Put the cold weather blues behind you and get ready for a day of sand and surf. Start by setting up a beautiful island paradise: Lay down beach towels and use flowers, colourful streamers and seashells to create an idyllic oasis. Turn up the thermostat and tell kids to come in beachwear.
As guests arrive, greet each of them with a grass skirt and let them make their own lei. Kick off the festivities with a hula dancing lesson. You can find lots of videos online; choose an age-appropriate routine to teach the kids. Other fun games include a hula-hooping contest, “beach” volleyball (with a balloon), and a creative indoor version of “Marco Polo” using a blindfold.
For something artsy, purchase colourful sand (available at craft stores) and have the kids use funnels to make cool designs in bottles by layering the different colours. Or, let them “paint” a picture with white glue: sprinkle the sand over the glue, let dry and seal with hairspray.
Tropical treats Serve fruit that will remind kids of the summer. Cut it up into fun shapes using cookie cutters, or slide them onto a skewer to make kebabs. Or, cube them and let kids mix up a salad.
Sandy snacks Frost cupcakes with white icing. Sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers over them as “sand.” Lay a dried fruit strip down as the towel. Stick a teddy graham on the strip with a dab of icing.
Chill out Combine ice and fruit in a blender to make smoothies. Serve in plastic cups: Top with whipped cream, a cherry and a cocktail umbrella. Or, purée the fruit and freeze in ice-pop moulds to make your own popsicles.
Loot Fill toy sand buckets with all the tools kids need to have some serious beach fun, like shovels, rakes, water squirters and bubbles. Don't forget the sunscreen!
A version of this article appeared in our November 2012 issue with the headline "Hawaiian party" (p.22). For more great party themes, visit our Celebrations page!