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Compostable Fairy Gardens: Fairy Party Craft

A few weeks ago my twins celebrated their 6th birthday. We incorporated a really special party craft that I wanted to share for a few reasons: it is basically compostable, so party guests can return it to the earth when it gets ratty looking, the amount of imagination it inspired with the kids was amazing, and the supplies required where found for the most part in the forest. I am always totally inspired every time I walk into a West Coast forest – the amount of moss, ferns, and toadstools right now is breathtaking. I wanted a way to bring some of this beauty into the party give aways at the twins party. I mean really, it would just be too easy to go into the Green Planet Parties warehouse and start pulling out magical items. I wanted to challenge myself and incorporate a few of the fairy items from this popular category on the site, but also input some creativity. So voila – the concept of creating compostable fairy houses and wooden dolls was born and the effect was quite magical. So here is how you can construct the ultimate craft with a fairy themed soiree!

Collecting Supplies For Compostable Fairy Houses:

This was my favorite part of the craft. I got the opportunity to walk into our local Mall and rather than walking out with purchased goods, I went to all of the shoe stores and asked them for empty shoe boxes. Shoe stores collect many empty boxes during the day from customers that opt out of taking them home.  They are just broken down and recycled, but I managed to collect close to 20 over a 2-day period. I would advise getting regular sized shoe boxes…not big ones from boots. Here is what the stack of boxes looked like pre-party.

After we had boxes collected (1 box per party guest), we headed into the forest and started collecting our nature. The bottom of each shoe box was going to be lined with moss.  It’s easy to find thick, wet, beautiful moss in our local forest so we collected our moss and fallen twigs. Moss to line the bottom of the box and twigs to create rugs and ladders for inside the fairy house and fallen ferns to create a pretty design inside the house. I thought the ferns might look nice in small section in the fairy house glued to the side of the walls to give a shutter or the allusion of window blinds.

 

Making Wooden Fairies for Fairy Garden:

We then decided to include a wooden clothespin fairy for the girls to decorate inside their fairy house. We used all upcycled materials for these that included: wooden clothespins, tissue paper for wings, sharpie to draw faces and hair, fabric scraps to make clothing. We pre-painted faces (I did the faces and my girls did the hair) onto the clothespin dolls and we loved how they turned out. The ladies are whispering below how excited they are to get dressed and have a rest on their leaf bed.

The ladies continued to chat to each other about how they wanted to be dressed. Also included in the below picture is some inspiration to avoiding glitter to decorate the fairy wands. We found glass beads and glued them to the middle of the wooden wands (same beads we used for the pond) – loved the effect!

In order to ‘dress’ the fairies, we cut out rectangular strips of tissue paper. We slid the tissue paper up the clothespin opening, then fanned out wings. Then the girls used Green Glue and glued on the little bits of clothing I had pre-cut. The effect was lovely and I wanted the party guests to have a doll and some quality pieces from inside the house that they could play with for a long time.  Here is a dressed doll after one of our guests finished gluing on clothes.

Putting Together Fairy Houses:

After the party guests finished making a doll, they painted a few quality pieces that would be reused from the fairy house (the shoebox, moss and twig pieces could later be composted) and they included, fairy doors and beds from Green Planet Parties. The beds had huge impact with the girls because they were able to lay their newly acquired fairy dolls and put them to sleep inside the box. Here are the fairy doors that each party guests painted.

A great idea if using a fairy door for your fairy house is to cut out an opening in the shoe box where the fairy door can be placed. It’s the entry point for all the magic inside the house to be contained!  I did this for a few of the guests and they loved the effect!

While the guests were painting fairy doors and wooden wands, I was getting another table ready for the completion of the houses. The guest had their shoebox ready with moss inside, a leaf bed w/ pillow and twig ladder next to it to put inside the box, the fairy they had decorated, I put the guest’s name on the box, then they walked over with their fairy door and wand that was put into the box to dry. They started looking like this:

Another extra I had waiting to put into the box were blue glass rocks. Once a few were added to the corner of a fairy house it looked like a pond where the fairy could have a swim later.

