My youngest is obsessed, y’all.
Harry Potter and all things Harry Potter have completely taken over around here.
We are listening to the books, again, on audio in the car for the 4th time. He is saving his money to collect every Harry Potter collectible around. He quotes the books as part of our everyday conversation.
My boy is all in.
I understand his love for this story.
Not only is it so well done (because of course it is. J.K. is my hero).
He loves it because he can identify so much with so many of the characters. Harry is often bullied. Neville is slow to remember and learn. Luna is a little strange sometimes, but also a wonderful encouragement to her friends.
So, while I would love to move on to another literary classic, I recognize that this series is serving a very real purpose in my little guy’s learning and in his heart.
With that in mind, I wanted to come up with an activity for this week’s Friday Fun-Day that would be science oriented, but still have some sort of Harry Potter twist.
I did not have to look far. As we listened to The Order of The Phoenix last week, we heard all about Harry trying to focus on making his map of the planets during the astronomy class OWL (final exam).
“We should make our own map, just like Harry,” my son said.
Friday Fun-Day Activity for the week plus interest-led learning? Momma was happy to take this win and run with it.
Friday Fun-Days: 52 Weeks of Easy Hands-On Activities
Here’s what you’ll need for this week’s activity –
Black construction paper
Chalk Pastels (if possible – of not regular crayons will work too)
White printer paper
Harry Potter Solar System Activity
Step 1: Using a pencil, outline the planets, sun and asteroid belts on a large piece of black construction paper. (We used a quick reference online to make sure we had all the details in order. My son insisted we include Pluto as well because he “missed it.”)
Step 2: If your child struggles with the sensory input of chalk on his or her fingers, latex gloves help and still allow for easy manipulation of the chalk pastels.
Step 3: Color in the pencil outline, using the actual colors associated with each of the planet’s atmospheric gases and surfaces.
Step 4: Cut the printer paper into white strips and ask your child to label the different elements of the solar system. If your child refuses to write, like mine did at this point, offer to let him or her type the names instead, and then cut out accordingly.
Step 5: Glue the labels next to the appropriate item.
Step 6: Ask your child to point to the different planets as you read the labels.
Step 7: Applaud him or her for passing the Harry Potter Astronomy OWL.
This activity worked really well for my boy. The hands-on component, coupled with space exploration, made it a perfect fit for his interests and learning needs. Add in the Harry Potter piece, and he was over the moon (pun-intended!).
Want another quick, easy Harry Potter activity?
Lately, my son has had a lot of success practicing reading and spelling using word searches. There is something about this type of exercise that works well with his learning differences. Plus, I love that he is having to find the letters and words in the midst of so many other letters. For a dyslexic child, this can be very challenging.
Because this type of learning activity is so beneficial for him, it just made sense to come up with a Harry Potter themed word search.
To grab a copy of the word search and key for yourself, click the image above or head to the Shawna’s Resource Library tab at the top of this page.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.