Winter Break Activity: Harry Potter Xbox Party

One of the things our family loves to do during winter break is have friends over. My kids love it because, well, friends. I love it because I have always wanted to have “that house.” That house that all the kids want to hang out at.

Not the prettiest house, or the cleanest, or the fanciest. The one that’s the most comfortable, where my kids and their friends can have fun (while being well-supervised).

So, I’m all about having friends over and finding random reasons to make it a party. Always a good reason? Anything Harry Potter. Recently, we just had some friends over to play the new Xbox game Harry Potter for Kinect, which was a huge hit, and kept the kids active. Of course, you can’t have everyone playing the game at one time, so we also came up with some Harry Potter and Xbox-related crafts and snacks!

We used these ideas for an afternoon of random fun, but these would all work great for a birthday party that keeps kids active without taking out a second mortgage to take the kids to the Ball Pit/Bouncy House/Sports Arena/Giant Habitrail for Children.

Hope this inspires some active fun for your family for this winter break!

  • Super-Fun Winter Break Activity 1 of 12
    Super-Fun Winter Break Activity
    Want to plan a fun, active afternoon for your kid and some friends? Click the arrows to scroll through these ideas for a Harry Potter Xbox party!
  • Choose your games. 2 of 12
    Choose your games.
    For our party, we played Harry Potter for Kinect, but we also played Dance Central 3. Harry Potter for Kinect is rated "E for Everyone 10 and Up" and Dance Central is rated "T for Teen," due the nature of some of the song lyrics (e.g., exactly what's on the radio these days). If you'd rather play an all-ages dance game, I'd recommend Just Dance Disney Party, rated "E for Everyone."

    (Photo Credit: Xbox)
  • Clear out as much space as possible. 3 of 12
    Clear out as much space as possible.
    To accommodate a larger group of kids, we shoved our couch out of the way and rolled our giant ottoman clear out of the room. Didn't look very House Beautiful, but whatevs. Also, if you're that rare mom that actually has breakable knick-knacks on the coffee table, you should probably put that stuff away. Don't worry, you can totally put it back some time after they all leave for college.

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Get yourselves sorted. 4 of 12
    Get yourselves sorted.
    My kids' favorite part of the Harry Potter game is being sorted into houses. If you choose "custom" instead of "casual" when starting the game, the Kinect device will actually take a photo of your kid and insert it into the character on your screen, which is pretty awesome. Also, if you yell "GRYFFINDOR" while the hat is sorting, it will probably put you in Gryffindor. Probably. We might not be doing that right.

    Bonus: This is a great opportunity to get to know your kids' friends better. If any of the kids is yelling "Slytherin!" during sorting, you should probably keep an eye on that one.

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Chocolate Cauldron Cakes 5 of 12
    Chocolate Cauldron Cakes
    If you want to make some amazingly epic Harry Potter-themed treats, you can follow the instructions to make these perfectly adorable Chocolate Cauldron Cakes at the blog Grown to Cook.

    (Photo Credit: Grown to Cook)
  • Unless you want to go with more of an Xbox theme… 6 of 12
    Unless you want to go with more of an Xbox theme...
    How cool is this amazing replica of an Xbox 360 and controller by Sara's Custom Cakery?

    (Photo Credit: Sara's Custom Cakery)
  • So sweet — Xbox controller cake pops. 7 of 12
    So sweet -- Xbox controller cake pops.
    Not good at decorating cakes? No worries: these adorbz Xbox-style controller cake pops can be mailed right to you by Entirely Sweet.

    (Cake pops, $39 for a dozen at Entirely Sweet)
  • Cool off with some butterbeer. Ish. 8 of 12
    Cool off with some butterbeer. Ish.
    Yes, we all know that Harry, Ron, and Hermione go into the Three Broomsticks to warm up with a hot butterbeer. But they were not working up a sweat playing virtual Quidditch in my living room. Take the easy route and have them cool off with a root beer float. (Alternative, overly-sweet version: cream soda float with vanilla ice cream and a shot of butterscotch ice cream syrup.)

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Limeade: it’s a potion. And it matches the Xbox logo. 9 of 12
    Limeade: it's a potion. And it matches the Xbox logo.
    Call it XboxAde. Or call it Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent. Either way, delish. (Parental note: you know what's really, really good? Limeade and Fresca with a shot of vodka in it. You're welcome.)

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Rotate the kids through some crafts. 10 of 12
    Rotate the kids through some crafts.
    If you have a whole slew of kids over, they won't all be able to play the video games at the same time. Have the kids take turns playing, and rotate them through craft stations to keep them busy. I personally can't get enough of these little pom pom owls. You can make a whole set: Hedwig, Errol, Pigwidgeon. Ooh, if you have other yarn colors, make yourself some Angry Birds while you're at it! Complete instructions at Fiks*d

    (Photo Credit: Fiks*d)
  • A craft for after you’ve finished your Potions task. 11 of 12
    A craft for after you've finished your Potions task.
    Successfully got through the Potions class in Harry Potter for Kinect? Make some cute potions bottles, using free printables and instructions at Over The Big Moon.

    (Photo Credit: Over The Big Moon)
  • Blimey, that’s brilliant! 12 of 12
    Blimey, that's brilliant!
    As if this golden snitch ornament is going to get packed away with the rest of the Christmas stuff! This is a clearly a year-round decoration for our house! Complete instructions at Tiny Apartment Crafts, and don't forget to note her excellent advice on which type of glue will actually hold the wings on the glass ball!

    If you want to really ramp up this craft to epic proportions, use one of those keepsake boxes shaped like an ornament, so it will actually open, and paint it gold.

    Also, my editor Alexandra Martell just blew my freaking mind by suggesting that we could use heat-sensitive, color-changing nail polish to write "I open at the close" on it, so that it would become visible when you breathe on it.

    Someone should probably make some of those. And then mail a couple to Alie and me.

    (Photo Credit: Tiny Apartment Crafts)

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Read more from Joslyn at Strollerderby and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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