Voila!  Close the lid and the fairy garden/house/doll is ready to go home when your party guests. I wrote names on the outside of each box so it was easy when guests were picked up to find their box. With the shoe box lids closed, I loved watching the reaction of parents (probably thinking why is she giving me this?) but then I looked them in the eye and said “compostable fairy house” and the adult’s eyes lit up because they knew these take home gifts were something different and unique.

Prep time for these fairy boxes should be about two weeks before the actual party. You want to enjoy the process of going into the forest and searching for treasures. Try to find sticks, leaves, acorns that have already fallen onto the forest floor. One idea we had was to collect acorns and glue them to the head of each fairy doll but there weren’t any in our area this time of year. It would have been a cute accent but I love how the faces on the dolls turned out. A glue gun really came in handy with making the twig ladders – I would have loved to make and hang some windows with twigs in each box too.  Using the glue gun also allowed me to not have to use glitter with decorating the wands. By adding a glass bead to the centre of the wooden wands, the girls just added some paint to them and we by-passed using glitter. I try to stay away from it because it’s plastic. I didn’t want this getting into the compostable materials inside the box.

We had a little over 15 party guests and it’s doable, but a smaller number of children is probably recommended for this craft. I divided the kids up into 2 groups otherwise it would have been overwhelming to orchestrate all of the little steps. It’s fun when you can take the time to listen to the kids and have them decide what all of the materials will be in their house: carpets from sticks, windows, ponds – very fun!

I write this article not as the owner of Green Planet Parties, but as a mom of two adorable little girls and a person with a serious Peter Pan complex; never want to grow up and someone that believes that fairies are real!

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Spoooooky Disposable Tableware!

Greening celebrations & Halloween is a hot topic this year. One aspect of party planning that many hosts struggle to green is when using disposable tableware, specifically at children’s parties and Halloween. But we’ve made advances in biodegradable and compostable disposable tableware options and it’s never been easier to keep the fun and excitement and  the environmental impact low at these celebrations. Don’t believe me?  Check out the awesome pictures of bagasse plates stamped with beet juice at the bottom of this post.

Halloween parties don’t have to be a wasteful affair – make a goal to host a little or no-waste party. We’ve already talked about Halloween decorating so lets talk tableware. I agree that some of the printed/licensed napkins, plates and cups are adorable for Halloween, but it’s important to green this aspect of party planning. With the proper Eco-friendly tabletop accents**, this is the easiest area to green and guests will love the effect of earth friendly disposable tableware!  Using your own dishware is the best way to booster your green with party planning, but this isn’t always a practical option. We host an annual Halloween party and I know with over 20 kids running through my house, there’s no way I’m giving them my everyday dishes.  Here are some Eco-friendly options for disposable tableware & some spooky facts you’ll want to learn about traditional cups and plates..

Hot Cups:

Bring out the hot chocolate or apple cider, but make sure you’re using hot cups lined with PLA.  Traditional paper hot cups are lined with petroleum-based resin. Ever wondered why you get that nasty after taste after you’ve purchased a coffee or hot drink from a cafeteria or store? This is plastic melting and being absorbed into your body.  Compostable hot cups are a great addition to your next party because the interior resin of the cups is lined with PLA (poly lactic acid) which is derived from renewable resources such as sugarcane and starches (corn).

We all know styrofoam cups (styrofoam anything for that matter) are terrible for the environment. But if we truly understood their destruction many of us, including myself, would stand up and make more noise when we see it being used.  I ran across this description of styrofoam used by the Wonkette talking about the U.S. Capitol bringing styrofoam back into their cafeteria after banning it for 4 years. Sometimes it’s great to have a description that doesn’t sugar coat to stick into our minds if a business or event service needs a reminder about how bad styrofoam is. Quote from Wonkette:

“Foamed polystyrene” is a miraculous invention that manages to be completely awful through every step of its near-eternal “life cycle” — it is manufactured with petroleum that must be imported from Middle East dictatorships, toxic “styrene oligomers” migrate into the food it holds, it’s highly flammable and produces black poisonous smoke, and most of the 25 billion polystyrene cups tossed every year will take more than half a millennium to degrade.

