Harry Potter – Winter Camp 2017

CAMPS are one of my favourite things about my job. I will admit that there were teething difficulties, what with my first camp in Korea taking place in my first week on the job. Jet-lagged and thrown into the deep-end it all went by in a bit of a whirl. Several camps later and I’ve finally found my groove. This was my second attempt at a Harry Potter themed camp. I’m pleased I got a chance to have another go as the first go bombed! This year, I knew what I had to do to improve!

THIS camp is a combination of material I made from scratch and existing materials I found my way to on Pinterest! Boy do I love that sight. In this post I will link you to the originators where I can, and here I’ll link my pinterest board devoted to Harry Potter Camp Ideas where anything I haven’t linked can be found.

HERE is the rough outline I went into camp with:

  • Day 1
    • Sorting
    • House Badges
    • Wands
  • Day 2
    • Wand Boxes
    • Marauders Map (Part 1)
  • Day 3
    • Marauders Map (Part 2)
    • Butter Beer
  • Day 4
    • Quiz
    • Potions Ingredients
  • Day 5
    • Movie Day

THERE was initially more planned; we were going to look at simple hieroglyphics and call it Ancient Runes, and look at mythical creatures, calling that Care of Magical Creatures. You’ll see in the full camp document that I’ve labels for various subjects that I’d planned to add to mini books! Alas, the flu that plagued South Korea in the run up to the winter vacation got me good and during the few weeks I’d set aside for the majority of camp prep I was doing a lot of heavy duty fevering, sneezing, sniffling and napping. Thank heavens I’d run this camp before – I’d already compiled much of the materials I needed, and then some.

DESPITE the dread flu (which beat this years flu jab) this years Harry Potter Camp was a resounding success. My students had a huge amount of fun and it created just the environment I was aiming for – all my students (4th and 5th grade) were casually speaking English as best they could. This is what I hope for in all of my English camps. I want my students to use the English they already know, make their own sentences, search around for vocabulary they have hidden away but as yet no cause to use. It’s amazing what they can do when you take away the training wheels.


Most, but not all, of my camp materials. This was also taken after camp, hence the lack of jelly beans!
  • Black card – one sheet per student for a wand box
  • White card – enough to be able to print out house badges, potion jars (multiples per page) and wand box templates. I only used one box template and traced them out myself in the name of saving time.
  • Brown craft paper (80gsm) – 2 sheets per student for the Hogwarts letter and envelope, plus extra for wand box labels, potion jar labels and Bertie Bott’s labels
  • Coloured or Fancy paper – for Hogwarts Express Tickets
  • Stickers/Seals – to close the Hogwarts envelopes
  • Fancy paper of your choice – for OWL certificates to be used as “Camp Completed” certificates.
  • White paper – one sheet per student for the marauders maps
  • Laminating pouches and laminator – for the house badges
  • Disposable wooden chopsticks. I picked up the 30 piece bag of 20cm disposable chopsticks from lotte mart.
  • Glue gun and glue
  • Poster paint in a variety of colours
  • Sponges
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Safety pins
  • Regular scotch tape
  • Cups – one per student
  • Straws – one per student
  • Caramel syrup – I found this one on gmarket
  • Vanilla ice cream – enough for at least one scoop per student, though I would double it so they can come back for seconds
    • I highly recommend an ice cream scoop for this, it makes life much easier.
  • Sprite or equivalent – I used the supermarkets own brand cider. (For anyone reading this outside of Korea, cider here is a soft drink along the lines of sprite, not the alcoholic apple you may be more familiar with!)
  • Instant coffee granules – I found that the Kanu american mini sticks worked well
  • Trays – these have to be deep enough to hold a small amount of water
  • 1.8kg jar Jelly Belly beans – I got these off Gmarket as well! In all honesty, nothing else quite compares and as I made all my students bags of Betie Bott’s Beans, I was going to do it properly or not at all! This is worth it for their excitement.
  • Stapler and staples – I used different coloured staples, just for fun
  • Sweety Bags – All Alpha’s stock small cellophane bags that are saleable and a variety of sizes. Mine were roughly 16cm x 8cm
  • Newspaper – lots of it

OF course, needing colouring pens/pencils and scissors goes without saying.

ON to pre-camp preparation. I had  24 students due to attend. With lil’ ol’ me and 24 of them I knew I had to prep. a few things before hand or we’d have anarchy!

AGAIN, thanks to the flu, I wasn’t fully prepared so it was a bit of a busy week for me, making things as I went and always trying to catch up wit myself. But, again, luckily I had a document ready at hand, and containing more than I ended up needing to use!

Harry Potter Camp Printables – 2017 Update

Print outs for days…

THE Hogwarts Express tickets I found on Pinterest, as I did the envelope template, and I found the House Badges on google! Good old google. As you can see in the pdf, there are two different copies of the letter using different fonts. I used the fancier one this time around – it didn’t matter that my students couldn’t read it as we went through the letter together with a power point. This one infact:


I recommend downloading a harry potter font.

