As the King Dong series continues, this month begins with a new content posting strategy to try to make it more useful and no longer skip any months like I did in December 2011. Without further adieu, join me in welcoming Ron Weasley, played by actor Rupert Grint, as our January 2012 King Dong. While Ron is one of the cutest little boys ever who often gets in situations that are way over his head throughout the Harry Potter film series, he does have unmatchable skills at the game of chess, compared to his friends Hermione and Harry.
One of my most memorable scenes from watching 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone' is the one where Ron sacrifices himself in Wizard’s Chess to help his pals. After several years of Hogwarts mania at the movies, Harry Potter themed parties may seem like they feature the same activities and planning for entertaining guests, no matter who’s hosting it - a book club, HP fan club or a family somewhere around the world.
Thanks to Ron Weasley, however, you can squeeze out little aspects of the Harry Potter movies, to create fresh party ideas that can be used when entertaining adults or teens and kids who know how to play the game. Here are some Harry Potter party ideas that I thought of based on that Wizard’s Chess scene from The Sorcerer’s Stone film.
A Ron Weasley Inspired (Non)Seating Arrangement
Make a giant chessboard featuring 64 black and white (32 for each color) squares made out of towels, pillow cases, painted cardboard, card stock sheets or whatever you can bind together using masking tape (or duct tape, depending on the materials and your preference) to create a flat game board surface. You can also use blue squares as a substitute for black.
Cover your living room, basement or other party area floor with the giant chessboard. This will become the “seating” area for your guests, so make sure that each guest stands on the proper square, according to his or her position in the Wizard’s chess game. You will need a total of 32 guests to complete the chessboard style seating arrangement for this party theme. However, a smaller guest size for your Harry Potter party will also work just fine, allowing more flexible options for Wizard’s chess costumes as well.
Since this arrangement obviously creates a standing-room-only setup, either position chairs along the walls surrounding the chessboard or move them into another room altogether.
The Harry Potter Party Dress Code
All of the standard Gryffindor and other favorite Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley costumes go out of the window for this Wizard’s chess party theme. Require guests to come to the party dressed in a costume that coincides with one of the 16 chess pieces needed for your giant game board.* There are two ways you can enforce this dress code:
1. Assign costumes or dress codes to each guest who is invited to the party - This provides each guest with a running start on making their costume, since they don’t have to spend extra time trying to figure out which one of the chess pieces to dress like.
2. Allow guests to select their desired costume from the 16 chess pieces, for which you can check off as you go along the list, on a first come, first served basis. - This can help you to speed up the RSVP process, as some guests may race to make sure that they nabbed one of the few king or queen positions.
*If you are planning a smaller party that is more casual in design, then just rearrange these dress code options to fit the needs of your celebration.
The dress code options for guests should include kings, queens, rooks, bishops, knights and pawns. Thanks to merchandising, there are a variety of color options for your Harry Potter party dress code. Instruct guests to come in either red or white costumes if you want your live chess pieces to match those from the actual scene in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone' where Ron beats Harry in a chess game at Hogwarts. Or, create a black and white or black and grey dress code if you want guests’ costumes to match those of the chess game pieces that are found in the retail version of Wizard’s chess board games, manufactured for consumers.
Wizard’s Chess Game Activity
Nothing says “entertainment” at this type of Harry Potter themed party than a live game of Wizard’s chess. Get a standard size chess game or the Harry Potter chess game and play it with a co-host, while both of you announce each move that you want to make, out loud. The guests will have to navigate through their positions on the giant chessboard based on the moves that you and your opponent announce.
You can also re-enact the scene from 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,' allowing Ron to be the unofficial host of your party game. This way, you can be part of the live action while everyone is moving based on the chess moves that he calls out. While the Ron Weasley element of this activity may fun, it won’t last as long as a real game of chess between two people. It’s your call though -- literally!
Now that we’ve gone through some alternative Harry Potter party ideas, here’s a question...
Would YOU beat Ron Weasley in a game of chess?
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