The Harry Potter movies have been playing in my house non-stop since we started #stayinghome and when they're not playing, I usually have a Harry Potter inspired ambient room playing on a screen near my workspace. (I'll explain more about the ambient room thing in a minute) I have also been reading about ways all of us are dealing with our entire families now staying home with kids of all ages e-learning. It can be overwhelming! Since I work from home and surround myself with my fandom things all day to keep me motivated and inspired, I thought I'd share some ideas that you can really easily add to your (and your kids) days at home!
Sort everyone in your house into their Hogwarts House!
On the official website for all things Harry Potter (wizardingworld.com), you can go to the 'sorting hat' and have your house chosen for you. From there, you can theme some fun activities around the house traits and do things like House Pride days where everyone wears something that's in their house colors!
I do this almost every day. I have two screens on my desk and on the side screen I pull up YouTube and find my favorite Harry Potter inspired ambient room. I find that music or TV is often too distracting when I'm working but these ambient rooms have background sounds that are soothing and relaxing. For your kids, you could pull up YouTube on most smart TVs (and I know we can through Comcast Xfinity as well) and have these ambient rooms playing on the big TV while everyone is studying or working! It's such a fun way to bring Hogwarts right in to your house and make you feel like you're there. I have made a playlist of some of my favorites. ASMR Weekly even has a 7 hour video that runs through a dozen or more Harry Potter locations!
Rename classes, work and chores with magical names
This costs nothing and takes so little time, but I think it could be super fun. If you're helping your kids organize their days and get through each subject, give those boring subject names a magical twist! Time for science? It's Potions Class! Math work to do? Join Hermione in Arithmancy class! Language arts = Defense Against the Dark Arts! Dishes to do? We could turn that into cleaning the cauldrons! (ha! Ok they probably won't buy the last one, but it's worth a try.)
Take breaks to practice wand movements and spells
Speaking of classes, set a timer and have everyone in the house take regular breaks to do a little spellwork! It's a fun way to take a break and add a little magic. On the inside back cover of our Harry Potter undated Celestial Planner, there is a pattern with a lot of the different wand movements for spell casting. Or I'm sure you can find illustrations and references online too, but you don't even need to do that. You could make up your own spells and wand moves!
Have them wear cloaks if they have them
Does anyone in your house have a Harry Potter cloak or even anything from Halloweens past that can be used as one? It's just like cosplay at home: have everyone wear their 'school uniform' when they're sitting down to get to work.
Pretend the dining room or kitchen is the great hall
For meal breaks or even studying, pretend you're all gathering in the Great Hall. I grabbed some Halloween decorations I had and put them on the table, along with a Polyjuice Potion mug I picked up from Meijer (but Box Lunch has them super on sale!) I also just found that Target.com has ceramic cauldron soup mugs and my mind is blown! This doesn't need to be a lot of work, just calling it the Great Hall and having everyone sit together is fun alone! For a special end of week treat, you could order the ingredients for some homemade Butterbeer (recipe linked) and pretend you're running to the Three Broomsticks!
Finally set a schedule and make a plan
Making a daily routine in this new staying home situation will help everyone feel more focused and in control. When we have a plan, even when times are completely out of hand, we can bring ourselves a sense of purpose and routine that helps elevate our mood and motivation. Create blocks of time and begin your day like you are getting up and getting ready for work/school. It doesn't need to be a 6 am wake-up call, just any routine schedule works even if it's more relaxed/later than when you're leaving the house. If all family members work on their own plans and share them, it gives each member a sense of control in this very out-of-control world. We have Harry Potter planners (they're over 60% off right now, you know I had to share that!) for every witch or wizard of any age and a slew of stickers to add some creativity and fun.
These are just a few of the ideas I had for bringing some magic in to our homes every day! I already do most of this list in my work-from-home life, but I'm really feeling we need a Butterbeer break on Friday! If you have more magical ideas or want to share what you do incorporate into your day, I'd love to hear about it! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and show me what you do!
Be safe everyone! xoxo - Shelley