Idea No.

571

Luau Party 1yr - Greet with a Lei

Award

Date

April 2000

From

Joann in San Jose, California

Runner-Up

Tropical Hawaiian Luau

When my daughter turned 1, we threw her a luau party.  Now that she is turning 5, we have decided to throw her the same kind of huge party before she heads for kindergarten.  

DECORATIONS: -Tiki style table covers, placemats (partymaster.com) -Metal bins with a raffia hula skirt wrapped around filled with ice, Hawaiian punch and topped with uncut pineapples. -Aprons painted with Hawaiian designs and "Alexis' Luau" for all involved in hosting/BBQ-ing for the party. -Bowls filled with sand and shells act as centerpieces to hold table covers down or hold down balloon bouquets.  Also you could do bowls filled with water and goldfish. -A huge poster collage of Alexis through the years decorated Hawaiian style. (It is VERY cheap to have your photos colorcopied and enlarged at Kinko's) -Tiki cups (partymaster.com) -Pineapple cups (partymaster.com) -Mai tai glasses (partymaster.com -Tahitian, Beachcomber, Coconut & Straw Kona hats(partymaster.com) -Toy Ukuleles for kid giveaways (partymaster.com) 

ACTIVITIES: -A luau isn't a luau UNLESS you greet your guests with leis! This year, we are giving our guests inexpensive shell leis.  Attached to the leis (with raffia ribbon) is a laminated tag with Alexis' picture (a colorcopy or computer generated) and this message "Thank you for celebrating Alexis' 5th birthday with us!" -Lei-making table.  You could do fresh flowers for adults. 

For kids, take apart silk flower leis and have the kids put them back together. -Crafts-with-Shells-Table.  We are doing a table where you could glue shells on to photo frames, make necklaces, wreaths etc. -Many of our friends are Tahitian and Hula dancers.  We are having them get involved by performing. -DJ playing a wide variety of Hawaiian Music.  If you aren't familiar with good Hawaiian Music, go to tropicaldisc.com.  All time favorites: Keali'I Reichel, Hapa and Hawaiian Style Band. -Tropical Bingo, Pin the Monkey on the palm tree (oriental trading co.) -Tropical Musical Chairs. -Limbo (you must have the song!!!!) -FOR SCRAPBOOKERS! 

As guests arrive, take pictures of them individually or as groups/families.  Have an unfinished scrapbook on hand.  Save a space for their picture(s) and have them write a message to the birthday celebrant.  This is a great guest book and a wonderful gift to give to your child; he/she will most certainly appreciate it when they get older. -Instead of egg toss, we are doing a water balloon toss get adults involved!!!!!! -At our parties we have raffles for "door prizes". I give tickets to all who attend (adults and children). We create 6 baskets 3 for kids, 3 for adults.  Usually I do themed baskets. For adults, I do "picnics for two" and include a framed picture of Alexis (cheap plastic 4x6 frames from Target).  For children, I buy sand toys and buckets, bubbles and water pistols included.    

FOOD & CAKE: -Buy a sheet cake with a fruit filling (mango is good).  Ask the baker to use white whipped frosting and write on one side of the cake, "Happy 5th Birthday Alexis".  Buy an orchid lei (or fresh flowers) and green leaves.  Cut the lei and secure it at both ends (like a garland).  Lay it on top of the cake, draping over the sides. OR you can just lay the lay on top (uncut) with message inside the circle. -For this huge event, I have chosen foods that are traditional, easy to prepare and guaranteed to be a hit; hot dogs, hot links, hamburgers, spaghetti (pasta and sauce already combined), garlic bread, watermelon, fruit trays, BBQ baked beans, grilled corn on the cob, chili and all the fixins!  If this party were for a less amount of people, I would highly recommend luau food (easy to find on the net) -Hawaiian Punch and fruit iced teas. Opt for cans because they are just less work for your guests and yourself!

DESSERTS:  Anything prepared with tropical fruits, coconut, pineapple, etc. With any search engine, go to "Hawaii"...look for recipes!  As you can see, our parties are jammed pack!  But it is so worth it to me, especially when I see EVERYONE (including the adults) have a good time.  I have learned over the years that preparation is the key!!!!  The day before the party, my garage is filled with boxes ready to go.  Don't forget water jugs, extra garbage bags, a first aid kit, allergy & headache medication, sunscreen and cleaning supplies.   WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A GREAT PARTY THIS MAY!

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