Harry Potter’s Party Hunt (say that three times fast!)

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I’ve been so excited to share our fun Scavenger Hunt, but the 27 boxes and 88 drawers of childrens’ clothing in our house have erupted all over the house this week (I may have instigated the incident), and I have yet to crawl out from under the mound of fibers.  It’s the annual every-few-years sorting through baby and toddler clothes which I’ve stored away (kindly having been reshuffled for me during each pack-out by the movers) and the sifting through – and subsequent redistribution of – every shirt, sock, dress, and sweater currently in use.  I’ve been putting it off for a while, but my recent visit to Gymboree set it in motion. 🙂  Now that it’s Saturday, though, perhaps I have a few minutes to spare…

I downloaded (for free) the font “Lumos,” recommended on another blog (but right here for your use) to type up all the clues.

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Where did we leave off?  Oh yes – in the first installment detailing our Harry Potter Party for Patience’s birthday, I left you hanging by saying that the Scavenger Hunt began with a clue taped inside the Hogwart’s Express (ie the closet under the stairs wherein cloaks and scarves were donned – oddly enough, referred to by the housing representative, who toured us around the first day, as the “Harry Potter” closet.)  You’re welcome. (That’s for sparing you from all my silly rhyming clues.)  They quickly figured out the clue’s meaning and ran off to Daigon Alley, which was on the back porch, where they discovered the letters “L R I L G” scrawled in sidewalk chalk leading them to their next clue:

Reading the first clue

Reading the first clue

In "Daigon Alley" deciphering the word on the ground.

In “Daigon Alley” deciphering the word on the ground.

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Cousin Charlie reads out the clue found inside the Grill, which takes them inside the "South Side" door to the kitchen table, to Ollivander's Wand Shop for wand construction.

Cousin Charlie reads out the clue found inside the Grill, which takes them inside the “South Side” door to the kitchen table, to Ollivander’s Wand Shop for wand construction.

Once they were inside from following clues and had added embellishments to their wooden-stick-wands, they discovered a clue taped to the bottom of someone’s cup which led them into the living room looking for Tom Riddle’s diary.  Here they are, conquering the white streamers of death with their wands on the quest for the diary:

Little cousin Milo and Greer enjoyed fighting off the streamers.

Little cousin Milo and Greer enjoyed fighting off the streamers.

Success! It's Tom Riddle's diary!

Success! It’s Tom Riddle’s diary!

Quick - decipher the clue...

Quick – decipher the clue…

Couldn't resist posting this one again - such intensity!

Couldn’t resist posting this one again – such intensity!

The kids have an area they call “The Camp” over a little bridge behind our house, so the clue directed them to that buggy spot where they found leather and cloth bags hanging in the trees for each one – for holding goodies gathered along the way.  We called this spot “Hagrid’s Hut,” and there was a sign nearby which said “Forbidden Forest” with a length of black yarn tied to it.  Following the yarn led to their next clue.  (The yarn idea was from the Full Blast Parties site where it recommended a string maze which made me think following string through a forest would be an easy thing to set up. :))

The kids off in the distance across the bridge running to Hagrid's Hut

The kids off in the distance across the bridge running to Hagrid’s Hut

Cousin Elsie and Patience look for the bags in the trees.

Cousin Elsie and Patience look for the bags in the trees.

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Untangling

Cousin Elsie helps Gabriel untangle Nagini the snake (a Horcrux they will later need to destroy) form the yarn they are following.

Cousin Elsie races through the woods.

Cousin Elsie races through the woods.

Claire, stealthily following the black yarn.

Claire, earnestly pleading for the scissors (from Grandma’s basket of tricks) to cut the string on the cup

This Cup (another Horcrux) was found at the end of the yarn, and it contained a picture cut into 6 pieces which was the location of the next clue and Horcrux.

This Cup (another Horcrux) was found at the end of the yarn, and it contained a picture cut into 6 pieces which was the location of the next clue and Horcrux.

Good thing we also had tape in that basket...Gabriel uses his wand to help the process along...

Good thing we also had tape in that basket…Gabriel uses his wand to help the process along…

Claire "oohs" over the developing picture

Claire “oohs” over the developing picture

Aunt Kath took this form afar - the whole group gathering around to figure out the puzzle

Aunt Kath took this form afar – the whole group gathering around to figure out the puzzle

This simple puzzle idea came from that same party blog (and is probably on other pages, too.)   Where were we off to next?  They figured it out – the upstairs hallway.  On the back of the photo (printed from a quick iPhone picture that morning) I had devised a math problem – the answer to which was the number taped on Patience’s bedroom door.  So in they went…to the Hall of Prophecy! This idea is straight from a beautiful blog post about a Harry Potter Party mentioned in my last installment.  In addition to putting prophecies like “There is butterbeer in your future” into 8 of the balloons, I put the ninth “prophecy” – their next clue – as well as a ring (another Horcrux) into the 9th balloon.  I used her wording exactly on a little piece of paper attached to a nail – it read “See your future,” and the kids used the nail to pop the balloons.  (We ended up resorting to a safety pin when this didn’t really pan out.)

