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Harry Potter Camp Ideas – Part 2 (The Classes)

This is part 2 of a 3 part series designed to give you ideas for running a Harry Potter/Hogwarts camp.

When it comes to running activities I start out with using the classes taught at Hogwarts. I also use main events of the books, like the Chamber of Secrets and the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

Classes

Transfiguration

Transfiguration is about turning one object into another. At camp we do the Transfiguration Challenge.

  1. Separate the houses.
  2. Give each house a few colors of modeling clay.
  3. Each house sends one representative to the Transfiguration professor, who whispers to them an object (i.e. owl, broomstick, Fluffy, dragon, dementor, etc.).
  4. The house reps return to their “teams”, or houses, and try to get them to say the word by using the modeling clay. So if the word is “owl” they will usually try to make an owl from the clay.
  5. The first house to say the correct word loud enough for the professor to hear earns a point for their house.

The Transfiguration Challenge is played until you reach a certain amount of points, run out of objects or the campers begin to lose interest.

Care of Magical Creatures

Here is another class where the campers use modeling clay.

  1. Give the campers a piece of paper and some markers.
  2. Ask them to design their own magical creature.
  3. When they are finished give them modeling clay in a variety of colors.
  4. Have them create their drawn creature with the clay.
  5. Hold a contest for the scariest, most magical, most creative and best all around creatures. Winners earn house points.

Everyone gets to take their creature home at the end of the week.

Defense Against the Dark Arts

During this class campers are taught the spells they can use to defend themselves (i.e. expecto patronum, expelliarmus, impedimenta, etc.). I also have all the campers come up with their Patronus. Mine is a moose, of course. I then write down what type of animal their Patronus is for later use. You can have one of your staff dress in a dementor’s costume and come in to the classroom after you have had your Patronus lesson. The campers will do the expecto patronum spell and drive the dementor out of the room.

This class ends with dueling.

Dueling

My campers love to duel. Here are the rules to dueling.

  1. Duelers must have their wands.
  2. Duelers should be from different houses.
  3. After clearing a space to duel, duelers will come to the center and bow to each other as a sign of respect. They will then return to their dueling positions.
  4. Duelers can use any spell except the unforgivable curses.
  5. The professor will count to three. On three duelers will point their wands at each other and yell out their spells.
  6. Protego will block any spell but should be followed up with an offensive spell. Preotego can only be used once per person during a single duel.
  7. The first person to completely yell out their spell wins, unless it was blocked. If a spell is blocked then the person to completely yell out their second spell wins.
  8. Each pair of duelers will duel three times. The overall winner earns a point for their house.

I print out the spells and tape, or tack, them up on the wall so that duelers can refresh their memories right before the duel. Along with the spells used for dueling I put up other spells that the campers would be interested in. If any of the campers are caught cursing other campers using one of the unforgivable curses (avada kedavra, imperio or crucio) they lose a point for their house.

Spell List

Potions

You can find a number of potions on the internet, edible and non-edible, that you campers will like. Here are the ones I choose to do at our Hogwarts camp.

Potions

Potions class is probably the most anticipated class/activity session that a Harry Potter/Hogwarts camp will have. The potions in my list were all taken from other sites. One of my biggest resources is The-Leaky-Cauldron.org. On that site check out “Food” and “Potter Parties“. FYI, I did change some of the names of the “potions”.

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In part 3 I go over the special activities we do (Quidditch, Tri-Wizard Tournament, etc.)

Harry Potter Camp Ideas-Part 1 (First Day)

Harry Potter Camp Ideas-Part 3 (The Extras)

Harry Potter Camp Ideas…an Update

43 Comments

  • We did potions class at a birthday party by labeling mason jars with each “students” name. This was their cauldron. Licorice wands were used to stir the variously colored Gatorade and they added pop-rocks, gummies (these come in spider, worm shapes), etc. The kids had fun tasting and lids were placed on the jars so that they could take them home if they wished. For non-edible potions, I was thinking a walk through the “Forbidden Forest” outdoors could get us enchanted leaves, etc.

  • I LOVE this website! I am a program director for a Boys & Girls Club and found this website last year, we had the best summer due largely in part to the wonderful ideas I found here on this website! By far, this is my favorite! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much!

