It's been a manic half term week, with our Harry Potter Party, Bournemouth Wheels Festival, soft play and the cinema we were in need of a day of rest! So that's exactly what we did on Thursday - snuggles watching Frozen, Lego Movie and writing blog posts! Charlie was helping me tidy up when he found our High Five Card, which provides the member with various discounts at an array of outlets through Dorset. The card is £10 for a year's membership and depending how you use it you can really save some pennies. We decided to check out the website and find something to do. I didn't want something a) too far so SandWorld was out b) too expensive or c) that involved the whole day - I was hoping for a bit of a lazy start to Friday! We decided to go check out Wimborne Model Town - with the High Five Card you get one free child with every paying adult, Olive was free anyway which meant it was £11 for the 4 of us. It's 10 minutes from our house and most of the reviews suggest you are there for a couple of hours.
We literally rocked up at 1pm with a camera and bag of snacks (there is a cafe on site). We were given a bug hunt sheet with clues as to where to find certain bugs with letters to make up a message. This was a nice touch as it made the children pay a bit more attention to what was in each window.
The buildings are well maintained and have a lot of detail in them. People in the hotel rooms, a wedding complete with music in the church, post boxes and telephone boxes on the street.
There's a lovely kitchen garden and sensory area, plus this wicked wooden chair!
There's also a model railway, complete with Thomas and Cranky! There are buttons for the children to press to keep the trains moving around the track. This was a big hit!
We had a lovely time - the weather stayed dry and as Olive said "it was a rilliant day!"
We were given our High Five Card in order to review, some deals on the website are better than others you really need to read the T&C's correctly to check what restrictions apply. However if you use it regularly you will soon recoup the initial £10 outlay and start saving pennies. We paid to go to the Wimborne Model Town and would definately go again.
It's the blog post you have all been waiting for ….. The Harry Potter Party!
Charlie's birthday is March, Olive's May and Megan's August. Charlie wanted a party but only wanted to invite a handful of friends. Olive's still little so many of her friends are dictated by my friendships and people we know. Megan's birthday is in the school holidays so we made the decision to treat them to a joint party for all of 3 of them a few days after Olive's birthday. I started planning this by searching on pinterest and starting a board. A lot of the information I gathered enabled me to do my own bits and pieces.
No Charlie Moo's party would be complete without a Harry Potter MOO! (This image is not for use without our permission.) Using an invitation template available on just Sweet and Simple as our background, party details were added and I simply printed these onto card.
We hired a Face Painter & Wacky the Wizard both kept to our Harry Potter theme. Jo's Face Painting was amazing! Charlie has never had face paint before as he hates dressing up so not only were we surprised he wanted a themed party but he wore a costume too! The death eater and house signs painted onto arms were really popular!
Having an old school magician who was dressed as a wizard and looked like a Hogwarts teacher was magical.
I bought some helium filled balloons from BalloonArray – who was not only reasonably priced but also local so I was able to collect on the Sunday morning just before the party. The white balloons were weighted at different levels, using a sharpie I drew an owl like shape on them all, such a simple idea but they looked great! I also bought a foil helium filled Harry Potter balloon complete with Ron and Hermione – this is actually still floating around 4 days later like new.
Using the house badges (which I downloaded from Centsational Girl) and printed off on plain paper. I had some string with tiny pegs on left over from hanging cards at Christmas this was perfect for popping the house badges and Harry Potter MOO's on.
Party Bags -
I made each child a fabric party bag which was adorned with a wizard wearing purple robes, long white beard and an owl. I had tried to find something with Harry Potter on and could have bought a duvet cover but most I found had big prints so not suitable for party bags. I spotted this in my local fabric shop and Moo loved it phew!
As I had made each bag – I didn't go nuts filling them. Each child had a party bag, some bubbles, a little bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans (well OK just regular beans with labels added which I found on dirt&sunshine) and we also added a handmade wand. It doesn't sound a lot but as I've stated before people have a tendency to overfill bags with chocolate and plastic tat – when in reality the handmade bag and wand have kept my kids entertained for days!
I used a variety of ideas from pinterest to make these and they were so easy that even Daddy Moo made a few. I bought a job lot of chopsticks from eBay think they were around £3 for 40 pairs (so 80 sticks in total – yes we have a LOT left over so either more wand making or lots of Chinese dinners!) . Basically we covered one end of each chopstick in glue, buttons, hama beds and wound string part way down the stick using lots of hot glue. When they had dried they were painted in acrylic paint – we used bottle green, navy blue, black and ochre. I'm so pleased with how these turned out and each one is so unique and different.
We didn't go nuts with the food as the children were all under 7, so we had pizza, sandwiches, sausages, sausage rolls, crisps, biscuits, sweets, fruit and jelly in shot glasses. I did try my hand at some Butter Beer – there are a ton of recipes online but I went cheap, cheerful and simple! Cream Soda with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. I choose cream soda as I figured most children wouldn't have tried it as its a bit retro! It was a real hit and miss – nearly everyone wanted to try it but only about half actually liked it. We made a cupcake for each child and I bought 30 rice paper Hogwart toppers on eBay again for a few £.
And last of all Photo Prop -
I saw this idea on pinterest and just had to make one. Ours looks a bit different and was massive! It was so easy and yet so effective. The “Have you seen this Wizard” poster was basically a recyled cardboard box that I painted. Daddy Moo cut the inside out and propped it up using some poles and feet from our gazebo. The children and adults loved this! The photos are so effective too!
So there you have it! We could have gone crazier but we had to bear in mind some of Olive's friends were only 2 years old! I think we had a great balance and everyone had a fab time! Moo is already asking what our theme for next year is!
Thank you to Kara from ChelseaMamma for taking all the photos!