AS for the Marauders Map, here are the pdf instructions and printable map, and hats off the the fabulous creator who saved the day with this last minute addition! I skimmed through the instructions and then threw them out of the window a little – I’ll add my simplified version below.


I um’d and ah’d over how I was going to do the wands this year. Last year I prepared and painted them, boxed them up and handed them out to students according to what house they were in. This year I was all for letting my students do everything… before I decided I wasn’t too keen on letting them have their way with a glue gun! So I compromised, and I added the texture to the wands with the glue gun and then let them paint away.

A second difference between this year and last year is that I let them choose any colour, instead of sticking to the “traditional” brown.



FOR the wand box, mark the outlines of the box and cut following the pictures below.


It’s a good idea to angle the edges of the flap! It makes it easier to close to box. The four red arrows show where you need to cut to make the flaps.



I stuck it together with double sided sticky tape – alpha does a really thin one which is prefect. It sticks faster than glue and it isn’t as wet!


For a final flourish, add a wand box label and  wand box number. I let my student choose their own numbers – they all wanted 333…



THE Hogwarts letters are easy as pie! Chop the letter page in two, sign the letters, cut out the envelope and fold it up, glue it together (double sided tape is so much better than glue – trust me), cut out the Hogwarts Express tickets, fold it all together and, voila! Bob’s your Uncle, Fanny’s your Aunt and we’re all off to Hogwarts.







BONUS points if you sign your letters in green ink!


Print, colour, laminate and add a safety pin. I handed these out when students were sorted!




FOR the Marauders Map, I decided that instead of printing the map onto brown or fancy paper, we’d stain it. I remember being set homework back in year 8 that consisted of making a treasure map – we were reading Treasure Island in class. Dutifully, I went home, drew my map, stained my paper and even burnt the edges. Mum and I went the whole hog on that one! I’d loved doing that and thought my students would too. Their utter delight when they saw what we were going to be doing was worth the decision.

FIRST things first, the map in its printed form is not quite the right shape, you have to chop off an edge:

I wouldn’t worry about this being to neat – the maps won’t end up perfect anyway, but to me that’s one of the joys of this activity. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes are made, an extra fold here or there simply adds to the character of the map.

AND now the fun part – coffee staining. I’m sure you know what you’re doing here, but let’s pause for pictures anyway!

MOVING on to the more tricky part. I’m going to do my best to explain predominantly in pictures!

So here’s what we start with – our lovely stained map. Do you have your scissors ready?
You’ll see on the first image, there are very faint lines. I’ve marked them in red in the above image. Fold down these lines. Eventually they’ll fold in, just make sure there’s a fold for now.
You can see where the two circles are, the text stops in a sharp line.
As per the red lines on this image, cut down this line to the fold you have already created.
You should end up with something like this!
To mark where to cut on the opposite flap, I use my scissors and draw them across the paper in as straight a line as I can muster.
When I reach the second fold, I apply pressure to the scissors to gently score a line on the paper.
It’s faint, but it’s there!
Now cut up this line, again to the fold. Repeat on the other side.
This is what you should now be looking at.
Now change the page orientation so that the Quidditch pitch is at the top.
And fold the sides in. It’s most likely that this won’t be perfect, but that doesn’t matter here – as I’ve said, imperfections in this activity add to the character of the finished product.
Remember these four corners, you’re now going to fold them down.
And this is what the results of your folding should look like.
I wish I could explain this fold to you – but I can’t. I worked it out by staring at the picture for a fair wee while and eventually making it work. The easiest way to explain this to students is to have a completed map that you can use to show them the fold in action. My students then managed it no problem, and some simply worked it out themselves!
Once you’ve done it will all four corners you should have something like this.
Again, change the rotation of the page so you can easily read ‘Moony, Wormtail, Parfoot and Prongs’.
You will have noticed these lines are faintly marked on the map. Fold down these lines, folding behind the map. See below.
No flip it over.
And fold the flaps into the centre.
And you’re done!


I say butterbeer, but it’s really an ice-cream float with caramel sauce. As with the Marauders Map, when I showed my students what I’d be doing, the response more than justified the decision to make it. Minds were blown.

THE order of ingredients depends on what works best for you, but for me I found that caramel sauce > ice cream > cider was the best order. Just don’t forget to give it a good stir!



MY flu addled brain had prevented as much planning as I had liked, and like the Marauders Map, this was a latecomer to the party. I’m relived I had this. I ended up not having enough time for anything big, but this was the perfect filler.

ALL I did was talk through witches and potions with my students (use the resources or prompts of your choice) and then illicited “ingredients” from them. We had snake skin, fly’s wings, butterfly eyes, snail slime… the world is your oyster on this one.

ONCE they’ve filled the jar with their ingredient they just need to write and stick on the label and you’re done. I hing mine in the classroom using string and wooden pegs, but it depends on your classroom!




DOES this really need explaining?


AND with that, if you decide to use anything here I do hope you have a happy camp! 


  1. I still can’t get over how much effort you put into this camp. All the materials look amazing! You definitely inspire me.


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