    • What a nice comment. It’s comments like yours, Jennifer, that makes me want to continue posting ideas. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I am running a HP summer camp for my cousins this summer. I found a cool hp font from the leaky caldron, check it out!I am using these for edible potions if anyone is interested.(Many came from a different website, though I changes the name)

    Liquid(6)
    1)gillywater = white Powerade “Arctic Shatter”
    2)Dragon Blood = cran-raspberry juice
    3)Bundimum Juice = green Powerade “Lemon Lime”
    4)Nettle wine = blue Powerade “Mountain Blast”
    5)Pamplemousse juice = pink grapefruit juice
    6)Aragog’s Venome = pineapple juice

    Solid(6)
    7)Shredded boomslang skin = blue & black Sprinkles
    8)Wolfsbane= coconut flakes
    9)Chopped Glumbumble = chopped gummy worms
    10)Fluxweed= mint leaves
    11) Exploding Hellebore=poprocks
    12)Unicorn poop=rainbow jimmies*
    *Long multicolored Sprinkles(if your on the west coast)

    • Awesome, Deliah. Thanks for sharing that info. I’ll be using some of these for this year’s camp for sure.

  • I am eleven years old and am doing a Harry Potter camp for my sister and her friends, who are eight. I only have one day and am wondering if there are any activities the kids enjoy most. I really love the website! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Karen, the kids enjoy the dueling, potions, earning points for their houses, trivia questions, the every bean challenge and creating their own Daily Prophet the most. Good luck with your camp.

  • Moose, this is an absolute GOLD MINE! I am doing a HP camp for a week next month and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have found this site. I am so excited to do all these things with the kids! THANK YOU!!!

  • You are a life saver … the director of our Hogwarts Summer Session day camp (our third year) has had to resign and I am left to do it alone. Twice as many kids as the first year, and only two months to rethink and simplify … and no one with experience to bounce ideas off. But you’ve taken the pressure off, I can do it.

    My version of Muggle Quidditch has all the “observers” ringing the pitch … they are the “snitch pitchers” who throw the snitch (bean bag) back and forth across the field, or whatever (hide it under their shirt for a while). It means everybody is involved … works great for parents.

    I do “Herbology” which is cooking … and we create the snacks for the next day. Lemon balm lemonade, lavender shortbread, rose petal scones, dill dip for veggies, etc.

    As we are church related I have made divination into “who do you want to be? what do you have to do to get there” etc. with Malfoy and Dudley as examples of how not to behave, and examples from the books that even the heroes make bad choices, no one is all good (although we do seem to have an example of all bad), beware of judging others, etc.

    Last year drama was our transfiguration class. We did things like “imagine you are a dragon who hasn’t hatched yet” and I talked them through the steps of getting out of the shell etc.
    So thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Linda, I am so glad my HP posts are still helpful to people. Thank you for commenting and for the great ideas. Good luck this summer.

  • Unbelievable! I should have known better than to try to re-invent the wheel. I will use a huge amount of this material. My camp is at the end of July, for 5-8th graders. I expect 14-16 kids (2 quidditch teams). A few ideas: My trivia game will be “Scene It: Harry Potter,” a game we bought at Toys R Us. It has a DVD with outtakes from all 8 of the movies. Also, what do you think of letting Pottermore sort the kids? (We have a computer lab.) Finally, for Magical Creatures class, we amassed a large number of origami figures from simple rats to complex hippogriffs. One last question – no mention of butterbeer or pumpking juice?

    • Hi, Greg. Thanks for the comment. We tried Scene It: Harry Potter and the kids got bored really quick. I’m not sure why. Personally I enjoy the game. So we never used it again. I hope you have better luck with it.

      Pottermore is a fun site. As for using it to sort the “students” it wouldn’t work for us because 1) we don’t use the houses from the books, and 2) I control who goes in which house in order to make the “teams” even (ages, Potter knowledge, etc.) and to keep friends together, even though it seems random.

      I have tried a varitey of recipes for butterbeer and pumpkin juice that I have found on the internet and I personally don’t care for them. We do our own drink mix of Sprite and green sherbert ice cream with the added effect of dry ice and call it Goblin Guts. The kids LOVE it (once we are able to get them to try it) so we just stick with that.

      This will be the last year we’ll be doing Harry Potter camp so I have some new things that I am going to try out (go out with a bang and all that). If they work out I’ll share them in a follow-up post for those that are holding Potter camps or parties next year. Good luck with your camp, Greg.

  • Thank you for the great ideas. I am a library associate and tried some of your ideas for a program. They really seemed to like the activities. Also, the kids absolutely loved the Harry Potter dueling. πŸ™‚

    • That’s great, Alicia. Thanks for letting me know. Yes, the kids love to duel. I just finished up our week of HP camp as well and on Thursday I stayed up all night putting together the final day’s activities, O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. tests, Daily Prophet, and the notebooks I give out. Thanks to a lot of caffeine I made it through Friday. When one of the campers came up to me at the end of camp and told me that this had been the best camp she has ever been to in her life I knew right then that it was all worth it.

