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Hawaiian Luau Party For Kids:  


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Aloha!!  Some Hawaiian fun at your child's next birthday party!


Check out HELPFUL HINTS before starting your party planning!


Suggested ages 4-14+ (depending on your child and friends)

Party options may need to be reduced for or modified to fit your specific time frame and age group.


This party was planned for 6 year old girl and had boys and girls at various ages.  It was not a sleep over though could easily be one. (Option listed below).  Can have kids come in beach attire.  Be sure to include it on the invitation.  For Girls, grass skirts and bathing suits or tank top and for boys I had "pirate" theme..with bandannas and eye patches)



Full descriptions of activities are listed below...






  1. Hawaiian Greeting (girls-Lei and grass skirt--to put on or to make.  Boys-swim trunks, floral shirt or pirate bandanna) (5-30 min depending if you choose to make items)
  2. Practice Hula Hoop (play Hawaiian Music--see choices below)(10-15 min)
  3. Hula Hoop contests (15-20 min)
  4. Beach Ball Activities (15+min)
  5. Seashell dig (optional-weather or sand permitting) (15 min)
  6. Pass the Coconut and/or Coconut Relays(15 min)
  7. Musical Beach Towels (15 min)
  8. Beach Towel Surfing (5 min-photo op) (optional)
  9. Eat dinner/clean up (optional)
  10. Sand Art Craft (15-20 min)
  11. Learn to Hula video (15 min-or longer) (optional)
  12. Open presents/dessert
  13. Tacky Tourist Relay (optional) (20 min)
  14. Sleep over option--Spread out sleeping bags/Dance to Hawaiian Music (10 min+) (optional)
  15. Watch movie (1.5-2 hrs) (optional)
  16. Get ready for bed
  17. Put in last movie (optional)

*Tie dye option see below.




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Hawaiian Luau Party Descriptions:


Hawaiian Greeting:

Prep: Decide if you want to make or order grass skirts and leis (or skip that option)


Grass Skirts:


Ordering Option: Oriental trading has grass skirts... though as a cost cutting yet fun option is to purchase the Hibiscus Table Skirt and cut it into appropriate lengths for each of your guests.


Prep for Table Skirt option: Table skirts, clear packing tape, Velcro dots or strips, good scissors or utility knife.  Pre-order early!  The skirt length is about 9 ft long.  So measure your own child to estimate size of guests for how many skirts you will need. (Some boys might like to wear a grass skirt but none of the boys at our party made that choice!) Order skirt(s) early and allow time to arrive.    When table skirts arrive measure approximately the width of your birthday child and then cut sections of the skirt for each guest. Use tape to hold the ends together around the ends of the waist band to keep the ends from unraveling.  Can attach Velcro to ends ahead or wait as guests arrive to match size more appropriately.


Making Skirt option: Check out some of these options. FamilyFun: Hawaiian Grass Skirt or WikiHow: Make a Grass Skirt  Be sure to include the materials on your shopping list if you choose this option!  (You can make these ahead or use this as a craft for the kids--best suited for older kids if choosing this option)



LEIS: Purchase or make  


Ordering or Purchasing:  Party Stores and online sources sells leis in bulk in varying styles.  Choose your options remembering to keep the cost in mind. If you want to make this their take home gift...then splurge a bit more.  


Making Option: FamilyFun: Lei or WikiHow: Make a Paper Lei


I have to be honest... I have done with the lei's both by buying and by making.  If $ money is not a big issue, I prefer to buy them usually the cheapest style.  For older kid guests, you can have the kids cut the flowers out for a craft. Depending on the size of your guest list--for younger kids, it is a lot of work to cut out all the flowers needed unless you have access to a Ellison Machine or some kind of stencil cutter or lots of friends with scissors--but it does make a fun and cute craft!



Hula Hoop Practice:

Prep: Hula Hoops in various sizes.  (Can purchase one for each guest or have some for them to share.  You can borrow from friends for this as well!)  You will need Hawaiian Music


Have the kids practice various kinds of Hula Hoop-ing.  Make a list to have them practice--around the hips, leg, arm, neck; rolling it along the ground by pushing and running, make up a creative hula hoop trick of your own!



Hula Hoop Contest(s):

Prep: Hula hoops, teams


Have at least one hula hoop per team.  Divide guests into teams or let them decide teams.  Decide on ahead of time or "wing" what you want them to do with the hula hoops.  


