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Give your child a magical birthday with a Harry Potter-themed party!

What child doesn't love Harry Potter? The adventures of this young wizard have dazzled the hearts and minds of little ones the world over for years. If your kid has a birthday coming up, why not make his or her dream come true and throw a Harry Potter-themed shindig? The book's world is so rich and diverse that you should have no problem finding inspiration. But if you'd like a few pointers, here are some tips to help ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.

Make sure the party invitations you send are appropriate to the theme - stick with whimsical fonts and aged-looking paper. Be sure to mail them out a couple weeks ahead of time to make sure everyone has the chance to RSVP!

As far as decorations go, start by hanging up round paper lanterns in multiple colors. When you dim the lights, they'll give the entire space a beautiful - perhaps magical - glow. As your guests arrive, direct them to a table filled with wands. Place silver ball place card holders in front of each so the kids know which is theirs. Be sure to fill your home with Harry Potter references! Kids are tenacious about recognizing these kinds of things, so you can bet that all of your hard work will be appreciated.

For activities, you could host a Harry Potter trivia contest - the winner gets to take home a DVD box set! You can also find rules for Quidditch online fairly easily, so if the weather is nice, why not take the kids to the backyard and show them how to play? You'd be surprised how easy it is, and it'll give them a chance to build up an appetite while you prepare the cake and ice cream.

As everyone leaves, make sure they go home with goodie bags filled with awesome stuff. Personalized mini candy jars and custom birthday fortune cookies are creative and fun - they're sure to be a hit. Harry Potter makes for a great birthday theme simply because almost every kid knows the books so well. Half of the work is practically done for you!