Welcome Back, Potter

welcome back potterIt’s Harry Potter week at Pop Goes the Page! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 will be released this weekend, and there will be launch parties and countdown events galore. I thought it would be helpful to compile all of Pop’s Harry Potter posts and projects, just in case you find something that might come in handy at your wizardly celebration.

Let’s start big. This is a Spell Simulation game Princeton University junior José M Rico created for our Wand Works event. It was amazing. You can see videos of the 6 spells, and find a free download of the game here.

wand works spell simulation game by jose m rico, background by jeremy goncalvesAnd now for more amazing-ness. This Magical Miniatures post features an interview with Sally Wallace, a miniaturist and artist who constructs astounding Harry Potter dollhouses and miniature scenes. Feast your eyes on Hogwarts!

greenhouse1 smallerHowever, if your magical real estate aspirations need to be on a slightly smaller scale, try this Gothic votive castle. See the greenhouse to the left of the castle? Peek inside and you’ll see that the mandrakes are ready for re-potting!

greenhouse3 smallerHerbology continues with this little dried herb amulet

amulet smallerAnd these dashing, yet simple, snapdragons. You only need a paper cup, construction paper, and pipe cleaners (more ambitious gardeners can try these magical “growing” box gardens).

get-snappy smaller

We also have portable potion studio for all your brewing needs…

witchy kitchy stackedAnother Harry Potter post I dearly love is this suitcase boggart. I designed it for a Defense Against the Dark Arts table. The secret to making the suitcase thump and bump convincingly? A battery-operated pet toy called “The Weazel Ball!”

the-perfect-boggart smallerWe’ve also made plenty of dragon and monster projects in the past, from this food chain to a black light tin foil dragon. Representing the forces of good, however, is this phoenix puppet. You can make it out of a tissue box, and stroll around with it cradled in your arms.

fantastical-phoenix smallerMoving on to school supplies, try these simple, but immensely popular, quill pens.

quill-pens smallerIf it’s a wand you need, take a look at the custom wands we made at our Harry Potter Wand Works event (and if you’d like to meet Lane O’Neil, a real-life wandmaker, take a look at this post).

wizard with wand

Also necessary for any Hogwarts student is an inexpensive PVC pipe wands (with your choice of core, of course). There are also flying books, and things that fly OUT of books.

these butterflies can book

And don’t forget your wrist owl to deliver the mail (but not a Howler)! These handsome little fellas are made out of toilet paper tubes and pipe cleaners.

wrist owl examples

Once your school supplies are assembled, hit the classroom with the Chemistry of Magic!

chemistry-of-magic-web- smallerOr, learn some smaller spells. A pair of Slytherin students joined us at our School for Scoundrels program and taught kids Aparecium, Furnunculus, and Inanimatus Conjures. But Confundo was definitely the most popular. Also, there’s this special paper that allows you to set your spells on FIRE and watch them fly!

And, if Muggle Studies is full this year, you can always take a look at our online exhibit, which includes photos and information labels on everything Muggle.

muggle studies 101

Deluxe Chicken Grooming Kit [c.2011]

Wanting to bring a little Potter into your own home? Well, you can crank it to ELEVEN like this amazing family, or host a smaller party like the one concocted by Hope, our kid tester, which includes inexpensive decor ideas, templates, recipes, and useful links.

owl balloonsAnd what would Harry Potter be without some treats? Check out the gourmet pumpkin pasties crafted by Melody Edwards, a Princeton University graduate who is currently in culinary school. They were yummy.

birthday potter croppedWe also tested a couple recipes from the The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz (Adams Media, 2010). Including Hagrid’s famous rock Cakes!

rock cake testingThose wanting a more academic perspective on Harry Potter (not to mention a look at some goodies from our rare books vaults) should check out the Harry Potter and the Mystery of the Author’s Name post on Cotsen’s curatorial blog. It shows the different ways J.K. Rowling’s name has been spelled (and misspelled!) over the years.

If you’re wondering about the image that started this post (like how I magically manage to appear 9 years younger?), it’s a promo photo from a Harry Potter event we hosted in 2007. You can read more about the image, as well as some of my hints for promoting programs, here.

