This past week was full of birthday parties at our house. First was my oldest daughter’s actual 8th birthday (during the week), followed by a family-only party on Friday and a party with her friends on Sunday.
Lacey has known since her party last year that she wanted to have a Luau (or a “hula girl party”, as she calls it) for her 8th birthday. I didn’t do any Luau planning until a couple months before the party just to make sure she wasn’t going to change her mind. 😉 I began searching Pinterest for ideas that I could do. (I’m not super crafty or creative, so I have to steal other people’s ideas that look easy enough for my left-brained self). Haha!
This is just a post showing you what we did. Your luau could be completely different (and would probably be more awesome!). We put a good amount of time into decorating for this party, but not a lot of effort. It was all easy stuff to make! If you are looking for easy, you have come to the right place! Just click on the links to see where I got my ideas.
And I owed a huge thank you to Andy for helping me get all of these decorations up in time. 🙂
First of all, we had a simple “Aloha” sign hanging on the front door so people knew they came to the right place. I forgot to take a picture of this, so here is an image of my document.
We only decorated the dining room and living room since that was where the party would be held. Some things were meant to be outside, but for a party in March in Minnesota, we didn’t know what kind of weather to expect. Luckily, the day ended up to be nice, so we kept the sliding door open so the girls could run in and out of the house.
In the dining room, we decorated it to look like the ocean. There were blue streamers across the ceiling and three jelly fish hanging as well. The jelly fish were made from paper lanterns- I simply taped streamers and ribbon to the bottom and twisted them. Click on the link above to see a more complicated, but cooler looking, jellyfish tutorial. As you can see in one of the pictures, we also had leis and grass skirts for the girls to wear. You could make these, I just bought them from Party City.
The seaweed was just green streamers taped to the wall and twisted. I cut out some fish shapes and taped them to the wall with the seaweed. Sorry for the horrible pic that makes this look florescent.
We had a “Sand Bar” where we put all of the food and drinks. The sign is pretty embarrassingly bad. 😛 I did a really bad job making that because it was a last-minute addition. I printed each part on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and taped them together. Let’s just say I didn’t exactly cut straight, but since it was a party of 5-9 year olds, I decided I didn’t care.
I wasn’t really serving a meal since the party was at 3 o’clock, so we mostly had snacks, beverages and cake. I did cook up some lil’ smokies in the Crock Pot, but I kept them in the kitchen. My cocktail wieners were mixed with my favorite BBQ sauce and pineapple chunks (not fully drained).
At the “Sand Bar” there were watermelon on a stick (less of a sticky mess on hands!), banana dolphin cups, fruit skewers, candy, lemonade, and punch. There were also a couple pineapples for decoration.
The dolphin bananas were cut in half and sitting in a clear cup of blueberries. I used a knife to cut the stems of the bananas open and put a Swedish fish in the “mouth”. The banana dolphins were a combination of the ideas from here and an image I saw on Pinterest with the dolphin sitting in blueberries. Again, I just modified the idea to make it easier.
The “blue ocean” punch was just 2 quarts of blue Kool-Aid, half a 2-liter of Sprite, and 1 cup of pineapple juice. Of course, this was FULL of sugar and the kids loved it.
The pineapple cups started out as just yellow paper cups. I used a brown sharpie to make the marks around the side of the cup. I cut green paper into leaf shapes and hot glued them to the back of the cup.
The fruit skewers were made up of pineapple chunks, red and green grapes, and strawberries. These were a HUGE hit.
I had several mason jars with “sand” and seashells in them scattered around the two rooms. I say “sand” because it was really brown sugar. My daughter already had a collection of shells, so I borrowed those.
We cheated on the cake and ordered a Barbie cake from Target. We just told them to make her dress like a hula skirt, and I thought they did a good job! (However, it was probably not worth $50(?!), so I should have made my own.)
I made a palm tree out of paper so the girls could play “Pin the Coconut on the Palm Tree”. I thought it would be kind of lame, but the girls loved it. Coconuts ended up ALL over the place, including on couch pillows and even on someone’s face. 🙂
So this one didn’t really make sense. (I can admit when I had a bad idea!) It was supposed to be a backdrop to take the girls’ picture in front of, but I didn’t find the bamboo backdrop I was looking for and I sure as heck wasn’t going to make one. I found this fish net, which probably should have had fish in it, but instead it had flowers that were meant to be attached to the bamboo. I put a couple hula hoops there in an unsuccessful attempt to distract people from how stupid it looked. 😉 (This is what happens when I don’t copy other people’s creative ideas.)
Finally, we had a station for the girls to make layered sand bottles to take home with them. You just need bottles (with a cork or stopper of some sort), different colors of sand, and funnels. I didn’t take pictures of completed bottles, so you’ll have to use your imagination. I put these in the girls’ goody bags along with a pair of sunglasses.
We also had some prizes that we gave to the winner of the pin the coconut game and the limbo (which we played outside with the handle of broom that we just unscrewed). We just brought our Bluetooth speaker outside and played a limbo song on repeat. The girls seemed to have a blast!
All around, it was a successful party. We could have used a little more time though. We really rushed from one activity to the next to fit it all into 2 hours. 3 hours would have sufficed. Maybe even 2 and a half.
If you’ve done a luau for kids before, what worked well, and didn’t work well, for you? What activities did you plan for the kids to do?