Reading a clue from one of the balloons (like crystal balls - get it?) :)

Reading a clue from one of the balloons (like crystal balls – get it?) 🙂

Their balloon clue told them to look “inside a tree that is inside” – meaning a treehouse in the toy room downstairs.  There they all chose from about 10 little animal flashlights hanging out in the treehouse which would guide them on their way in the “place that cars live” or some such thing.  (As I said – sparing you my silly rhymes.)  This was, of course, the darkened garage, where they discovered a stack of Marauder’s Maps.  If you’ve seen the movies you will remember the AWESOME map which opened when Harry tapped it with his wand and said, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”  It would give the location of anyone inside Hogwart’s by showing his footprints as he traveled the halls.  Some ingenious person sketched her own map for a party she threw a while back which I then found referenced on the last blog I mentioned which has great pictures.  Since the map obviously showed the original creator’s area rather than my own house and neighborhood, it would have been useless, except that this other lady already figured out a great way to include it:  she circled a letter on each child’s map which, once unscrambled, became a clue.  The link to the original map PDF, along with detailed instructions on cutting and folding can be found here.  We used the map twice – once to circle “Quidditch Pitch” which I had already told Gabriel would be at a pavilion behind our Cul-de-sac, and then again with the circled-letters method.  Onward they went for a smart game of Quidditch (described in our first Potter Party installment.)

Holding my map closed with a wand

Holding my map closed with a wand

Open the first layer...

Open the first layer…

Viola!

Viola!

They retrieved pieces of paper, each containing part of a jumbled sentence, as they played Quidditch.  Deciphering the clue led them back to their little bridge for an adventure across a “lake” in search of Slytherin’s locket (another Horcrux.)  I found the idea for this (and used her exact wording) on another blog.  They tossed out paper plates to use as stepping stones over to a Hula Hoop where Patience then “fished” for the locket.  Another clue found with the stack of plates told them to use their maps for the next clue (the circled letters) which then led them to our front hall closet in search of Gryffindor’s Sword (with which, along with a tooth, the children would destroy each and every Horcrux.  You may not have noticed, but I have so far successfully avoided using the plural of Horcrux, since I have no idea what it would be.)

Unscrambling the clue after Quidditch

Unscrambling the clue after Quidditch

fishing for the locket

fishing for the locket

grabbing swords

grabbing swords

a clue taped inside the closet needed to be read in a mirror and led them to the laundry room for the "basilisk tooth" to destroy the other stuff.

a clue taped inside the closet needed to be read in a mirror – another idea from the Full Blast Parties site – and led them to the laundry room for the “basilisk tooth” to destroy the other stuff.

in search of the truth...I mean, the tooth....and another clue

in search of the truth…I mean, the tooth….and another clue

The hunt continued with a clue found beside the “basilisk tooth” (a small wooden dagger we had lying around) leading them to the kitchen table and “Potions Class.”  Once there, the children read a sign directing them to hunt for clues taped to the bottom of their chairs.  That “Full Blast Parties” site had another neat idea – invisible ink.  Three kids found papers – which were blank or garbled!  They needed to use various “potions” to reveal the hidden messages.  One message told them to use the sword to destroy a few things (resulting in some gifts as mentioned in the first blog post), another had instructions for using the tooth to destroy other stuff, and finally, the last one just said “Desk” where the rest of her gifts were hidden.  I found a great site for Invisible Ink and disappearing ink ideas and tried different things for each message.  Potions Class ended with simple baking soda and vinegar experiments and the making of butterbeer to drink (more on that in a later post!)  I found cute labels for the “potions” on this blog.

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Gabriel's clue involved an erasable pen - I wrote out the message with a regular pen and then filled in spaced with erasable pen.  He then had to erase all the "extra" letters to read the clue.

Gabriel’s clue involved an erasable pen – I wrote out the message with a regular pen and then filled in spaced with erasable pen. He then had to erase all the “extra” letters to read the clue.

Elsie needed to use grape juice on her message.

Elsie needed to use grape juice on her message.

Here's one using the heat from a candle to reveal what was written with lemon juice.

Here’s one using the heat from a candle to reveal what was written with lemon juice.

Things assembled, awaiting destruction

Things assembled, awaiting destruction

Here ends the Epic Harry Potter Party Horcrux Hunt.  It certainly was fun rushing from place to place with Gabriel’s help in the hours before the party hiding all the clues and thing-a-ma-jigs.  The butterbeer at the end was certainly well-deserved (and much appreciated) after the kids traipsed up hill and down, through mosquito-infested forests and throughout the house, laughing all the way.  More on that later, though, as now my bagpipes are calling…

2 thoughts on “Harry Potter’s Party Hunt (say that three times fast!)

  1. Pingback: Finishing up for a while: the Harry Potter Party, and the blog | Who's running this place anyway?

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