I also mentioned Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Well ladies and gentleman, Katie, Marissa, and I actually went and saw the play on Broadway. You can see our complete (and spoiler free!) post here.

full theater 2

Come On Get Snappy

get snappySnapdragon anyone? I’ve offered this simple project at a number of programs in the past, and it’s always well-received. “Snappy” has decorated the edges of a swamp at a Halloween party, hid in an Alice in Wonderland garden, and grown out of pots at a “Primordial Plants” event table!

event tableYou’ll need:

  • 1 paper cup
  • 1 small rectangle of green construction paper for head (approximately 1.5″ x 3″)
  • A sliver of red construction paper for tongue
  • 1 green pipe cleaner
  • Hole punch
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • Extra green construction paper for leaves

First, fold the green construction paper rectangle in half to form Snappy’s mouth. Tab the ends of the mouth, then cut out teeth.

mouth stepsMake sure to leave a gap in the lower teeth (this is where the tongue will rest later).

gapNext, punch a hole in the back of Snappy’s head…

punched holeThen thread a green pipe cleaner through the hole. Twist the pipe cleaner around and thread it through the hole once again. Pull gently to tighten, then curl the end.

stem steps Cut the sliver of red construction paper to look like a forked tongue and tape (or glue) it into the mouth.

tongueUse markers to draw eyes. I added my eyes at the very end, but younger kids might have an easier time drawing the eyes earlier, such as before they attach the head to the pipe cleaner stem.

close up of faceTape the pipe cleaner stem inside the paper cup. Use extra green construction paper to add foliage. Done! Perhaps you can test out your new Snappy skills with this garden story time?

Mr. Nice Monster

monsterWho says monsters have to be mean? What happens if, for example, a monster doesn’t feel up to scaring, breaking, roaring, and storming? What if the monster would rather be…helpful? Perhaps it would be something like this story time monster who is literally stuffed with kind and considerate things to do.

helpful thingsWe read The Monster Who Lost His Mean, written by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds (Henry Holt & Company, 2012). One day, a Monster’s ‘M’ goes missing, reducing him to just “Onster.” With the name change comes many woes: being teased by his monster friends; sitting alone at lunch; being chased out of the dark woods. Onster reasons that if he can’t be mean to humans, maybe he should try being nice? To his delight and surprise, Onster begins to enjoy himself as he helps with chores, chips in around the house, and joins in childrens’ games. But he still doesn’t fit in at Monsterwood, and he sadly heads home. Surprise! His human friends have planned a thank-you party for him, and Onster realizes that even though he’s lost his mean, he’s gained some new friends.

You’ll need:

  • 1 large oatmeal container
  • 2 small rectangles of tagboard for arms (approximately 1.75″ x 4.5″)
  • 2 medium rectangles of tagboard for feet (approximately 3″ x 4.5″)
  • A selection of color masking tape
  • A selection of construction paper
  • 1 jumbo pom-pom (more, if desired)
  • 2 large wiggle eyes
  • A selection of small feathers
  • A selection of pipe cleaners (I used regular and sparkle stems)
  • 2 – 4 goose quills
  • A selection of dot stickers
  • 6 rectangles of white printer paper (mine were 4″ x 5.5″)
  • Inkjet sticker templates (optional)
  • box cutter
  • Scissors and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

The construction of this monster is incredibly simple with lots of room for creativity. Begin by cutting the arms out of the small tagboard rectangle.

monster armsCut the monster feet out of tagboard as well.

feetDecorate the arms and feet with color masking tape and/or markers, then set them aside for a moment. Completely remove (and recycle) the lid of the oatmeal container then wrap the oatmeal container with construction paper. Hot glue the feet to the bottom of the container, and the arms on the sides. This is also a good time to hot glue the pom-pom nose and wiggle eyes on the front.

With the basic monster body complete, it’s time to decorate! Before the kids got started, I quickly drew their attention to 3 things: 1) Fringed pieces of construction paper wrapped around the top of the oatmeal container make great hair; 2) Small feathers make very expressive eyebrows; and 3) My student assistant Joani’s amazing feathery/hairy/fluffy monster tail. It sort of looks like a flying skunk bunny doesn’t it? Awesome.

monster backAlso available were dot stickers, pipe cleaners, sparkle stems, and the Bling Bin. As kids decorated, I handed out “How May I Help You?” stickers (one for the kid, one for the monster). I created these on sticker sheet templates within Microsoft Word’s label function. You could also use name tag stickers as an alternative to the sticker sheets.

Now use the white paper squares to write 6 things you (or your monster) are going to do to be helpful. Stuff them inside the oatmeal container and pull them out as needed at home. As you can see, we had some fabulous monsters, and some fabulous ways to be helpful!

monster montageJoani added a pipe cleaner carrying handle to her monster for its long journey home.

monster with handleTo make a handle, use a box cutter to cut 2 small slits in opposite sides of the oatmeal container. Cut the slits after the monster is fully decorated, otherwise you run the risk of the slits being covered up by art supplies later. Cut the slits close to the plastic rim at the top of the oatmeal container:

slitThen thread a pipe cleaner through the slit.

threadedBend the pipe cleaner up and twist to secure.

knottedRepeat with the other slit. Your handle is complete! One little boy used the handle to “walk” his monster out of the gallery by his side. A boy and his monster, off to do good deeds!