Emily designed this particular activity as a prop for a photoshoot for her Harry Potter party. One of our challenges at birthday parties is trying to get a group shot of all the guests so we can send prints together with our thank-you cards as a fun memento of the special day. Our parties often have a lot going on and while the husband does a fabulous job photodocumenting the play-by-play, we don't always have the presence of mind to corral all the merrymakers into a single spot that has both a nice backdrop and decent lighting for a group shot.
Emily planned ahead for that with this Patronus idea. The plan was to have everyone bunch together and cast Patronuses with their wands against the garage door, and pose thus for the group picture.
Step 1 was to create Patronuses. Very easy - everyone was given plain printer paper and told to draw their favorite animal. We outlined them in ghostly silver ink and colored them in with ethereal blue and green marker.
Step 2 was to cut them out, distribute lengths of blue paper streamers,
stick the Patronuses on the wall/siding/garage door, and tape one end of the streamers to the Patronuses and the other end to the tips of our wands.
Step 3 was to yell, "Expectro Patronum!" with warrior faces while the camera clicked away.
With the right angle and (non) focus, it looked very magical, we thought.
- this was a less independent activity than we'd envisioned, because at least half the kids didn't care much for what they drew themselves and wanted someone else to draw their animals for them. Or they spent an inordinate amount of time penciling-and-erasing their animals. Or they made them so miniscule that they'd never show up in a photo as more than a blob. If you do this activity, and your party guests aren't self-confident artists, best to have an adult on hand who can do fast animal sketches. Or pre-draw/print out animals for the kids to re-outline in silver Sharpie and color in.
- we didn't manage to pull off Step 3. Or even Step 2. Because we started to run out of time and the children opted to play Quidditch instead of fighting the forces of evil. Well, duh.
P.S. My patronus is a squid. Obviously. What's yours?