You’re magic you are

So the 8 year old Adventure Boy is Harry Potter MAD.  He literally talks about it non stop, he can tell you ridiculous facts about it, he knows the films inside out, is reading the books, keeps bugging me for the lego, pretends his little brother is Dobby, and generally is a bit of a super fan.  I get it.  Honestly I do. I love it myself.  Bit intense when it is in your face every minute of the day (and you’re also trying to home school and its currently a lesson in multiplication and division) That, my friends, is a head ache in the making. But hey…us mums can juggle right??

Anyway, I have been trying, where I can, to continue to bring some adventure in to our suddenly much smaller lives… We are, it has to be said, loving the slower pace and the not shouting about shoes and teeth as we fly out of the door every morning, and we are very lucky that we have some beautiful spots for walks and outdoor adventures here in Devon.  But we are missing our friends and family, the seaside, adventures in some of our favourite spots, and sad at having to cancel so many plans, like we all are and have.

Home schooling is also very much a challenge.  I think anyone who says it isn’t must be mad!  It is lovely spending so much time together, but it is also very tough and expectations about school work are tricky…We are very lucky in that the school has been incredibly supportive and resourceful.  Doesn’t make it easy though, when you are trying to balance a toddler, homeschooling, work, a new business, and just your entire mental state, to be honest. Sometimes they just don’t want to do it.  What do you do?  Argue and shout all day, or say sod it, adventure and happiness is much more important?  I know where I sit on that. 

With this in mind, I have been trying to add some special adventures or ‘adventure days’ in to our weeks, to add a bit of variety, keep us from going mad (and just watching Disney+ every day!!!) and to provide some balance – adventure and exploration in addition to some more formal school work.  I think balance and just being ‘real’ about all of this is the way forward – or it is for us anyway. H totally gets that – it is some hard work and reward, fair and realistic. 

So enough waffling on.  What is my point?!  I have spoken on instagram and facebook about travels abroad at home. We have been adventuring in France, India, Greece, Italy and Spain so far.  We have cooked traditional food, drawn pictures, been on virtual tours and made monuments out of recycling.  It is absolutely one of the best types of adventure we have had during this strange time.  

I decided last weekend though to try something different.  A Harry Potter Adventure, a day at Hogwarts (but at home).

Well.  Adventure Boy LOVED it and I thought I would share it with you, as it might give you some ideas, if you are looking for any, about some activities you might try out to keep you all from going insane!  Not all learning has to be about rigid Maths and English… some of the best things are much more creative and imaginative than that.  And if there’s one thing I can say, it is that H was more engaged in this than he has been in pretty much anything else (and without realising it, he did writing, maths, science, art, and PE all in one day!)

He dressed up, we had a cute little timetable, he had a notebook and quill, he made a pretend broom, he set up a Gryffindor Common Room.  The day was a complete joy.  He wrote me a note after to say it was his favourite ever day.  And could we do it next weekend.  I have created a rod for my own back clearly.  But still, to see that joy on his face, and his eagerness to get properly involved in everything, was just lovely.  It took a bit of effort, but was not ridiculous, and it was worth it for the smiles and the memories.  He has definitely been missing school, his friends, his sports clubs, his teacher…and this was such a nice way to just spend a really happy day.

Could be a day, could be an hour, or just an activity, but a bit of a themed adventure seems to work wonders.  And it didn’t need to cost anything or take huge amounts of my time to prepare, it was just a lovely unexpected adventure in a very surreal time.  We all need that escapism and adventure sometimes I think.

Here are the activities we came up with for our Harry Potter Themed Day:

  • Hunt the Golden Snitch (12 images of snitches hidden round the house – a race between houses to find the most.  That got daddy involved!!)
  • Magical Art – we coloured in free printouts I found online and then did a video on you tube that taught us how to draw a Harry Potter cartoon
  • Potions Lesson with Professor Snape – I looked up some easy science experiments/potion ideas online and turned them in to Harry Potter style potions such as ‘Polyjuice Potion’. Henry had to measure out ingredients, mix, write down how to perfect the potion etc. I cannot tell you how much he loved this!!! Main things we used were vinegar, food dye, water, glitter, bicarbonate of soda, oil, washing up liquid and some leaves for ‘Gilly-weed’. I found this article online really helpful.
  • Quidditch – H made some pretend brooms out of old pieces of football goal and he and Daddy played quidditch.  It got quite competitive, as it always does!  I hid a golden snitch in the garden too.
  • Cosmic Yoga – there is a fab Harry Potter episode of this on You Tube here
  • Magical engineering – and by this I mean junk modelling.  We used recycling to make a model of Hogwarts.  This was a serous winner – took ages and it looked so cool (we also went onto make a House Cup too as he loved it so much)

These are weird and difficult times.  But I remain determined to find the magic.  Except when I am expected to teach mega complex division.  Then I struggle very much to find any magic!!!! Happy adventuring people xx 

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Happy Adventuring!

Emma and the Adventure Boys xx