Sometimes it takes shocking statistics to really reinforce that these products should never been used because of the environmental consequences. Let’s also not forget that polystyrene is a strong plastic that is ‘foamed’ into Styrofoam. I sometimes forget that Styrofoam is plastic because of the different texture but it’s polystyrene created from erethylene and benzine that is inject or blow molded. Do you want to pour hot liquid into this soup of plastic materials?

Plates:

Traditional Halloween disposable party plates hmmmmm pick your evil a) licensed paper plates made from virgin trees and inked with toxic dye 2) Styrofoam plates that are devastating to the environment 3) plastic plates that take forever to biodegrade and often end up polluting our forests and water.  Now think about using compostable plates. Not only are they biodegradable, but also compostable as they are made from excess plant materials that otherwise would have gone to waste! The first option for plates is perfect for Halloween, not because they are scary, but fit into the theme of Fall beautifully because palm leaf plates are manufactured from fallen leaves. It is very cool to tell a child that a leaf fell from a tree, was picked up for a villager, cleaned with die, and shaped into a plate. Little children and all party guests will understand this story and love learning how palm plates are made without any disruption to the tree and because they are made without dyes, wax, finishes of any kind ~ they are compostable and a very earth friendly option with party tableware. An other option with biodegradable and compostable plates are those made from bagasse which is a fibrous pulp that is left over after processing sugar cane. A cool story as well because this material would have otherwise been turned into waste and again, no trees are used in the manufacturing of these plates. So although they are stamped ‘tree free’ along the edge, guests may assume they are a paper plate because of the color and texture. Make sure to inform party guests about the bagasse plates so they don’t assume they are made from paper. One way to catch guests attention is to personalize these party plates. I use beet juice to dye the homemade play dough I made my children.  This way I get a brightly colored play dough using vegetable dye rather than brightly colored play dough from using synthetic food coloring. Well why not stamp your bagasse plates with a rubber stamp and beet juice?  You are using a natural dye to make these plates look different that will create some buzz and questions. It’s also super fun for the kids! My niece and I tried this tonight and the results were fantastic. She also loved learning how an organic substance like beet juice should be used to stamp with because you wouldn’t want any other material like traditional ink a guest’s plate that will contain food. The texture of the bagasse plates is great for absorbing the beet juice and also makes for very strong plates.

** Tabletop accents. We’ve decided on a mixture of ways to dress-up our Halloween tabletop for this year’s party. We are painting little pumpkins and gourds from our local patch and making them into ghosts and black cats. We’ve also sprinkled some pine cones and crazy shaped gourds from the patch. Felt appliques that act as reusable confetti are also a great way to punch up a table.

This post is part of the 2011 Greening your Halloween Blog Tour brought to us by Green Planet Parties, Green Halloween, Green Gift Guide, Surf Sweets and A Little Bit of Momsense.

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Halloween…How Will You Green?

 

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Halloween….How Will You Green?

Halloween, pumpkins, leaves – this season represents the best time of year in my house. My children are excited and look forwards to the October visits to local farms, pumpkin patches, or nature walks, and my favorite parenting memories usually contain a swirl of Autumn colors in memory backdrops. Because my family loves the Halloween season so much I’ve had to be creative with greening this month so not to dampen the excitement and energy. We bought a lot of Halloween plastic crap (that would be beloved crap to my children) when the boys were small. It’s not something I would invest in today, being more green-minded, but along the way, I’ve managed to incorporate some concepts with reusing and being creative this time of year and wanted to share. Early. Greening Halloween takes a bit of time which is why this article is being published while we’re still in September. Greening your life takes a lot of impulse control and leaving decorating, costume shopping, etc. until the last minute will have you making rushed decisions without having the luxury of thinking about sustainability with this holiday.

