Quidditch for Kids (Kidditch) the Quidwitch Way
By Dawn Karpoff
Note: The Quidwitch uses the International Quidditch Association Rulebook, Seventh Edition, as the basis for all rules related to gameplay. Please see the section titled “Quidditch for Other Age Groups” for special rules pertaining to younger children.
Okay quidkids, it’s time to start fundraising for the 7th World Cup! Come gather round, the Quidwitch is going to share her secrets for smoothly running kidditch games. Her degree in Child Development and experience as a Brownie leader helped her formulate this method. Be prepared, as the motto goes!
The brooms say it all. Whether you buy Peterson kidditch brooms or make your own, it is a good idea to adapt your brooms with duct tape. Or even better, use Gorilla Tape if it is available to you. Make seven brooms a solid color and seven brooms camo or another pattern. This will help the kids (and you!) to distinguish the teams.
Purchase four colors of duct tape (white, black, green, and yellow) to match the player headbands. Place strips of the tape at both ends of your kidditch brooms so the kids and their teammates will be able to determine easily what position is being played. Put visible numbers on the brooms, 1 to 7 and 8 to 14. And for the best communication results, put the child’s name beside his or her number on a whiteboard from the dollar store.
Make 15 two-inch cardboard discs. Using the same duct tape you used for the brooms, indicate the team on one side and the position on the other … and make one yellow on both sides for the snitch runner. Place these “pogs” into a “sorting hat” and let the hat decide the teams and who will initially play each position for the ultimate in fairness. The hat’s decisions can be tweaked later through substitution.
Make a safety vest for the snitch runner as follows.
- At Dollar General or Ikea purchase a child-size safety vest.
- Apply fabric Velcro between the shoulder blades and attach the Velcro tail from a Quiyk uniform. This compensates for the child’s low center of gravity.
- Place a dollar store timer in the vest’s pocket to help the child know when seeker floor is over.
For the quaffle and bludgers choose smaller balls from Five Below or cloth balls from Ikea. Gator balls are also a kid-friendly option.
Bring extra dollar-store whiteboards for the kids to use in keeping score.
If you are hired for a birthday party, here are some crafts to do with the kids before you start the game. They will look great in the birthday pictures and you’ll get more business through word of mouth!
- “Bludger blockers.” Use cardboard cake rounds or rectangles construction paper, markers, and duct tape to make shields. Any children waiting for a turn in the game can have fun cheering and defending from rogue quaffles and bludgers.
- “Cape pinnies.” Make cape pinnies from fabric in two colors or 14 craft bandanas (7 each in two colors). Use diaper pins to affix them to the kids’ shirts at the shoulder. You can use fabric markers and allow the children to put their own names and quidditch numbers on the back.
Don’t forget to bring a first-aid kit containing ice packs, gauze and scissors, band-aids, and an ACE-type elastic bandage. Stuff happens.
Make sure you warm the kids up. This helps prevent injury. Here are four warm-up games that practice quidditch skills as well as give you the opportunity to assess what skill levels you are working with from the very beginning:
- Broom relay race. — Divide the kids into two to four teams with one adult assigned to each team. Have the teams line up behind one goal line. Give the first child in line a broom. On “Go!”, the team’s adult taps the first child in line with a bludger. The child runs to the other goal line, carrying his or her broom as though beaten by a bludger. The child taps the opposite hoop, mounts his or her broom, and returns. The broom is then handed to the next team member in line and the cycle repeats.
- One-handed dodgeball game. — This game is self-explanatory. For a wrinkle, you can call out right arms only then switch to left arms only to warm up both arms.
- Hide and go seeker. — The kids get into brooms-down position and you count to 50. While an adult snitch hides, everyone becomes a seeker! Alternatively, you can just hide the snitch’s tail for the seekers to find (a la Huckle Buckle Beanstock).
- HOOPS! — Depending on the number of children present, station kids in front and back of a convenient number of hoops as keepers. The extra children and/or adults take free throws at each hoop. After five minutes, switch places and have the throwers play keeper.
Once everyone is warmed up, have one adult let 15 of the kids pick a pog from the hat. A second and third adult follow with the brooms and pinnie capes that correspond. A fourth adult in charge of the children not yet playing give them bludger blockers and white erase boards to keep score on. The second and third adult will each be responsible for a team and the first adult for overseeing the seekers and Snitch runner. Remember, if you get a reputation in your community for throwing well-prepared and organized kidditch events, word-of-mouth will spread. Make a website to tell the community about your successes.
Make sure you have the kids’ parents sign release forms before playing and that the releases allow the event and players to be photographed. You are the am-badass-adors to the next generation of quidkids, so don’t spare the magic!
Brooms up 4ever, Quiddie!