June 10, 2017

Kacey Templin

Summer Learning Series Part 1: Harry Potter

Topics: Learning at Home


All aboard the Hogwarts Express! Summer may have just started, but wizarding school has just begun. This week our Summer Learning Series highlights a literary favorite – Harry Potter.

 So, grab your wands and writing quills, your books and broomsticks, and your remembrall (if needed), and get ready to perform a few “magical” activities in each of your first-year courses!



It’s your first class of the day, and you’ve been placed in potions class once taught by the infamous Professor Snape. Fortunately for you, potions do not have to be as scary as they were for Harry! Use your skills to create magic color-changing concoctions with this simple activity provided by Anna from The Imagination Tree. You’ll need an empty jar, red cabbage, vinegar, baking soda, and water. Pour boiling water over the red cabbage and let it steep for a while, turning the water a deep blue. Add the water to the empty jar and use the vinegar and baking soda for some wild color transformations. You can even come up with fun names and abilities for your new potion at the end of the experiment!



Next, head out to the school greenhouse for a lesson on magical plants with Professor Sprout. Taking care of these kinds of plants can be tricky, so you’ll need to create the right environment for growth. Build a soda bottle terrarium with Crafting a Green World’s easy to follow tutorial. The cool part about this terrarium is that you only need to water your plant once and then the plant will provide its own moisture. Almost like…magic!



Ah, transfiguration! Transfiguration is a branch of magic that focuses on the alteration of the form or appearance of object via that molecular structure. It’s a very difficult skill to master, but no one can say it isn’t super cool! For this class, have your children create oobleck – a non-Newtonian fluid that has both liquid and solid properties. Hold it in your hand and the oobleck is oozy and runny, but give it a quick squeeze and the substance turns hard. A shape-shifting material!

Care of Magical Creatures

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It’s time for Care of Magical Creatures with everyone’s favorite groundskeeper, Hagrid. This time around he’s brought dragon eggs to the classroom, but don’t worry, these dragons don’t breathe fire.  It’s up to you to help hatch your very own dragon friend with Growing A Jeweled Rose’s educational tutorial. Using baking soda, water, food coloring, and little plastic dragons, you can create an egg. Then, use a spray bottle of vinegar to carefully help your baby dragon hatch. But watch out! Baby dragons are known for being nippy.



It’s the end of the day and now it’s time to head over to Astronomy. In the book, Harry had to wait until nightfall for his class to begin, but with this activity by Literary Hoots, you and your children can observe the stars at any time. Use the template provided for famous constellation cutouts and attach them to toilet paper rolls. Poke holes in the indicated locations, then peer through the roll to reveal your cool star-viewing hack.

You’ve done it! You and your children have successfully completed your first day at Hogwarts. This calls for a delicious butterbeer and some chocolate frogs at The Leaky Cauldron. Make sure to check in next Saturday for our upcoming learning post about making the most of everyday household items!  

Color Cube Sudoku