My Mommyology

Learning from Motherhood.

The Era of Harry Potter (In Our Home)


I’ve always liked Harry Potter, but I’d never been a die-hard fan of it.  I never read the books, I just based what I knew on the movies.

A few months back, ABC did #HarryPotterWeekend.  All eight films were on our DV-R.  I had taped it for myself, but as Sam knows how to operate the DV-R (to get her and Jamie’s shows on), she saw it and asked.  The rest is history.

This was the beginning.

This was the beginning.

She and Jamie watched the first film, The Sorcerer’s Stone in three parts.  There were some scary moments but they got through it.  And there were a lot of questions after.  A LOT.

I asked my sister (our resident Harry Potter expert and fan) for her advice about Sam reading the books and watching the films (and Jamie riding along with it and listening as we read out loud).  I won’t lie, I was worried that the content was a little dark for a 6-yr old and her 4.5 yr old sister.  I knew that a big part of its charm was the magical component and the different world Harry Potter brought, but there are some parts that are still a little bit for an older crowd.  And this was her advice:

  1. Start on the first book (and the first movie), but don’t rush into the next ones.  Harry Potter is meant to be “a movie a year” she said, because you grow up with the characters as they go through each school year at Hogwarts.  Each year, they get older and the problems they face are a little bit more appropriate for that school year / age level.  Harry starts out as an orphaned 11-yr old, which might be charming and easy to relate to for a 6-yr old, but when he’s 16, the developing relationships and trials they encounter may still be a little too much.
  2. To prolong the interest and distract somewhat from the actual series, buy the Hogwarts Library and JK Rowling’s Biography.
    Lateral reading material.

    Lateral reading material.

    Sam read through them in a heartbeat though, but somehow it got her interested in something else and kept her from asking about the second book and movie (at least for a few days).

  3. With the DVD copies, show the extended, skipped scenes and the behind-the-scene interviews that were available on some of the discs.  I did that, but they were losing a little bit of the magic that drew them to Harry in the first place.  Plus, the characters were not all in full costume when they were interviewed, so it was harder to identify who played what.

Then, when we were in Manila, my sister got her started on Pottermore.  They made her a screen name, and she got to do things that Harry did when he first went to Hogsmead.  I think she got sorted into Slytherine too, based on how she answered the questions.  She learned to make spells and potions, which is as far as the site would let her go given her knowledge of the content.

My mom got the girls the Harry Potter version of Trivial Pursuit.

It's the first Trivial Pursuit I can actually play! ;)

It’s the first Trivial Pursuit I can actually play! 😉

It gives them a little bit more knowledge about the different characters and events without having to read the whole series first or watch all the movies.  There are spoilers too, and if you’re not ok with that then don’t let your kids play with it first!  I was fine with it; the game answered some questions that they had without having to go into more detail, and even the spoilers just heightened her interest in it (because they were out of context).

I kept this up for a few months.  After a while it got the girls noticed, and somehow we found ourselves with five books and at the beginning of the 5th movie, the Order of the Phoenix.  And here I was telling my mom friends that we would stop at three (Prisoner of Azkaban) and that would be it for a while.

Another victim, Tito Niko (although he is a Harry Potter fan too!)

Another victim of interrogation, Tito Niko (although he is a Harry Potter fan too!)

Sam just kept at it — asking and speculating and wondering why and what if, and what would happen.  My brain started to tune out after a while because the questions would come at the most random times.  Then my husband let the 4th one, the Tri Wizard Tournament movie sneak past me one night I was away.  Also the girls learned to find clips of the other movies on You Tube (of course), and so I figured there was no escaping moving forward.

We’ve stopped midway through the 5th movie, because they told us they didn’t want to watch any more after that.  I think the Death Eaters scared them because we haven’t gotten past that point since.  Sam just received the 5th book for her birthday, and we’re waiting for a time when we can open it and read it together.

For Halloween, Sam was Hermione.  She occasionally wears her Gryffindor scarf to school too.

Left: Halloween costumes. Right: a summer version of Hermione!

Left: Halloween costumes. Right: a summer version of Hermione, Time Timer and all.

Next year, she wants to be a Death Eater, while Jamie wants to dress as Luna Lovegood.  It’s quite the interesting shift from the Disney Princesses, I have to say.

They’re waiting for the Universal Studios park to open because they want to go and see the world of Harry Potter.  We’ve marked our calendars for it’s opening date.  Sam is also now saving up for a trip to London, because she wants to see Harry’s original world, and watch the upcoming play, The Cursed Child.  Well, at least it’s a goal we can work toward, and she has in fact said she would rather receive money than toys, because she is most definitely going to go to London — soon.  Eeep.

So Harry Potter is well entrenched into our lives, and I foresee that it will be for a while.  I can’t complain.  So far it’s only encouraged good things, and pretty interesting conversations.  Somehow even I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Author: mymommyology

I am the mom that I am because of my two wonderful little girls. They teach me everyday.


  1. Harry Potter is one of the best stories ever written! Super! I have reread the entire 7 books a number of times. It’s crazy! Hahaha!

    The books are better than the movie of course

    But when Sam is older and gets to finish all 7books, it will be super worth it.

  2. Great tips, Jen! I’ve been waiting since Ladybug was four to introduce Harry Potter to her hahaha. I have these Lego sets all saved up, too! When my Dove is good and ready this is definitely a post I’m going back to!

    • You were smart to save up on the Lego Trin! They go for an arm and a leg now (Of course I checked!). Harry Potter is a ton of fun. And now… we have Star Wars too! 😉 Happy New Year!

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