One of the reasons for my excitement and my early morning wakefulness on Christmas Day was that I knew I had spent a lot of time making an extra special present for the girls and I could barely wait for them to open it.
You may remember they are huuuuge Harry Potter fans? For Tiny Small's seventh birthday we had an (unblogged) HP party, at which the highlight was a Potions class - lots of mixtures that smell good, or are sparkly, or fizz, or bubble, or pop, or change colour - or all of them in sequence. Anyway, as a result my two have been hankering for potions kits since October, and how could I refuse?
It started with tiny weeny pestles and mortars, and quickly escalated. I found papier mache tea bag boxes and miniature bottles at my local craft shop, and with a bit of paint, some saved small jam jars and bottles, and some ingredients from the kitchen cupboards they were transformed into ingredients chests.
I downloaded a spell book here, and was inspired to make my very own potion book - you would be amazed at what you can find on the Harry Potter Wiki in the way of ingredients lists and recipes.
Some of the potions I made up recipes for, others are straight out of the books, but the one thing I did do was have a long hard think about all of the ingredients so that the potions ended up the right colour, or fizzed, or shone.
Of course, once I'd gone that far I had to make it look "authentic" so I used brown paper, string and sealing wax to package it all up and left two big boxes inside the front door for them to find.
It took far more time than money to create (the priciest part was the pestles and they are far from essential), but I will not soon forget the cries and squeals of delight, or the fact that for the last three mornings they have woken up asking to do "potioneering". They've tried all my recipes, and started writing their own. I need to think up some more ingredients for them.
I think this is the the best thing I've ever made. And I am thrilled that my children do too.