“Harry Potter” – Themed Developmental Activities

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, more families are staying in to watch movies together, such as the Harry Potter film series. (Thankfully, many are reading the books, too!). We used J. K. Rowling’s timeless series as inspiration for movement and to promote developmental skills and imaginary play. 

The purpose of this article is to provide you with occupational therapy treatment plan examples for ideas to address developmental skills at home, in a way that is individualized to your child’s interests, abilities, and environment. We hope this encourages you to utilize your household items to create fun activities that are safe, appropriate for your child’s ability level, and allow them to step into their imagination.

Sensory Potion Bottles 

Skills: Fine motor coordination, fine motor strength, tactile input 

Sensory bottle recipes vary, but the best part is that you can safely mix child-friendly household ingredients that you already have. We recommend researching the ingredients you have at home for more information on safety. In this recipe, we used water, glitter, food coloring, pompoms, beads, googly eyes, and baby oil. We used child-safe glue to secure the top after we twisted it closed in order to avoid choking hazards and to decrease spills. Then, we shook the bottle and waved our wands to create magic.  

Platform 9 ¾ 

Skills: Bilateral coordination, core strength, upper body strength 

We recreated the Hogwarts Express with scooter boards and large pipe cleaners. Then, our kiddos picked up and safely placed heavy items (i.e. weighted balls, heavy stuffed animals, pillows) on each train car in order for the child to receive proprioceptive input for self-regulation. An alternative is to have the child pull baskets that are strung together. For a greater challenge, fill the baskets with hand towels. Use a pen, paper, tape, and a disposable table cloth to create the Platform 9 ¾ effect.

Defeat the Dementors

Skills: Bilateral coordination, hand-eye coordination, dynamic balance, upper body strength 

We used a blanket, a suspended platform swing, and a tire to create a “Dementor” effect. The goal was to toss 10 bean bags into the swinging “Dementor” in order to defeat it. The blanket provided a flying visual effect as the swing slowly rocked back and forth. We discussed what activities, places, and people make us happy in order to include self-awareness and emotional regulation in this activity. As these pieces of equipment are not common household items, this is where we get creative! One can use a suspended string tied around a hand towel, with the objective to be to safely knock the swinging Dementors down with clean rolled-up socks.

In all activities, provide the appropriate amount of assistance and modification to ensure safety. For strategies to further individualize developmental activities for your child, please consult with your occupational therapist. For further information about connecting with an occupational therapist, please contact our Pediatric Occupational Therapy clinic.

More information about an occupational therapist’s role in addressing skill development can be found at the following links:

More information about J. K. Rowling’s novels can be found at the following link: https://www.jkrowling.com/writing/

Our goal as pediatric occupational therapists is to promote your child’s development in an individualized manner. This includes taking their favorite stories and transforming them into opportunities for development in real life!


American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (n.d.). Caring for a child. https://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Patients-Clients/Caregivers/child.aspx  

American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (n.d.). Learn about occupational therapy for children & youth. https://www.aota.org/about-occupational-therapy/patients-clients/childrenandyouth.aspx  

J. K. Rowling. (2016). Writing. https://www.jkrowling.com/writing/

Rowling, J. K. (1999). Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. Scholastic Inc.

Schaaf, R., & Lane, S. (2009). Neuroscience foundations of vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile sensory strategies. OT Practice, 14, CE1-CE7.