Professor Lumbly's Potions
Participants will begin with a list(s) of items that they
must find in order to help an absent minded wizard, Professor
Lumbly, complete his potion that is believed to turn coal
XP Possible: 600 (Possible point breakdown: Finding
the list(s) (50), how eager they were to look for the items
(25), their success in locating each of the items - awarding
a larger portion of points to the more difficult items to
find/obtain (300), completing all of the ingredients to
a single potion - divided by the total number of potions
Story: Professor Lumbly is in real trouble. He's getting
on in years and made a horrible mistake in testing out one
of this own potions, leaving his memory too scrambled to
complete his other potions for his next class. Without those
potions, he just might get the sack with his new teaching
position at the local wizarding school (great for those
Harry Potter fans!)
Decide how many items that you'd like to hide as ingredients
for your potions. Group the ingredients in groups of 3-4
to create different potions. Create a single list detailing
each potion along with the ingredients necessary. You can
also create separate lists for each potion. When considering
your ingredients, consider items you are able to gather
for each (i.e. search around your backyard, your local park
or hobby craft store.) Below is an example for a sample
potion along with possible potions and ingredients for additional
lists. We also have a packet of Wizard Potions that can
be ordered on aged wizard paper that was designed for this
activity - CLICK
Dissolver Potion: Green Nightshade, Parson's Weed,
One Bog Slug, sulfur
possible potions: Love Potion, Liquid Luck, Invisibility,
Sickness Cure, Paralysis Potion, Solution of Strength
Other possible ingredients: Moon Salt, Gecko Scales,
Pinetoad Blood, Rain Water, Dragonfire Ants, Lavender,
Orcish Redbard, Boilwart Mushrooms, Phoenix Feather,
Night Thistle Pods.
Once you have your list(s), make sure you have all of the
ingredients - enough for each child/participant to be able
to have/hold one of each, if possible. Be creative and it's
ok to allow them to use their imaginations. Find items around
the backyard and at Joann's/Hobby Lobby. You don't need
a lot, just something small that they can find. Of course,
this would also work with simple pieces of paper with the
ingredients written on them.
Decide how you want your children to find the items. The
simplest (and quickest for the sake of time) is to provide
a simple scavenger hunt. Hide the items around a CLEARLY
defined area (so that they understand what the boundaries
are) with small tags/signs labeling each item - for example,
you may hide a small feather and label it "Phoenix
Feather" - labeling will help your children know exactly
which ingredients they found so that they can cross it off
you can also get more creative on how you hide the items.
Next to each ingredient on the list offer ONE WORD that
can be used as a clue as to the possible resting place for
that particular ingredient. In this way, you can actually
hide the ingredients in harder to find places.
you're ready to hold the adventure, make sure to explain
to your children the back story and what their task is.
Give each a small bag to gather the items in and tell them
that they only have a certain amount of time to complete
the task. How much time? Good question. Try to guess how
long it would take to find 85% of the items on the list.
If you make it too easy, they'll be bored and unsatisfied.
If they have a higher expectation placed on them, you'll
find them working harder...and rushing at the end to try
and find those last few ingredients. Once the searching
is over, allow them a few moments to go through their list
of potions to see which ones they can make and how many
of each to maximize their score!
over, if you are keeping track of XP, award the correct
amount of XP for each individual child and add it to their
ongoing score. If they've achieved a new ranking, be sure
to make a big deal about it!
the following additions to make it extra special - though
Once you have your list(s), your ingredients (with their
small signs) - find some appropriate music. Yep, music.
The theme music/soundtrack from Harry Potter (Sorcerer's
Stone is preferable) is PERFECT to play. The music doesn't
have to be playing loudly, just audible - it will set the
tone and make the adventure feel more like from the movie.
Have a small display/centerpiece on your kitchen table (or
a blanket if you are at a park) with a pot and a few decorative
'wizard' items. You don't have to decorate the house, but
creating the central decorative location will make it easier
to get them 'in the mood' as you explain their task...and
they'll feel like it's more special.
If at all possible...and yes, this might take some doing...have
a friend or co-worker (perhaps someone that they might not
even know) come in a wizard's robe to explain the situation
and to send the kids off on their task. Yes, it can be a
lot of trouble for a single activity...HOWEVER, if you're
talking about creating memories, then this is the way to
go. Plus, you'll find that your friend or co-worker will
have a great time with it!
If it's evening, turn down the lights and place a few candles
throughout the 'playing area.' If necessary, arm each child
with a small flashlight. However, if you have enough low-lighting,
it's likely you won't need the flashlights.