Halloween decor:

Yes, the scariest decorations are not going to be made from felt or organics. If you need to add outdoor Holiday decor – purchase a decoration that will last and can be reused for many years. Many people are looking to downsize their Halloween collections – always check Craig’s List first to purchase decorations that are not made from Eco-friendly materials.

Have a wooden outdoor structure locally made! My favorite decoration sits on our front lawn and is a huge wooden pumpkin (approx. 7 feet high x 6 feet wide) that was made by a local carpenter for my family. Where did I find Randy? I visited our local pumpkin patch the first weekend it was open…they always have the best wooden Fall themed structures and I asked for the contact number of who made it. Voila – I got to work with Randy years ago and it produced a wonderful decoration!  It also doubled as a party game when my kids were younger because the pumpkin eyes, nose, and smile had holes big enough that we’d bring it inside for a bean bag toss game.  The best thing about this decoration is how I can simply compost it when it starts falling apart. See below picture for an example of wooden decorations found at a pumpkin patch – this would look great in front of a house!

Greening decorations is a big part of making Halloween more sustainable. It’s important to know that the wall decals sold at dollar stores for Halloween for indoor decorating are made from PVC. Yes, these will off-gas when first applied to the wall so we keep these out of kids rooms, etc. when we reuse them each year. I have noticed more options available for wall appliques in stores this year made from non-toxic materials – paper, etc. For decorating a nook in your home or classroom, these garlands from my company Green Planet Parties are sweet and the burlap banners have been very popular to string outside across windows or porches.

Costumes:

We have a fair number of costumes from years of hosting Halloween parties. This year, thanks to the great tips from Green Halloween, I started a Facebook Group and invited friends to join a costume swap. Creating a Facebook Group only took a few minutes and I asked people if they had costumes they want to sell, trade, or lend out to post on the wall. People are enthusiastic and it’s perfect for people like me that are too attached to let go costumes my kids have worn – I can feel good about lending them out so they get used and save a parent purchasing another single use item.

Party crafts:

Halloween crafting doesn’t have to be a wasteful activity. Reusing canning jars around the house makes fun specimen jars (you can get really creative with these). Another way to reduce waste is if you’re purchasing pumpkins early in the month, don’t carve them and keep them off the ground. Painting pumpkins is lots of fun for younger children and the pumpkins will last all month. We have a tradition of making ghost pumpkins from our first visit to the patch each year. My kids LOVE this activity and now that I’ve found earth friendly acrylic paint, I’ll be trying my first every black cat pumpkin this year. . . stay tuned.

Candy:

If you are looking to avoid traditional Halloween candy without artificial ingredients – check out Surf Sweet treats. They are delicious so your kids won’t roll their eyes with these organic goodies. Other great facts about this brand are:

~made with organic sweeteners, including organic fruit juice

~ excellent source of Vitamin C

~ candy made without corn syrup and GMOs

~ produced and packaged in a facility free of the 10 most common allergens

~ socially responsible and my favorite manufactures the candy in Canada and the US!  Yes!

 

Starting early is the key to greening any celebration. Plan your Halloween activities, costumes, decorating early and think about adding locally manufactured and sustainable products if you need new holiday gear this October. Or try making a costume or decoration new again from borrowing from a friend. Please post ideas you have for making this ‘tough to green’ holiday a little more earth friendly.

This post is part of the 2011 Greening your Halloween Blog Tour brought to us by Green Planet Parties, Green Halloween, Green Gift Guide, Surf Sweets and A Little Bit of Momsense.

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Hosting A Harry Potter Party

We all know I’m a Potterhead correct?  I’m sure people think I’m a little mad being and adult and being so entranced with the Harry Potter series, but it’s a journey I took with both of my sons last summer (reading the novels) and it’s an adventure I will always treasure. It’s also very cool that so many of the Harry Potter story-lines and characters are very relate-able for kids in their everyday lives. So it was really not surprising when my 8 year old son announced he wanted to host a Harry Potter themed party for his 9th birthday party. I was up for the challenge of bringing some wizard magic to this very special celebration and with the Harry Potter movie franchise coming to an end this summer (Deathly Hallows Part 2) in July, I figure I’m not the only parent on the block having a child requesting this theme for a birthday party. I’ve been so excited to write the 2nd part of this article (Part 1: How To Play Muggle Quidditch) because it was the best party we’ve thrown for my oldest son to date and actually very low cost. The best part with hosting a kid’s party like this – my husband and I got to flex our imaginative muscle which is always fun!

