_______ December 05, 2016 ________

Questing:  Very Harry Potter

It actually is another one of those badges I was convinced that we *wouldn’t* be doing, to be honest.  Not that I have anything against Harry Potter – in fact, I believe that it’s a very good analogy of Biblical discipleship.  (<< I’ve written about this, before: a people group set apart from society and given gifts in order to combat wickedness?  Who live ‘in’ the world but are not ‘of’ it?  See right sidebar for more.)  We have the books, we have the movies… heck, I wrote a book number eight!

Anyhow, just before Hanukkah, a new ‘Harry Potter’ movie came out.   Apparently, this book is based on the novel “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them”, and is titled the same… even though the book is actually more of a dictionary than novel, and is nothing like the movie.  My BFF says they’re talking about doing possibly up to FIVE movies in this spin-off.  Anyhow, as a tribute to this new movie, the library that’s local did (not one, but) TWO events of a Potter-esque nature!  And my kids being very much about this, were thrilled to go!

And did I mention there’s a Harry Potter badge that can be earned?  ((grins!))

The first event was ‘A Day at Hogwarts’… and the event was packed.  But the ideas were good… lackluster, because volunteers running these things nowadays have the passion and vivre of corpses, and stand around, just staring at cellphones or walls.  This means nothing to us, though.  We had to re-arrange costumes, a little, but we dressed up, walked in, and I took on McGonagall’s accent and voice, and we had an enchanting time!  (Yes, people were staring.  That’s fine.)

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Potions class.  I have NO idea what they were making
with worm guts, Basilisk venom, and unicorn poo.

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Defense against the Dark Arts.  Making Patronus’.

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This was SO fun to read out loud with a crisp Brit accent!

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Interesting way to sort kids into houses…

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You know you want a Mandrake on your windowsill, too.

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Entirely too cute.  And the kids loved it.

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My gang.  We had several people take selfies with us, here. 🙂
We walked away with certificates of class completion!

Then, three days later, the same library had a Quidditch event – come and play Quidditch.  I was concerned that this might be lame, but then we got there, and we saw pool noodles, stacks of capes in yellow and purple, and big hoops hung on either end of the room.  This dude (!!) librarian who looked like an ex-football player jogs in and states that anyone younger than the fifth grade could not participate, as this might get rough, and the kids that are bigger might hurt them.  We had to sign participation disclaimers (!!) so that the library would not be held responsible for any injuries (!!!).  It meant that Owen couldn’t play (and technically, neither could Aaron, but he’s taller and weighs more than my 5th grader, so we let him go in.  He was fourth smallest – Aaron’s a big boy.  So he was fine.

The kids were split into teams, and given pool noodles with colored ends.  All children MUST be on their ‘brooms’ (pool noodles) at all times… so in essence, they were playing one-handed!  Blue ends were ‘Beaters’, and their one goal was to get a blue ball (‘Bludger’) and tag a Chaser from the other team.  Like playing Dodge-ball.  Anyone hit with a Bludger had to drop what they were doing and go touch their goal to ‘reactivate’.

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The red ended kids were ‘Chasers’, and their goal was to get the red ball in one of their hoops at the other end of the court.  That, and not get hit with a Bludger.  The green-ended kids were ‘Keepers’, or goalies, protecting the hoops.

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There were always people waiting on the sidelines to ‘sub’ in.  I had my kids sub out for each other (and for other kids) often, because the kids out there weren’t going to do it, and the library dude was busy being referee.  At one point, I had to ask him to sub out other kids, though – all FOUR of mine were on the sidelines, and I couldn’t get them back into the game!!  Anyhow, they were actually glad for breaks – it was pretty intense playing!

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And then the youngest of the kids were ‘Seekers’.  Their job was to put on Harry Potter glasses and go out into the main library, and find the Golden Snitch (which a librarian hid on the books in the shelves).  The game was over if the game reached 15 minutes, OR a Seeker found the Golden Snitch.

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Aaron found the Golden Snitch during Game #2!!

It was quite possibly THE best library event we’ve been to, ever (or at least in YEARS).  And the kids had an absolute ball – literally!

hp-logo-444x444Then we got to come home and work on our Harry Potter badges – our costumes, crafts, classes, and Quidditch match all counted.  Talk about a fun way to enjoy the whole experience.  I actually ended up making a ‘Harry Potter Handbook’ for the kids, with word searches and activities to help them get their badges!

wp_20161203_14_59_19_pro-304x444I do have to make an admission:  I got to see the ‘Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them’ movie twice.  We weren’t going to go see it at all – it’s just been so busy, lately, and Brian heard bad reviews.  My BFF gave us warnings not to get our hopes up – it was not a HP movie.  But then I realized it was Isaac’s turn for a night out with me, and he was the one who wanted to see it the most… so Saturday, I took Isaac to dinner and a movie, just the two of us.  It was his ‘out with Mom’ event.  Isaac is the most into reading Potter, too… he got ‘Tales of Beetle Bard’ as one of his Hanukkah gifts.  So it seemed fitting.

But then we loved the movie SO MUCH, that Isaac really wanted the rest of the kids to see it.  And I found out that any film (even new releases) at this particular theater is $2.50, if you go before noon.  So that’s what we did, Sunday!  We took the rest of the family, and I got to wear my 30’s hat, and feel like I was a part of the era.  Very fun.

The movie *is* dark – no doubt about it.  But extraordinarily moving and amazing. It was one of those movies you walked out of, feeling like you were a different person than when you walked in.

And we all had fun with the Potter activities… and turned it into a great Quest adventure!