What I learnt when I let my nine-year-old organise her own birthday party

Photo: Alamy
Photo: Alamy 

I've always been the one to organise the birthday parties in my house, but this year my middle child asked to plan her own and it was the best ever.

Being as massive Harry Potter fan she wanted to celebrate her nine-and-three-quarter birthday with a party for herself and three of her fellow wizard-loving friends.

Seeing that I read the books over a decade ago I knew that she would be better placed than me to take on the task and she completely outdid herself.

She perfected all details of the Harry Potter themed celebration.
She perfected all details of the Harry Potter themed celebration.  Photo: Supplied

At first I found it hard to relinquish control and spent too much time reminding her of her party planner responsibilities, but once I stepped back and handed her the reigns she shone.

She handmade her invitations, thought up things for her party guests to do, printed off schedules, with detailed times for each activity, and planned all the food. She made all the decorations and spent hours crafting customised wands for each guest.

The party was based on a day at Hogwarts School and broken into lessons.

First, they did a house sorting ceremony and were given their wands, followed by a potions class (making slime), a transfiguration photo booth, defence against the dark arts piñata fight, a feast featuring the birthday cake and butterbeer (homemade spiders) and then off to Bounce for flying lessons.

The night before the party she cleaned her room, which was a miracle in itself. She set the table, packed the party bags and hung the decorations. She put soft drinks in the fridge and placed the food in bowls, ready for us to open before the guests arrived. Then, she wrote out a detailed list of jobs for us to complete prior to the party.

We had to hang a sheet of fake bricks across the front entrance so her guests could walk through the wall just like Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station in the books, scatter her Hedwig decorated owl balloons and put a Harry Potter movie on the television.


It was all set. She hadn't missed a single detail.

The party was a huge success. The kids had a wonderful time. Everything ran like clockwork and, most importantly, she beamed the entire time.

I couldn't have done a better job and I was so proud of her.

It was the perfect lesson in giving over control.

You see this kid of ours has her own challenges as she doesn't speak at school and I am a fierce protector of her. I worry that people think of her as somehow not as capable as other kids, but I know that's far from the truth.

She is strong, smart, funny, sensitive and extremely creative. And because of it she is well liked by her peers, something that we got to see at her party.

Her mates were amazed when they discovered she'd made everything herself. They looked at her full of wonder and the four of them spent the entire time buzzing.

She was full of confidence and bursting with pride.

It reminded me that my kids are growing up and it's time I gave them more chances to shine. The way she stepped-up and took control of the entire event was awesome to watch.

The Harry Potter party was a huge success; in fact it was pure magic.