Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will soon be released, giving you a great reason for a Harry Potter themed birthday party, Halloween event or just a movie-opening party. Test your guests’ Harry Potter knowledge by re-creating the spell duels from the books. This Harry Potter game works best with older children and adults, but it can be used with younger children who are familiar with the books as well.
Use Harry Potter themed pencils or narrow wooden dowels to make a variety of magic wands for this game. If you can find Harry Potter pencils at a local party store, leave them as is and let guests keep them after the game. Otherwise, paint narrow, wooden dowels different colors and let them dry. On each wand, use a fine-point marker to write a popular spell from the Harry Potter series. You can also write the spells on strips of paper and tape them around the pencils.
Be sure you can clearly read each spell when holding the wand in your hand. Prepare four or five spell wands for each team. Try to use as many different spells as possible. Next, make small shields by covering cardboard shapes with aluminum foil. Use a permanent marker to print on each shield what each of the spells does.
For example, if you have one wand that says “Protego” you need a matching shield that says “To protect.” “Accio” would match with “Summoning Charm.” “Alohomora” would match “Opens locked objects.” “Expelliarmus” matches “Disarming Charm.” “Engorgio” means “Makes things bigger,” and “Lumos” makes a wand light up. Check out the Harry Potter Lexicon for more spells and their meanings.
Next, divide guests into teams of three or four. Choose two teams to duel each other. Give Team A five spell wands and give Team B the matching shield. Then give Team B five wands with different spells and Team A the matching shield for Team B’s wands. Be sure neither team looks at their spells or shields before the game begins. You may want to add a few shields that do not match either team’s wands to make the game more difficult.
Flip to decide which team goes first. Give each team 10 seconds to look over their spells and shields. That team choose a spell wand, points it at the other team and yells the spell. The other team has 10 seconds to choose a shield that matches the spell. They hold up the shield and the judge decides if they are right. If they choose a mis-matched shield, the first team gets a point. If they choose the correct shield, the other team has to retire that spell’s wand. Alternate turns until all the spell wands are gone. Team with the most points wins!
For a different version, give small teams a set of wands and the matching shields. When the judge says go, each team races to match their wands and shields before the next team. Be sure to have all the definitions handy in case people forget what the spells mean and want an authoritative proof.