Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Fantastic Beasts

fantastic-beastsThis hour-long event was part of our Thanksgiving holiday program schedule, planned around the movie release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Even though the movie is rated PG-13, we used it as an excuse to create a Harry Potter event for younger kids.  The event was focused on magical creatures in the world of Harry Potter, and not specifically the movie.  We had 15 attendees, a mix of boys and girls.  We allowed kids from grades 1-4, but had more of the older kids than the younger ones.  We set up six stations at tables around the room and let the kids move freely between stations.

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Station #1: Flobberworm search.  This was by far the most popular station.  Some of the kids would have stayed here for the entire hour if they could.  We hid 72 stretchy earthworms in a bin of water beads (we called them flobberworm larvae) and gave each participant one minute to find as many worms as they could.  The winner received a certificate.  Not only did the kids enjoy doing the activity, they liked watching other kids do it and helping to count out the worms after each turn.

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Station #2: Paint a dragon egg.  This was the second-most popular activity.  We bought papier mache eggs and the kids sponge painted them with assorted glitter and metallic tempera paints.

Station #3: Create your own magical creature.  We put out large sheets of construction paper along with metallic and plain markers, scissors, googly eyes, assorted scrapbook paper, and feathers.  We also had a recording sheet where the kids could describe their creatures and a M.O.M. classification chart to refer to.


Station #4: Escape the basilisk.  Kids completed three levels of mazes to escape the basilisk, but – since you can’t look at a basilisk without turning to stone – they had to look at the mazes in a mirror.  The ones who really followed the directions found it fun and challenging.  The ones who cheated found it too easy.


Station #5: Fantastic beasts memory game.  My partner in crime created this beautiful Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts memory game.  A few pairs of kids played this one, but not as many as we expected.


Station #6: Assorted paper activities – Mad Libs, word search, Harry Potter coloring, etc.  We usually do something like this at this sort of event so that the kids have something to do if they finish the other activities, but they really got into it this time, especially the coloring.


Other activities we discussed but did not do this time:

  • Dragon Egg-and-spoon relay race: carry some sort of dangerous animal with a clumsy piece of equipment
  • Something to do with constellations (centaurs)
  • Blast-ended skrewt race: balloon rockets, or blowing up balloons in a bottle with baking soda and vinegar.  Really, just “blast-ended skrewt” sounds fun.
  • Match the creature to the description
  • Pin the head on Fluffy
  • Scavenger hunt to find beasts or dragon eggs
  • Some game with beach balls (Acromantula eggs are soft, white, and the size of beach balls, so any game with beach balls would work)
  • A relay race game where each player needs to move like a particular animal (chizpurfle = crab walk, dugbog = slither, lethifold = slides along the ground, …)
  • Clothespin fairies

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