We started the party with having the guest’s parents drop-off their children at a local park with a grass field. Here we played Muggle Quidditch (wizard sport similar to football) and I’ve written about setting up the Quidditch game here.

After Quidditch was finished, we started Part 1 & 3 of the Tri-wizard Tournament. This is a magical contest that takes place in the 4th novel “Goblet of Fire” and there are 3 tasks.  The first task of the tournament is for all the ‘champions’ to retrieve a specific golden dragon egg. We included the concept of ‘golden eggs’ into our own tri-wizard task by having a good old-fashioned egg toss. We painted the eggs with gold paint and the boys tossed raw eggs back and forth in the field. It was a fun game, but over pretty quick.

The 2nd task in the tri-wizard tournament is for each of the champions to rescue something valuable that had been taken from them in the Hogwarts lake. Having to breathe underwater for an hour, they rescue people in their life that are very important to them from merpeople. We didn’t incorporate this task into our party, but if you have a pool, pond, or large basin of water, you could get party guests to retrieve items.

The last task (3rd task) of the tri-wizard tournament in Harry Potter is for the champions to navigate through a maze of mystery and danger to find the tri-wizard tournament cup. As luck would have it, next to the field where our party guests played Quidditch, is a creek surrounded by a forest. I took 15 of the wizard looking goblets we’ve used during 7 Halloween parties (for potions) and hid these in the woods.  The goblets actually looked very similar to the one in the movie and the kids had a good time running around the forest looking for cups. Once a child found their own cup, they returned it to the field and started helping another child that hadn’t found a goblet yet.

After the Tri-wizard tournament, the kids walked back to our house and we started the first of two games: Pin The Sock On Dobby and Jelly Bean tasting. I can’t take credit for the Dobby game…my friend Bill on Facebook had just hosted a Harry Potter party and shared this great party idea. My dear friend Patti drew a life size Dobby for us to use as a cut-out – see the below picture and the amazing job she did. If you don’t have a poster or person that can draw, you might want to order a life size stand up Dobby that I found on this site. They also have a life size Snape character…older kids might think it’s funny to ‘pin the shampoo bottle’ on this beloved greasy character. You simply cut out some socks, shampoo bottles, etc. from paper and use tacky tape, grab a blindfold, spin the child around and send them towards the cutout.  Here is the beautiful Dobby that was hand drawn for our party:

The other indoor game planned for the party was a jelly bean testing contest. In the Harry Potter books, there are wizard jelly beans called Bertie Bott’s Flavor Beans and there are flavors such as vomit, rotton egg, earwax, dirt…you get the picture. Trust me, 9 year old boys love this stuff!  We actually found a brand called Bean Boozled and each box contains jelly bean flavors that look alike but taste different from each other. Example is 2 black jelly beans – 1 is skunk spray the other is licorice. You can’t tell which of the flavors you’ve gotten unless you taste them. They are have some of the funny flavors included in the Harry Potter jelly beans so this guessing game went with our theme.

For party decorations I reused Francesco’s cloth name banner that we’ve used every year from Green Planet Parties. The camouflage fabric of his reusable banner fit nicely with the subtle Deathly Hallows theme of the party. I would now like to talk about the loot bags. I’m very proud of myself with these bags and their contents because I actually helped created a bit of magic with my own little hands!! I originally thought the kids would decorate t-shirts at the party with the Deathly Hallows symbol, but after brush stroking this symbol to personalize the cloth goodie bags, I realized this just wasn’t a good idea for energetic 9 year old boys. I’m so happy with this decision. So instead I painted the sign of the Deathly Hallows onto the outside of the goodie bag and included a matching cotton t-shirt inside each bag as the main give-away. I thought they turned out pretty well but I learned it’s harder to paint a triangle onto cotton than I thought:

