The Eight Year Old deemed it to be a success with a score of 9 out of 10 - dropping a point only, I think, because he was a bit overwhelmed at times by the enthusiasm and noise of the seven boys who attended.
It has to be said that a group of boys together can make a LOT of noise! Two ring leaders in particular ensured that volume levels were kept high.
The four girls who came were quieter but equally enthusiastic. We would have had just the three girls if the mother of the child who turned up without having responded to our invitation hadn't also decided to use us a babysitting service for the invited girls younger sister!!! How cheeky is that? I still can't get over it - turning up unannounced and leaving her two children with us. If she'd asked in advance then I would have been fine with the idea of the younger sister coming along - or rather, I would have found it difficult to say no to and would then, at least, have been prepared to entertain an additional five year old child.
It turns out that The Husband was probably some kind of childrens entertainer in a previous life as he was a complete legend in keeping things going! He played the role of Professor Dumbledore (complete with long cotton wool beard) to a tee and whenever he spoke the children would quieten down to listen. Me and The (UK) Sister-in-Law (who had kindly agreed to help us out )were more than happy to take a step back into supporting roles and let The Husband assume the role of chief entertainer.
We started with Ollivanders wand shop where the wand selects the child... The Husband borrowed a light from a Lego vehicle belonging to The Eight Year Old and taped the light to the bottom of glass covered in brown paper decorated with stars. He was able to switch the light on when each child had selected the wand which was just for them. We had lots of fun with some of the 'hardier' children who had to try each wand before their wand finally found them! Our inspiration for this came from a blog written by a woman far more dedicated to the 'Harry Potter party' cause than I ever could be. It left me with the question of "where would a person find that much preparation time?" but it gave us a few ideas nonetheless.
Wand and hat decoration time was next. We had bought a range of things that could easily be glued on and gave them fitting titles and descriptions such as "Yellow Phoenix feathers, for speed", " snake skin for cunning and guile" and "Toad Hide, perfect for magic but can m-m-make wands j-j-jumpy. Handle with care!!".
The 'chocolate game' followed and was a great hit! All the children sat in a large circle and took it in turns to throw a dice. If a child threw a six they put on a pair of woolly gloves and then proceeded to try to cut off, using a knife and fork, a square of chocolate from a large bar which they could then pick up and eat. But they only had the time it took for someone else to throw a six on the dice. Loud chants of 'we want chocolate' could be heard booming through the house.
For the party tea, there were 'make your own pizza' and 'decorate your own cookie'. The food went down well, all the more enjoyable for the kids having had a part in making it. And before we knew it the parents started arriving to collect the children and we (including The Eight Year Old) collapsed into a shattered heap!
Afterwards, The Husband, The (UK) Sister-in-Law and me reflected on how well behaved and polite the children had been. We agreed that it had been a brilliant thing to do and that it was lovely having the opportunity to meet more of The Eight Year Old's friends and have the chance get to know them a little better. All my concerns in the buildup had been unfounded. Even The Baby had been angelic and on top form all day, coping remarkably well with the noise level and excitement that had filled the house.
As The (UK) Sister-in-Law commented on Sunday's post, "who needs luck when you've got magic". Keep the magic people, keep the magic.