry Potter and wanted me to have a Harry Potter Camp for them, so last year we did it again.  I began by mailing the acceptance letters to each child addressed exactly to their bedrooms, as was Harry’s:

Mr H. Potter, The Cupboard Under The Stairs, 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging , Surrey. Or  Miss A. Grimes, 2nd Room in Upstairs Hallway, Top Bunk…

Today there are also numerous sites online that have letter templates you can buy or copy.  This is my letter–with translation in a clearer font below this original.

Letter of Acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witches and Wizards

Scan Here is the letter in Times New Roman:

Dear Miss————

You have been accepted to the Hogwarts School of Witches and Wizards. Soon you and your school mates will join us and your education will begin. We are pleased that you will be coming to Hogwarts School. You will need to catch the train at Platform 9 3/4 on Tuesday June 18th.

Students, upon arrival, shall first visit Diagon Alley to purchase supplies and then will report to the Chamber of Reception. Following registration we shall have the Sorting Hat Banquet.

We very much look forward to receiving you as part of the generation of Hogwarts heritage.

Please give careful attention to the list of requirements. You may purchase these items upon arrival at Diagon Alley.

  • One Wizards Robe or Cloak
  • One owl, or hedgehog
  • One broom
  • One wand

Our curriculum will include

  • Defense Against the Dark Arts
  • The Magic of Me
  • Transfiguration
  • Divination
  • Potions
  • Spells
  • Care of Magical Creatures

Diagon Alley

First on the agenda was Diagon Alley where they could buy supplies. (When I purchased supplies for camp, the store I shopped at did not have enough owls, I didn’t want cats or rats, so I chose hedgehogs as an alternative.) I made the cloaks for the kids, rather than robes, out of plain black fabric with a gilded clasp. I don’t sew. I glue.  The kids were thrilled with these simple cloaks. They don’t have to be fancy.

I phone June1 12 036-001 The children each got a small sock with Wizard currency–gold galleons, silver sickles, or copper  knuts. Dobby donated the socks. Dobby loves socks, remember it was his master unwittingly giving him a sock that freed him?

“Dobby has got a sock,” said Dobby in disbelief. “Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby — Dobby is free.” (CS10)

All supplies in our Diagon Alley were priced and the children counted out their money to buy wands, brooms, cloaks, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans, Chocolate Frogs, etc. (Rather than black robes, I made each child’s cloak out of plain black fabric with gold embroidered clasps and the coat of arms for their particular house was attached after the sorting banquet. IMG_2768

Another important purchase at Diagon Alley is their wand. Each wand was in its own box.  We decorated them with hot glue and paint, glitter, and or beads.PAG_5242

Our littlest wizard is showing you his box that has a wand inside. They tested the wands to see which wand picked them. Mr. Olivander, the wandmaker said, “You do not choose the wand, the wand chooses you.

"Expelliarmus!"   Harry Potter Camp

“Expelliarmus!” The children are actually disarming to me at all times; they cast a spell without wands.

The photo above is  from my first Harry Potter Camp. The children were asked, at that time, to bring their own cloak or robe. You can see one in the front is very fancy. His mother sews! These kids are now 18-22. Two of them are married. Once again I’m expressing what every grandmother knows, They grow up too fast!  While they are at my house the rule is No Growing Up!

I phone June1 12 033-001

The photo above is the second group 11 years later. This young wizard is like Hermione; he already knows how to use his wand, and  he is casting an unknown spell right out of the door of the shop!

The Sorting Hat Ceremony and Banquet



The Sorting Hat Ceremony sorted the kids into just two houses. I had two bedrooms set aside as dormitories–One for Gryfindor and one for Ravenclaw.


The Banquet table had lots of candles, (not floating in the air, but the kids didn’t care.) and the centerpiece was a castle candle holder so the light shone through the windows. The banquet food was simple things the kids love to eat, and of course it was served with Butterbeer.  There are lots of recipes online for this drink. The kids loved it and wanted more and more. Basically it is cream soda with a homemade caramel mixture added in. Then we whipped it in a blender so it had a foamy head and served it in half sized mugs.

End of Harry Potter Camp part one of three.  Next post will be about the classes, teaching values, and fun activities.

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