Summer Luau Party 2yr - Ring the Octopus
Peggy in Harrisburg, PA USA
Welcome Summer Luau Our 2-year old's day care teacher, Mr. Christopher, wanted to host a Welcome-Summer Luau to celebrate the beginning of the summer season. Mr. Christopher asked me to assist, and I was happy to do so, since I love to plan parties.
To begin, I purchased a plain white wedding invitation kit from A.C. Moore. Using the 6X8 cards that were included, I printed the invitations. They read: ALOHA! Please join us for a "Welcome Summer Luau". Where: Mr. Christopher's Room, and also included the day and time. I inserted a row of tiny palm trees, and then: Please wear your best Luau attire and plan to have fun. The word ALOHA was printed using an adorable font I found on the internet. Each of the letters appeared to be wearing a grass skirt and a ring of flowers on their "heads." The other font used was also fun and juvenile and it was printed in hot pink. Around the border of the invitation were tiny palm trees. The invitations were given to the children the week before the party.
The day of the party, we had the room decorated with a Scene Setter kit (Oriental Trading). This included a large roll of bamboo-look vinyl, a bamboo-look border that covered the walls. Included in the kit were three windows that hung over the bamboo and it gave the appearance of being on the inside of a Hawaiian hut and looking out the windows (which were scenes of beaches, palm trees and the ocean with dolphins jumping into the air). This took no time at all to tape to the walls.
In the far corner of the room, we used the Little Tykes playhouse that is always there, and covered it with some of the leftover bamboo vinyl. Using large silk leaves, we covered the roof of the house. It looked like a little Tiki Hut! We nestled the house among four large metallic palm trees (two were 8 feet tall, and two were 4 feet tall - purchased from Oriental Trading). We added some silk hibiscus flowers around the hut, a child-sized beach chair next to it, and a large honeycomb tissue sun over the hut!
When the children and their guests arrived, they were greeted by the sounds of the tropics - a CD created by my husband with Hawaiian/Surf music, and Mr. Christopher (wearing his vintage luau shirt and shorts). Each child was dressed in great luau attire! Each boy had a luau shirt and shorts, and the two girls in the class (which included our daughter) had grass skirts! All the children and their guests received a lei and a name tag that was bordered with flowers and said, ALOHA. On the name tags, we had printed each persons name as it translated to Hawaiian (we found these on a great Hawaiian website).
Upon their arrival, Mr. Christopher had the children sit at the table and work on their craft (a magnetic picture frame from Oriental Trading that included a foam palm tree, flowers and the word "Aloha"). The kids loved this and it was easy since we used glue "dots" rather than messy glue. Once complete, we gave each child a luau-themed goodie bag in which to place the frame (the boys had bags with surfboards printed on them, and the girls' bags had flowers and the word "aloha" printed on them. They were all brightly colored). Next, the children were ready for games! We started with an Octopus Ring Toss (Oriental Trading). Each child was given a turn to throw rings onto the tentacles of a small, inflatable octopus. They had a blast with this, and each child managed to get at least one ring on the toy. They were then given a lollipop shaped like a Luau shirt, to place in the goodie bag for completing the octopus game.
On to the "Pin the Monkey on the Palm Tree" game. The day care provided this game. It was a huge, laminated palm tree that was hung on the back of the door. Each child was blindfolded and given three laminated monkeys to stick on the tree. They each received a tropical shirt notepad for completing this game and they ran to place them in their "goodie bags." To add to the festivities, Mr. Christopher turned up the music and pretended to surf and had the children going through the motions of a surfer. This was so cute and there were some great photo ops for the parents at this time. He then gave all the kids a miniature surfboard keychain for their bags.
Next we played pass the coconut (similar to hot potato). Except that each time the music stopped, and someone was "out", they were able to choose an inflatable beach ball (printed with hibiscus flowers) and add it to their goodie bags, until each child had a ball. And what luau would be complete without a LIMBO? The kids thought Mr. Christopher was crazy when he started this, and they easily walked under the pole at first. They had a lot of fun lining up repeatedly, and going under the pole again and again. Many giggles and laughs for this game!
And, for their goodie bag, the children each received "day at the beach stickers" where they could create a beach scene using the paper with a picture of the ocean and beach, and a sheet of stickers that were people, sand toys, etc. (Oriental Trading). WOW! They were hungry and ready for lunch by this time. The food table was covered with a green vinyl table cloth (it looked as though it was made of palm leaves. I had purchased it at Target). In the center of the table was a honeycomb tissue pineapple, and the table was sprinkled with palm tree confetti.
Each child had a placemat that we made ahead of time. This was simply an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper. The page was printed with the silhouette of a beach scene (the palm tree came halfway up the left side of the page), the word "ALOHA" scattered in the top, left corner using colorful stickers (also used some small, flower stickers here). Printed in the lower left corner, in a cute, colorful, floral font (found on the internet) were the words "Welcome Summer Luau; Mr. Christopher's Room", and the date . Just above that was a picture of the child (collected earlier in the week from the parents). The entire thing was laminated for use as a placemat and a nice little keepsake. The plates were Hawaiian shirts for the boys and Flip Flops for the girls (purchased for 59 cents each at Big Lots).
The place setting was completed with bright napkins in the colors of pink and yellow, coconut-shaped cups that had straws with tiny honeycomb tissue palm trees and parrots glued onto them, and a knife, fork and spoon of various colors including pink, yellow and green. The utensils had shapes on the handle that were flamingos, hula girls, and palm trees. These were adorable, and after they finished the meal, we washed them so the children could each have the plate, cups and utensils as keepsakes as well. Each parent had been asked to bring a Hawaiian-themed lunch item. THIS WAS GREAT!
The children feasted on ham baked with pineapple (which had been cubed into child-sized bites), multi-colored goldfish crackers, a tray of vegetables (decorated with tiny paper umbrellas, and silk flowers), and Hawaiian Wedding cake (decorated with small, plastic palm tree picks), and Hawaiian Punch. The parents had as much fun as the children at this party. There were many small prizes for the children to take home (thanks mostly to Oriental Trading), and the kids were disappointed the next day when they arrived and there were no decorations in the room!
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