ExploreHope Staff Stories: Harry Potter Camp

 Hi! My name is Annie Kuiper, this upcoming fall I will be a Junior here at Hope College. I am going into elementary special education with a focus on learning disabilities. Something that really excited me about camps was getting more experience about what it’s like to be working with kids in a classroom setting. I also thought that the camps were interesting and super unique. The first camp I led was the Harry Potter camp, I was extremely excited for this camp and to find out what it was all about. With no surprise, I absolutely loved it! One aspect of the camp is learning about herbology (the study of different plants). The other concepts we talk about and do activities with are learning spells, making potions, creating our wands, and learning about the different mythical creatures that the wizarding world has!

Some of my favorite memories from this camp were having owls come to the camp and seeing four different kinds of owls. These owls were so cute to look at and also interesting to hear about. Another popular thing that happened at camp was the quidditch tournament, the campers all got their very own broomstick and competed against the other houses for the grand prize. A fun home activity that you can do with your family is making a mandrake! We learned about mandrakes on herbology day. To make a mandrake, all you need to do is get a small clay pot, a sheer nylon sock, fast seed grow, soil, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and glue. Put the fast seed grow in first, then soil, tie it off, and put the nylon in the pot with the fast grow seed facing up. The pipe cleaners are to make a smiley face or whatever your heart desires! Googly eyes are for the eyes— some like to add more than two :). This activity is fun for the kids to make and also a cute plant to have in your house! When the plant grows it will grow out of the top of the nylon, making the mandrake look like it has hair. To keep your mandrakes hair nice and neat make sure to keep it watered, just enough to make it damp but not too much to drown it, and then snip its hair to keep it clean.

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