  • Camp is over for another year … kids and parents loved it … three years ago had 20 kids, this year 40. I too am running on just about empty. We had more than 100 for our closing feast Friday night with singing, presentations of awards, and a Quiidditch game for everyone (we use “my” rules with all spectators as “snitch pitchers” surrounding the field playing keep away with the seekers.

    Had a “Hogwarts Library” set up with picture story books, books about owls, and all the HP books. Anyone afraid they were about to lose their temper could go there, and kids were sent there if their tummy ached and they needed TLC, and any one whose behavior was out of control (we had kids with Aspergers and ADHD and other mental health issues) had the choice to go when the counselor gave them the option of getting it together or “…”. By the end of the week some kids were hanging out there just to read more in the next book.

    We had “fire magic” cooking over an open fire, “nature magic” with Hagrid in the woods cleaning up trash and old maple sugaring lines and best was the (plush) owl hunt.

  • Linda, I love the idea of a Hogwarts Library. I also hadn’t thought about the parents being part of the feast. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi I am eleven and I really enjoyed your suggestions.My friend had a birthday party using some suggestions. Also, we made edible potions.
    Thanks A lot

  • I’m looking to have a group come to my camp to lead a Quidditch game. We play annually, but this year I wanted to raise the bar and make it a main event. any ideas of who to contact??

    • I have never heard of any groups that go into camps or schools to set-up and run Quidditch. The only thing I can think of is to contact local colleges/universities to see if they have a Quidditch team that would be willing to do this.

  • I am only eleven, but i’m putting together a Harry Potter camp this summer! Thanks for all the great ideas Moose!

    • Megan, I don’t. Herbology is something I have struggled with since plants take time to grow. If you find anything please let us know.

  • Thanks for the reply, I agree that Herbology was the most difficult lesson to come up with. I found this link: http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Children/projects.htm, which has an “egg head” project that reminded me of a mandrake, so I thought it could be like a “grow your own mandrake” project, and even if it doesn’t sprout too much during camp, the campers can take it home with them and watch it continue to grow.
    I also wanted to say that your dueling game was a huge success at my camp! Thanks again for such a great site you have put up.

    • Megan, thanks for the resource and ideas. One camp director I spoke with had a herbology class for their Harry Potter week and they planted seeds the first day of camp and used a quick grow spell. After the kids left for the night she switched the seeds out for real, fully matured plants. The next morning the campers came in and were amazed that the spell actually worked.

  • I definitely used this site as one of many springboards when I was designing a “Hogwarts Correspondence Course” at the library this summer. Only had one day which was a drag, but lots of great ideas here and throughout the internet.

    I wanted to share an idea I had for Herbology class, in case anyone wanted to have Herbology that wasn’t just about plants. I didn’t get a chance to use it this go around, but I’m already planning a Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone day that includes this.

    Devil’s Snare: Take streamers or yarn (either in green) and tape them to either side of a hallway (or make a hallway of cardboard). Do this multiple times to get some obstacles going – it should look like the red laser security system in a spy movie. The kids then have to traverse the hallway without breaking any streamers (or tripping up on any yarn). It’s a fun, active way of looking at Herbology!

  • Like several other Unitarian Universalist congregations, we have done Hogwarts summer camps, and now do Hogwarts classes in place of Sunday school during the summer. For Herbology, we have had the kids try to match the scents of various herbs (put herbs in film cans, numbered, with 2 cans of each herb. The professor has the key and the kids try to figure out which two cans are basil, rosemary, garlic, etc.) We have also made herbal teas (let the kids mix different herbs if they wish), dyed fabric with plant materials, and used donated dried herbs and spices to make (highly scented!) pictures by “drawing ” in glue and then pouring spices over the glue and pouring off the extra. This past year the kids made “power packs” of herbs, which were basically sachets of dried herbs selected for their ancient magical or symbolic uses. We have also made little booklets listing medicinal and magical uses of herbs.

  • Moose, I wanted to share a comment I got from a parent about my Harry Potter camp, which, of course, uses a TON of your ideas.

    “Shari, you do the Most Amazing projects with them. Seriously, both boys view this camp week as second only to the week of Christmas. They are eager for it to begin, enjoy the ride and mourn its passing. I want to be an assistant witch some year :)”

    Second only to Christmas!? WOW. If that doesn’t make it all worthwhile, what could?

