Harry Potter Birthday Celebration! By Michelle Biwer
Last week I hosted my second movie matinee of the summer for teens. I was expecting these events to be very popular, as the first event was a screening of Moana sponsored by a local restaurant. I really thought catered food would be the way to my teens’ hearts, but attendance was low.
I was prepared for low attendance for this event, but Harry Potter’s name will apparently do more for publicity than speaking to summer reading school visits and your entire department publicity strategy combined. Thankfully I had just enough supplies for 20 hungry teenagers.
I scheduled three hours for this program which ended up being a perfect amount of time to capture their attention and run all the activities I had planned. When they first arrived we took a vote on which Harry Potter movie we would watch and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was chosen. The younger teens paid rapturous attention to the film and the older teens found my Harry Potter Uno cards and started playing. I’m glad I brought those as a backup activity because it held their attention for an hour and gave them a chance to socialize.
Once I saw some restlessness in the crowd I brought out the butterbeer. We have a no cooking policy in our library system so the “recipe” was vanilla ice cream, cream soda, and butterscotch syrup. It was surprisingly tasty and disappeared as soon as everyone was served. I also had great intentions of the teens creating “snitches” from ferrero rocher chocolates and set out all the supplies. Instead, they were just immediately devoured. Can’t say I am surprised!
At this point there were only a few teens left really watching the movie so I started letting interested teens make their own wands. The setup was very simple-dowels, hot glue guns, brown paint, and paintbrushes. They used the hot glue to add texture and decoration and once the glue hardened they painted over the dowels with brown paint.
With one hour left in the program and no interest in finishing the film we switched over to trivia. We started with Harry Potter Jeopardy which I made using a blank slideshow Jeopardy template. I don’t mean to brag, but I am the biggest Harry Potter fan I have ever met so I made sure the hard questions were HARD.
With the last few minutes of the program half of the teens continued to play trivia with Kahoot! and the other half played Beanboozled, a gamified “muggle” version of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.
In my heart, every day is a Harry Potter Celebration but it was fun to share my passion for a few hours!
Filed under: Teen Programs in a Box
About Robin Willis
After working in middle school libraries for over 20 years, Robin Willis now works in a public library system in Maryland.
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