Harry Potter Potions Classes

The Harry Potter series turned 20 years old this year (I feel old!), and my library decided it was only appropriate to have a week of Harry Potter activities. One of my programs was a Harry Potter Potions Class. I opted to split this class into two different sessions. I wanted a k5-3rd grade session and a 4-6th grade session. This allowed me to do very simple “potions” with my younger crowd and harder “potions” with my older crowd.

For each session, I found different science experiments that would work with the Harry Potter theme. I assigned each experiment a potion name to give it a more authentic feel.

Potions Class: K5-3 Grade

Introduction I had two statements to make before we started our class.

  1. The kids must listen to me. I would not give new items to the students who messed up their experiments because they were not following directions.
  2. It was OK if their experiment failed. the potions did not always work in Harry Potter either.
Flobberworms: (15 minutes) This was a very easy experiment to conduct. I would recommend soaking the gummy worms in the baking soda mixtures before your program.

I did have a volunteer pre-cut my gummy worms before the program. We tried a knife. Horrible. Scissors worked better to get thinner gummy worms.

The kids enjoyed watching their worms move. We added more baking soda to get them to shake. You can also coat the gummy worms in baking soda.

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Source: bitz & giggles

Atmospheric Charm (15 minutes) Another easy “potion” the kids enjoyed. It does take some patience, as the “rain” has to get through the clouds. Slowly adding food coloring will allow for a cooler effect.

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Source: The Happy Housewife

The Draught of Sickness (15 minutes) I wanted to provide the opportunity for the kids to experiment with their own ingredients instead of me dictating how much of each item to pour into their cups. I also spiced up the original list by adding alka-setlzer tablets. This added a more authentic feel to the draught of sickness.20638465_1344586275590416_2363382686671614455_n

Source: Brisbane Kids

 

Polyjuice Potion (15 minutes) I felt it was only appropriate for me to demonstrate a more a difficult potion for the kids. Dry ice will always get some kind of reactions from the kids. The kids are also always up for kool-aid! Bonus tip: Run the dry ice over a metal handle to make a mandrake scream.

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Source: Our Best Bites

 

Potions Class: 4-6 Grade

Introduction I had two statements to make before we started our class.

  1. The kids must listen to me. I would not give new items to the students who messed up their experiments because they were not following directions.
  2. It was OK if their experiment failed. the potions did not always work in Harry Potter either.
Beautification Potion(15 minutes) I was unable to do a test run of this potion before the class. Citric acid is a bit more expensive, and I wanted my one bottle to last longer. To really make sure I had enough ingredients for my kids, I had my volunteer premix the citric acid and baking soda. We then walked around and doled out the portions. I was unable to get any pictures of this experiment, since I was helping the kids with their dough.

Source: Tried and True

Ice Potion/Fire Protection Potion

 

 

We did not make this one. We ran out of time.

Source: Instant Ice

Exploding Fluid (15 minutes) This was the overall favorite for the kids. We did have some mishaps (A kid got some vinegar in his eye. Another group dropped their bag of vinegar all over their seats…). However, once we got outside, the kids went wild. They would go to each bag and watch it explode.

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Source: Coffee Cups and Crayons

Polyjuice Potion (15 minutes)  

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Source: Our Best Bites

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Bugs Off

I knew I was taking a risk with doing a bugs program. I was either going to get kids who are fascinated by bugs or kids who hate bugs. I did not want to traumatize the kids, so I went for cool fascinating facts of why we need bugs. The age group for this program was K5-3rd Grade.

Introduction Bug Off! (5 minutes)

This was 5 minute presentation about why we need bugs.

The kids got a real kick out of dung beetles.

Science Experiment Warm Bugs, Cool Bugs (10 Minutes)

Hot Water
Cold Water
Glow Sticks

Which one is going to glow brighter? The Stick in the warm water or the cold water?

Discuss with the kids why they think it happens.

I then discussed why fireflies glow brighter in certain weather conditions.

Switch the sticks and see what happens.

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Source:Discovery Express Kids

Outside Activity Magnifying Glasses and Bug Bingo (10-15 minutes)

I found some sweet Bug BINGO cards. I gave each kid a BINGO sheet and magnifying glass. We then went outside and searched for bugs in our garden. I knew they were only going to find a few of them. However, the kids had fun running around trying to find bugs.

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bug off 19894930_1319073044808406_6792474901674836373_n.jpg

Pollen Experiment Pollen Experiment (10 Minutes)

I was a little more hesitant with this experiment. I was not sure if the kids would enjoy it. However, they had a BLAST.

We set-up half of the meeting room with cupcake cups filled with Cheetos. We then taped bees to the kids’ hands. They had to fly around the room and move Cheetos to different cups.

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Source: Little Warriors

Cocoon Experiment (optional) Toilet Paper (5 Minutes)

This was optional if I still had time. I did! I picked three random kids. We wrapped then in toilet paper and had them bust out. Told them to ask permission to do this one at home.