And what do you say are those AMAZING dark mark’s attached to the rolled up tees in the front of the above photo?  Those would be dark mark tattoos and I could not wait to see the reaction for guests and my sons when they arrived for the party. I included one in each child’s loot bag, but I’m sure kids would have loved to have them applied when they first arrived at the party. When I opened the package that contained these tattoos I was literally screeching with joy.  I immediately put one on myself and each of my boys and loved the result. Here is how it looked on Francesco’s arm.  Even Ronald Weasley would say these are “wicked”! You can purchase these at a shop called Electrik Pink Pirate and the shop owner is awesome to work with!

I also included wooden wizard wands and organic jelly beans in addition to the t-shirts and dark mark tattoos in the goodie bags.  I think any fellow Potterhead would approve! I was completely inspired by this party because it was so much fun to plan and enjoy. I created a new category on the Green Planet Parties site called Wizard Theme Party. I hope it helps to inspire parents with planning a wonderful wizard themed party that has the guests believing that magic and our childhood is always around us.

Related Posts:

How To Play Muggle Quidditch

 

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How To Play Muggle Quidditch

I’ve been so excited to write this article since my son’s recent birthday party because we successfully hosted a very fun and low-cost Harry Potter themed birthday party.  And the best part?  We setup a Quidditch match for the party guests and it was amazing!! The game of Quidditch was probably the highlight for everyone that attended the party so I’m writing this article in two parts: How To Play Muggle Quidditch and How To Host A Harry Potter Wizard Party. The sport of Muggle Quidditch is not only reserved for Harry Potter themed birthday parties, I discovered that two Canadian Universities actually have Quidditch teams and have organized it as sport. I contacted the administrator of the UBC Quidditch Team via their Facebook Group and Verena was super helpful with answering questions (thank you Verena!!).  It learned from Verena that improvising is the way to go with a budget and setting up Quidditch at low cost. The UBC team hangs hoops in trees to act as goals and both universities (UBC and McGill) use a person as the golden snitch, rather than a ball. This was the key with our Quidditch success, but let me backup and list the items I needed to purchase and collect to get the party setup.

~ Via Evite to party guests I created two teams and asked kids to wear red shirts or blue shirts to the party (one team was Gryffindor and the other was Ravenclaw).

~ Started off thinking I’d build 6 Quidditch goals that looked like this…

…and I was seriously on my way to building them.  But I’m SO glad my brother-in-law offered his advice saving me a lot of expense and work. He pointed out that the kids will not actually be flying so there wasn’t a point to building the goals like they appear in the Harry Potter movies. I would have hung hula hoops from trees, but the park field I used for the party didn’t have overhanging trees. So I came up with an inexpensive alternative from my local hardware store. I purchased thick metal wires that could bend. I was originally thinking of cutting hula hoops in half and sticking them into the grass, but since you need 6 goals in Quidditch I didn’t see the point in buying plastic,  in order to cut it up. The steel rods worked perfectly and they stuck firmly into the ground (bonus) so I didn’t have to worry about them being knocked over when a rambunctious 9 year old took aim at the goal. The bendable wires looked like this:

You need six of these goals – 3 per side for each ‘Keeper’ to guard. Each steel rod cost approx. $3 each.  I contemplated painting the rods with gold paint so that they were easy to see against the grass on the field, but as you can tell from the picture, the kids didn’t have a problem finding them as targets.

