Having a Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts Themed Party

H turned seven in August, which we spent at Disneyland Paris. She wanted to have a party, so we decided to keep costs low that we’d have it at home. I thought that a Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party would be a good idea.
Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party birthday cake

A Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party was a good idea with the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ film opening soon. Once we knew the theme of the party we had to work out how to make it fun.

H and Milo the Giant African Millipede from Wild Fangs

We booked Wild Fangs who were brilliant! Wild Fangs have a great website with all the information you could need and I highly recommend them.

H and Derek the Bearded Dragon from Wild Fangs

Wild Fangs were fantastic. Faik was brilliant when it came to keeping the kids attention. This was quite a job, there being seventeen of them. He brought along five creatures from his selection. The kids all got to meet each one, and H got special attention as she was the birthday girl. Even the shy children were stroking the creatures at the end which was good to see.

H and Tiny the African Bullfrog from Wild fangs

The creatures were only a small part of the Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party. As it was at home it meant we could do bits to make it feel a bit more like Hogwarts. Poundland, Tiger Stores, Hema and Wilko all have a great range of Halloween products in-store at the moment. I stocked up on cobwebs, bunting, spiders, rats and halloween themed sweets at a low cost.

Tiger Stores cobweb bowl

Besides this, I had to create as much Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party ideas as I could. There were some easy ones – Golden Snitches made from Ferrero Rocher. Just stick some greaseproof paper wings on them.

Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed Golden Snitch Ferrero Rocher

Train shaped cheese biscuits which H said could be Hogwarts Express cheese biscuits.

Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed Hogwarts Express cheese biscuits

Shaun was the creative one – he found some great things. Get a sheet and a bathroom cleaner sponge, and print bricks onto it.

Making Platform nine and three quarters for a party Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed

Stick it around your doorway and you’re going through platform nine and three quarters. I may have seen a few Potter-mad kids doing it several times as they thought it was so cool.

Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed Platform Nine and three Quarters

How about floating candles? Get the inside of kitchen roll tubes, use a glue gun to make some drips down the side like candle wax. Paint it white, and then make a ledge inside for a battery-operated flickering candle. Hang them from the ceiling using cotton and some good strong sticky tape. It looks fantastic too.

Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party floating candles

Of course, no party is a decent one without party games. Our Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party games included Judge the Odd Socks competition. All kids had to come with odd socks on in honour of Dobby. Sleeping Lions became Sleeping Fluffy, in honour of Hagrid. Musical Bumps was Musical Expelliarmus, and Musical Statues would have been Musical Petrificus Totalus. We had Pin the Scar on Harry – just a simple printed out picture of Mr Potter, and a post it note cut into the shape of the scar. We ran out of time for that one too.

There was an epic Pass the Parcel game too. Inside was a Smiggle glittery ball (£2 in their current sale) which you might find in a Divination lesson at Hogwarts… maybe?

Making chocolate frogs for the Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party

My favourite thing were the frog moulds I bought. We made several chocolate frogs, complete with a cola bottle middle (which tasted SO good). After all, everyone loves a chocolate frog, right? You can get the moulds on ebay for about £8. H enjoyed making them, and initially we tried them with ground up Swizzels sweets which was good too.

All in all, H’s Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts themed party was a success. I’m pleased we managed to pull it off at short notice, and the kids enjoyed themselves.

Party Bags

The party season never goes away, fun times. As a parent I had no idea about party bags when we did H’s 1st birthday party – everyone got a piece of cake (I think – I hope!) and a balloon (ditto) and that was it – luckily it was her first so it wasn’t like they’d expect much anyway, but as other first birthday party invites came we entered the murky world of party bags.

I’m no expert, so thought I’d add my top tips that I’ve picked up so far. I managed to get H’s party bag contents from ebay this year and I think I did pretty well – though could do better.

Party Bags

• Crayons. Everyone gives crayons, and you may find you end up with a tub full of the things. Never fear, as you can always melt them down and make jumbo crayons. See also : pencils. I try to avoid both as I know lots of people do them.
• Bubbles. You can’t go wrong with bubbles, although if you get a lot of parties that can also be a lot of bubbles – we currently have ten tubs in the cupboard from various bags. Keep to smaller tubs and they’ll run out faster! We need some activities for old bubble tubs… We got Magic Bubbles once – they never pop (or are difficult to, anyway) – one bubble lived for over three months in a cobweb in our house (oh the shame)
• Jigsaw puzzles. Almost every one we’ve had has been flimsy and difficult to put together and has been thrown away. If possible try to see the quality of them before you buy. There’s a reason they’re cheap…
• Noisy things. A winner! There’s a lot of choice and we found getting H to practice blowing into a party streamer or duck quacker helped her learn to whistle quicker. We’re still working on the whistling, but it’s definitely a skill they’ll pick up.
• Bouncy balls. You can never have too many of these, mainly as they’ll bounce over the fence so there’s a good losing potential here. This is an added bonus for parents who would like some of the party toys to ‘disappear’…
• Balloons. We had four balloons from parties in our front room. Sadly they met their end (two possibly via a pair of scissors, me bad), which were replaced by more balloons. They grow like weeds, and we’ve had some interesting party bag ones – the rocket balloon is currently a favourite and lasts for ages too. The rocket balloons are at the pricier end for party bags, but do seem popular – with the parents AND kids!
• Mini games. We love mini games! H got a mini connect 4 which she’s had a good play with, and one of those puzzles where you move the tiles around to make a picture which she’s had a lot of enjoyment from.
• PlayDough. Home made is good, as is shop bought. Home made is easier but shop bought takes less time. There are loads of deals for the stuff out there – I saw a buy one get one free for three tubs locally (but if you’ve got 24 kids at the party then it could work out pricey).
• Puzzle/colouring in books. These are always a winner, and I also found some magic paint ones (where you use a brush and water and the colours appear) – they usually work out about 25p each too.
• Random things. Olympics fever last year meant H had several medals in her party bags which are still played with. If the party is near a big event, why not think of something that links in with that?

Party Bags

Ultimately, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. This year with H’s monster theme I’ve managed to spend well under a pound per bag and still put around six things in there – I’m quite pleased with myself, and only one of them is of an unpredictable quality…