Suggestions include:  


Hula Hoop Relays:




Beach Ball Activities:

Prep: Giant Beach ball or standard size beach balls or mini beach balls (Try online or super-size type stores.) The following are options based on the type of activity you choose: bed sheet, beach towels or volleyball/badminton net or a string across an open space.


If you are fortunate enough to find a Giant Beach Ball...this will provide hours of entertainment long after your party is done!  Can use as a volleyball...with or without a net.  Regular beach balls can also be used as a volley ball (with or without net) or can use a big sheet to bounce beach balls (like those parachute activities)...mini beach balls are good for this too.  Can also use beach towels between fewer number of kids.


Truly fun for all age levels! Consider your age group, where you are planning to have your party and decide on your game!



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Seashell Dig: (optional)

Prep:  Sandbox Needed (This a kind of important to the DIG part).  Seashells bought or from a collection.  Online craft resources sell mini painted seashells for another option.


Bury the shells in the sand box.  This is a great filler activity between games or just for fun.  Best with younger kids.  Can also use this as a station.  (Could also do this as a buried treasure activity...bury "jewels" from a craft store)



Pass the Coconut/Coconut Relays:  

Prep: Need two real coconuts.  Check in grocery store produce section.  They usually sell the smaller variety. Hawaiian Music. (Be sure to play it in an area that can hear the music or you can bring the music to the area.)


Pass the Coconut: Guests sit in a circle and pass the coconut like HOT POTATO.  Play music (Hawaiian would be optimal).  Traditional practices have the player be out if they are stuck with the coconut but you can play a that they are out for a round or have to sit in the middle for a round and then get back in.


Coconut Relays:  Have the guests stand in two lines.  Everyone can raise their hand when they are done.


Suggested relays:



Special Note: I am a strong believer in winning for fun or "bragging rights" and not for prizes...but choose as you see fit for your party.



Musical Beach Towels: (optional)

Prep: Beach towels (Borrow or have guests bring a towel--Consider you guests...keep in mind that younger guests might not enjoy others stepping on THEIR towel...if you catch my idea.) Hawaiian Music


Have the guests lay out towels in a circle. Play Hawaiian Music.  Play like Musical Chairs.



Beach Towel Surfing: (optional)

Prep: Beach towels, Music--Wipe Out or Surfin' USA or Surfin' Safari


Have the guests lay out towels. Play Hawaiian Music.  Play like Musical Chairs.



Optimal time for dinner or cake/dessert (optional)



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Sand Art Craft


For Younger ages see FamilyFun Sand Art (says it is for toddlers but would be fun at really any age)


For Older ages make sand art bottles (Online--search SAND ART for ideas or kits or shop craft stores for kits) or make your own with these instructions


Prep:  Select your craft and add items to your shopping list. Need color sand, sand kit or bottles, spoons, scissors, disposable plastic table cloth for table and floor (or newspaper), Sharpie marker to label child's art.


Set up an area to assemble the sand art.  Outside might work best but if you have a garage or basement you could lay down newspaper or a disposable plastic table cloth.  Using helpers might be a good idea for ages 8 and under.  Let the kids create their master pieces.



Learn to Hula Video (optional)

Prep:  Rent a "Learn to Hula" video from a video store or library or borrow from someone


Purchase options include: Dances of Tahiti for Children, Hula for Children


This is an option that could be used while the kids are playing some free play and you can be getting some prep work done for the next event, for dinner, dessert or presents.



Optimal time for dinner or cake/dessert or presents. (optional)


Tacky Tourist Relay(optional)

Prep:  Select items of clothing for 2 teams.  You can use your imagination.  Assemble costumes into two tubs.  Suggestions include: Hawaiian men's shirts, grass skirts, bikini tops, big hats, big sunglasses, Bermuda shorts, lots of leis, kiddie floats, etc.


Follow the directions for the Tacky Tourist Relay.  (Variations are provided so read through to decide what is appropriate for your group ahead of time.)


Tacky Tourist Relay Version 1
Put together two sets of "tourist gear" containing items like a beach hat, sunglasses, lei, hula skirt, shorts, aloha shirt or muumuu, flip flops, snorkel fins and snorkel, pail and shovel, camera on a strap, etc. Each set of tourist gear needs to have similar, if not exactly the same items.