I might as well talk about the Quaffle we used (one of the balls in wizard Quidditch and the only one used in our match of Muggle Quidditch) because you can see the scruffy ball we found in the above picture. You want a ball size that the kids can easily hold in one hand. We also wanted the ball to be soft so that nobody would get hurt – you know how 9 year old boys get.  Unlike wizard Quidditch, we opted to only have 4 different types of players on the field: 1) Keeper – one person per team and it’s their responsibility to guard the 3 goals and attempt to stop the Chasers from scoring. 2) Snitch – this involves only 1 person for both teams 3) Seeker – each team has a seeker. This is the position Harry Potter plays on Gryffindor’s Quidditch team in the Harry Potter books. The job of the seekers is to pay attention to when the Snitch runs onto the field and try to ‘capture’ the snitch. It’s a very exciting position because the game cannot end until the snitch has been captured. Once the snitch is captured, the team receives 150 points, usually ending the game. 4) Chaser – we had more than 3 per side in our Quidditch match, and these players control the Quaffle and try to put it through the hoops.  Each goal from the chasers are 10 points. We didn’t have beaters or bludgers because this would involve hitting balls with bats and that’s not a great idea for high spirited 9 year old boys.

When I first started planning the Quidditch match I assumed I’d be hiding the snitch in the grass for the Seeker to find. (I was going to paint a golf ball with gold paint)….BUT there is a way easier and fun way to incorporate a snitch into Muggle Quidditch. You dress a person in gold clothes and have them intermittently run into the match as the snitch. My niece volunteered to be the snitch during our Quidditch match and she was brilliant. It’s better to have a fast, older child be the snitch because you don’t want the game to end quickly. I went to a thrift store and paid $5 for a bright golden shirt and pair of pants for my niece to wear. Then we hung a long sock out of her pant’s back waistband and put a tennis ball inside the sock. We rotated the Seekers every 10 minutes so that everyone had a turn being a Seeker and every few minutes during the match we would send my niece (the golden snitch) into the match to run around. The child playing the Seeker tried to grab the sock and this was how the snitch would be captured. It was so exciting when we’d yell “snitch in!” and everyone would stop to watch the seekers chase the snitch..just like in the movie. Our snitch was able to run out of bounds to be ‘safe’ and rest up.  My son, the birthday boy was the Seeker that ended the game after an hour by capturing the snitch and I’ll never forget the look of pure joy on his face…it was just awesome!

Another important aspect of our Muggle Quidditch match is we incorporated freeze tag so the boys wouldn’t be tackling each other for the Quaffle (ball). The game got really competitive and having the kids have to freeze and pass the ball as soon as they were tagged was great. I had two adults that refereed the game and that was very helpful too. When a Chaser was tagged holding the Quaffle, they had to freeze, then pass the ball instantly to someone on their team.  This kept the game moving quickly and prevented any of the kids getting hurt. We also decided not to have the children run around with brooms (while we’re on the topic of injuries). You know your audience and I think the brooms would have interfered with the boys running around and would have ended up possibly spearing each other by accident. I’m glad we decided no brooms because it kept the game moving quickly.

As a huge fan of Harry Potter myself, it was complete joy and magic for me to sit and keep score while watching my kids & their guests play Muggle Quidditch. Every time the Quaffle went through a hoop I recorded 10 points for the team. At the end of the game when the snitch was caught, the winning team was awarded 150 points and the match ended. It was by-far the highlight of the Harry Potter party and even children that weren’t familiar with Quidditch, Harry Potter, etc. had fun and didn’t feel left out of the game. That is one of the secrets to hosting a themed party – making the games fun enough that even guests without the knowledge still enjoy themselves.

We had parents drop party guests off at a park with a grass field down the street from our house. This is where the Quidditch match took place and we pretty much used the entire grass field to play. I was meaning to make a goal crease in front of each of the 3 hoops for the Keeper, but didn’t have time.  I would say this step isn’t required. Have party guests wear different colored shirts to the party so it’s clear who is on each team or borrow pinnies for the kids to wear. I also told parents on the Evite to dress the kids in clothes that were weather appropriate. The kids got muddy, but nobody cared when it started to sprinkle with rain – we were having too much fun!

The party fun didn’t end with Muggle Quidditch, but the other party activities will be described in my next article ‘How To Host A Harry Potter Wizard Party’. Ideas for wizard themed loot bags and decorations located below. Also to watch a video of Muggle Quidditch in action, here are some reference links:

Quidditch Soaring On Campus – Members of the McGill Quidditch Team talk about ‘Quidditch fever’ on campus

Green Planet Parties – Wizard Themed Party Supplies

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