My kids are always looking to have other kids over for some sort of party or themed afternoon fun. They are finally old enough to read the Harry Potter series and are really excited about it. Next week we're doing a Halloween party after school on the cheap — and all with Harry Potter themed activities. These don't need a party around them to be fun! You can use them when you finish the books as an interactive activity.

Hagrid's Hut

We just moved and have all sorts of giant boxes. Next week those boxes are going to build Hagrid's Hut — just a little duct tape and mailing tape and we have the perfect place in the yard to escape from a long day in Hogwarts castle. Kids love building with giant boxes and the boxes are so almost ready for recycling when they're done. Start saving boxes now!

Forbidden Forest

Lucky for us we live in a forest and I found a particularly spooky grove of trees on the property. Voila! Forbidden Forest. Drop some silvery glitter for unicorn blood, some plastic spiders, and you have the Forbidden Forest. I've made this into a scavenger hunt by scattering a card for every creature that was ever in the Forest in any of the books. The kid that finds the most cards in the Forbidden Forest wins a prize.

Chocolate Frogs

For $2 you can find candy molds on Amazon and make your own Chocolate Frogs! Ours don't jump out train windows but can be decorated with icing to the delight of young Potter fans.

Pumpkin Juice

Your better markets have tea selections that include pumpkin tea this time of year. It can be really yummy! I add a hint of cinnamon , cloves, and honey to the pot of boiling tea and there you have a favorite Hogwarts drink.

Make Your Own Wand

Just what a cash-strapped mother ordered! Make Your Own Wand day! March those Hogwarts fans through the woods and find just the right stick (the wand chooses its owner after all) and take it back home to decorate, whittle, and otherwise perfect!

This party's activities, depending on what you have in your art supplies in the closet, could be as cheap as $10 and as much as $20 tops. Give it a try!

This post was included in the Carnival of Homeschooling.