Have your guests divide into two teams. For this relay all team members begin at a start/finish line. One at a time each team has a member run to the pile of tourist gear, put on one item then run back to the start/finish line.  Then he/she will pass all the items he/she is wearing to the next awaiting team member. After the tourist gear is on the new team member, that new person now runs down to the pile of tourist gear and puts on another item, runs back to the start/finish line and pass off all their tourist gear to the next awaiting team member. Each person takes a turn in the relay.  


The first team wearing ALL the tourist gear or the number of items  that there are members of the team (i.e. 8 relay members= 8 items of tourist gear) crosses the start /finish line wins the relay.


This is a great game to take fun photos of your luau guests!!!



Tacky Tourist Relay Version 2

Put together two sets of "tourist gear" containing items like a beach hat, sunglasses, lei, hula skirt, shorts, aloha shirt or muumuu, flip flops, snorkel fins and snorkel, pail and shovel, camera on a strap, swimming tube or kiddy float ring, etc.

Each set of tourist gear needs to have similar if not exactly the same items.


Put a chair, cone or some type of marker several yards from the start finish line which everyone will need to run around.

Have your guests divide into two teams. For this relay all team members begin at a start/finish line along with the pile of tourist gear.


At the start the first player for each team puts on ALL of the tacky tourist gear then runs down to and round the marker with all the gear on then back to the start finish line where they take off all the tourist gear and pass it to player 2. Once player 2 has on all of the gear, they run down to the marker and back to the start/finish line. Player 2 will pass it on to player 3, etc. Each player must put on all the gear and run around the marker.


The first team to have all their last team member cross the finish line wins! Another fun version... Take lots of photos!




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Tie Dye Shirt Making Option:

This was a suggestion from a reader. Thanks!! Sounds like a lot of fun.  I have done tie dye making before, for this, I suggest a smaller group and additional adult helper or best done for supervised teenagers. Have everything ready and outside if at all possible.  It will be a messy endeavor.  Have separate labeled, seal-able zip baggies for the wet items to go home.  Need quite a few buckets and a table covered with plastic disposable cloth.  See instructions link here.


Sleep over Option: (optional)

Prep:  Decide on the appropriateness of a sleep over for the party you are having and the age of kids or mix.  Be sure to include on the invitation that it is a sleep over and what will be needed for the sleep over (particularly if it is the first for some).


Get sleeping bag positions ready and pj's on for movie.  Popcorn and drinks.  Play Hawaiian music to dance to entertain as they will finish at different times.


Movie Choices:  Aloha Scooby, Lilo and Stitch, Finding Nemo, Shark Tale or your favorite. For older kids choices could include some oldies Gidget Goes Hawaiian.  Be sure to select a movie that is appropriate for your age group.


It is a good idea to preview the movie and/or check out sites like commonsensemedia.org or Rotten Tomatoes or others for reviews about movies before allowing guests to see it at your party.  Please consider all guests before showing a movie to assure age-appropriateness for all.


AM Option:


Towel surfing to Hawaiian music. Any games that the kids really enjoyed the day before.


Hawaiian MUSIC Suggestions:

Prep:  Download, borrow from friends or library, or purchase a Hawaiian themed music CD


Hawaii Five-O music


Beach Boys


Wipe Out



This party agenda can be used as a "guide".  Activities may be omitted or rearranged.  Some activities might be more popular with the kids, so feel free to adjust based on child interest level.  Kids also like to add in games that they have learned or know.  This is totally okay to allow kid-run activities at 7-14 years old!


If you want to have a dinner as portion of the evening festivities... I would recommend choosing a time while the kids are engaged in a game that can be done by themselves and having an easy meal with the bulk of the prep done ahead.


Note: A good party always has plenty to do to keep the kids engaged...so plan more as a fail-safe...not enough to do can be SCARY!  Also, if the guests are having fun with one activity, no need to try to rush them through something just because you have more planned.  Use their interest level as your guide.



Related Links:


Amazing Moms Luau Party


Birthday Party Ideas Luau party


Family Fun-Hawaiian Crafts


Dltk Kids Hawaiian crafts












Tie Dye Shirt making instructions

Tell me what you think... feedback always appreciated... simplefunkidparties



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