    I love doing this so much, I also run a Harry Potter Day on the last day of school before Christmas break. That’s why I’m here on your amazing site in December! I don’t know what I’d do without this resource.

    I hope that you’ll leave this site up for a long time, even though you’re not holding HP camps anymore. Or maybe you’ll change your mind…

    Shari (again!)

    • That is so great, Shari. Congratulations on running a camp that gets that kind of praise. Don’t worry, I’ll be leaving these posts up, and possibly adding to them, as I have decided to continue to run HP camps due to the popularity of them. Thanks for leaving the comment.

  • Hey i read through all the comments and a lot of them said they already started harry potter camps and I don’t know where to start! I’ve talked to a teacher at a school that i know but by summer shes going back to get her masters degree! I’m 12 and im probably to young to start one but i would like some help on where i should start. (Please can someone email me if they have Harry Potter camp in Florida all of them are in northern United States) thank you for reading this and please reply.

  • Wow! Thank you for posting this! I work at a Girl Scout camp where we run a “Harriet Potter” week for grades 3-12, and every age level fills completely each year. Recently, we’ve decided to vamp our programming, so I’ve been doing research on different activities, games, potions, and classes to do. Most results are birthday party ideas, which are great and adaptable, but are all pretty similar and don’t last us a week. Also, some of them aren’t adaptable to be camp or Girl Scout appropriate. This is the first site I’ve come across with ideas specifically geared towards a Harry Potter themed summer camp. Thank you so much for being willing to share all of your ideas and programming with the rest of us (you could’ve kept your gold mine a secret). I’m going to be using a lot of the ideas on here!

    • Kaytlyn, you’re welcome. I love to hear that camp people are using the programming I have shared here. I LOVE that your camp runs a Harriet Potter camp. That is great! If you have any awesome activities that you do I encourage you to share them in the comments as well. And thank you so much for letting me know that these posts are helpful.

  • Hi There! I was looking up Quidditch ideas as am running holiday club this year, when I came across your most inspirational pages!! I was doing Myth & Magic this week. Unfortunately, the weather is pretty rotten at the moment so Quidditch maybe cancelled!! (Typical British weather! lol shame we can’t fly above flooding playground!) Anyways, thanks again. Given me some great ideas for hopefully the Summer holidays 0:D
    We had made Wizard’s Brew (no drinking!) bicarb soda, white vinegar, washing up liquid, food colouring and glitter or spangles. Fizzies and bubbles up out of small glass jar.
    Made Troll’s bogies or Unicorn snot! – conditioner and cornflour, green food colouring and green glitter. Gets quite sticky but keep working on it and you get a really lovely dough!
    I was glad to find spells and other potions to use as back up if weather remains poor.
    Wishing everyone much fun and frolicks in their magikal times!

    • Fay, thanks for the great comment and the new ideas. It is a shame we can’t fly, above a flooding playground or anything else. πŸ™‚

  • Hey moose.
    I am doing a Harry Potter themed b-day party for my daughter and I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to do a sort o herbology class? She would really appreciate it. Thanks?

    • Sorry, Marina, I don’t have anything for you. I do not have a green thumb and this is one class that always stumped me on activities. We could never figure out a good Herbology activity to do that didn’t take a lot of time. We wanted to find a quick and fun way to do Mandrakes, but didn’t like what we found online and couldn’t come up with anything viable. Come to think of it, I do like the projects where you take the inexpensive plant pots you get at Michaels and decorate them. There are a lot of books and tutorials on decorating pots to look like fun animals and such. Then you could plant a seed and let the kids take them home and grow them. I would also check Pinterest for Harry Potter Herbology Activities. Good luck.

  • I want to thank you for everything on your pages! I am putting on a camp for 100 students this year and this has helped plan so much! We are throwing in a Yule Ball into the mix but I will be using a lot of your ideas that will be feasible for 100 youth! I can not wait πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for the comment, Tammy. I’m happy that you found the posts helpful. Good lick with your camp. I would love to hear more about the Yule Ball.

  • Moose, Thank you so much for this wonderful site. I will be hosting my nephews for what we are terming “Camp Aunt Kathy” during the first week in August. I was at a loss for how to entertain all of them, with different ages and likes. This will be perfect! They are all huge HP fans! I think we will even be re-enacting Ron, Harry, and Hermione’s tent camping adventures on one night in my rural back yard! In addition, I teach classes for our College for Kids program and will be writing a proposal to the powers that be for adding a week-long HP class! Thanks again!

    • I’m glad you are finding the site useful, Kathy. I love the idea of re-enacting the tent camping adventures. Just make sure you cast those protective spells. πŸ™‚

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