The Tropical Luau Party -  Activites


Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageLei Greeting Table

Lei and Greeting Table:  As guests arrived they were greeted with silk neck and ankle leis, grass skirts, beachcomber hats, and/or silk flowers for the hair.  Each guest was given a nametag made from card stock with a floral or shell sticker partially trimmed out.  Little Children got their nametags on their backs.  The nametag was personalized with their Hawaiian name and their Island title.  English names can be translated into Hawaiian at  Many of the guests were helping with some aspect of the party, so their Island title reflected that. 

For example:  Lolike -Ohana Lei girl (greeter), Elenola – Island Photographer, Mikala – Island Video Production Manger, Keiko – Goddess of Island Nectars (bartender), Keoni – Island Limbo King, Kalika – Island Witch Doctor, Kala – Island Grill Master, Wikolia – Tropical Temptress of Pineapple Bowling, and of course my 2 year old, Makaio – Little Volcano. 

Above the table was a large magenta poster with the title "Hawaiian Names and Phrases" this told people how to pronounce their Hawaiian name and gave them about 30 common Hawaiian phrases also found on the website  This poster was created using the same Monotype Corsiva font.  The poster was then decorated with silk flowers hot glued in place to give a 3-D appeal.  There was also a hula girl cut out next to this poster. 

At the greeting table we had a coffee table book with aerial pictures of Hawaii entitled "Above Hawaii".  We also had my son's photo albums since birth and his web site loaded on a laptop for people to view.  Guests had a mini beach ball labeled with their name for our "tidal wave" game later.  Then they each got three mini tropical colored clothespins to keep or lose based on their ability to only use people's Hawaiian names.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageSand, Leis and the Hula

A sandbox (a kiddie swimming pool with sand borrowed from the beach)and shovels, buckets, and sandcastle molds to go with it, enough for party guests to share; 3 dozen fake colorful flowers, tons of beads, and 2 rolls of wire; 3 white scallop shells and one paintbrush per guest, and acrylic paints; am accurate instructional manual or video on the Hula dance; sheets of green tissue paper, and one elastic band per guest; several 5 foot cardboard tubes and green construction paper; old Hawaiian records; balloons and streamers; a camera with loads of film.  

Pair off the kids and set up the sandbox into partial lots for each team. Give the kids molds, shovels, pails, and little toys and objects in which to decorate their royal sandy creations. Take pictures of each castle and it's builder, then of all the builders together. Award everyone a small prize, like a floral patterned bandana or a lollipop, for their work.    Time for creative nourishment!

Have the party-going girls gather around a table or sit on the porch and indulge in a festive craft! Give them each a wreath of wire the size of their head and another to go around their necks. Then supply fake flowers of plastic or cloth and interesting beads and let them loose to create! Give them fashionable hints and safety tips on how to make the perfect LUAU headpieces and leis, but it's their own genius that will turn the wire wreaths, flowers, and beads into works of art. Another photo op!  

Learning can be fun! Get out the Hula instructional piece and let the children soak it up! Play the important parts of the video over many times so the guests can really try to learn the dance, while having a ball and building memories at the same time! Then, have everyone staple the green tissue paper to a fitting elastic band and hula around in their grass skirts! Take lots of photos, even if your subjects don't know they're being caught on film! That's the best part...let them be themselves in the LUAU pictures and momentos!  

Then get the white scallops and paint stuff out. Set up a craft area covered with newspaper and give the girls free reign to paint the shells over in any way they want! Remember, lots of pictures! Messy fingers and hard-at-work happy girls are great photo subjects.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageLei Making, Bingo & Scrapbooks

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  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.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageTribal Mask

Craft: Tribal Masks Precut eyes & mouth out of Brown Foam Sheets, attach elastic string to tie, decorate with Paints, Glue, Glitter & Feathers.

Flower Leis Put elastic string, cut Straws, pre-cut paper or foam shaped Flowers & Beads in a baggie. (Guests can make leis at party or take home as a favor.)

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageShell Anklet

We then moved to the craft activity of making shell anklets, which even the boys enjoyed.

I had purchased two sheets of felt (about 25 cents each) and cut them into 1/2 inch strips, and I attached a velcro fastener to each end so they could close up and be worn as an anklet.

I bought tiny multi-colored shells and the kids simply glued on the shells of their choice to their anklet (about 7 or 8 shells per anklet).

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageCup Decoration Craft

After a tiring array of games outside, we went inside and did some crafts. The first was we took some plastic mugs (from Card and Party Factory) and had the girls decorate them with fabric paint and paint pens.

After they dried we would later use these to drink strawberry daiquiris and eat popcorn when we watched a movie. We also made hemp bracelets. They also decorated their goodie bags.

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageLearn the Hula

Then we learned how to hula.  I had gone to our local library and checked out two videos about hula.  The first one is called Be a Hula Girl and is the better one.  The second I found is called Hula for Children. 

The Be a Hula Girl goes through the hand motions with the traditional song "Pearly Shells" with an adult and then with kids.  The kids in the video were a little too young for the girls, but the intruction was the best.  The girls had fun learning the way to do a real Hula instead of simply shaking your hips (there's a little of that too in the video).

Back to the Main Tropical Luau PageHibiscus Paper Flowers

After dinner we made tissue paper hibiscus flowers.  I did some research on the internet and found that using 4 to 6 8" circles, folding in fourths, cutting a pattern along the edge, poking a hole in the middle and wrapping a piece of pipe cleaner around the base made the prettiest most "hibiscus-like" flower. 

The kids made their own edges using various craft scissors.  I had purchased some of those french hair clips so that the kids could wrap the end of the stem through the hole and make flower hair clips. 

Some kept the stems really long and made flower bracelets.  They were instructed to make one flower for Robin and then as many as they wanted to for themselves.


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