Monday, November 8, 2010
Living Room Luau
Hula dancers and fire dancers: You and your kids
Garbage bags: To make "grass" skirts
Construction paper: In tropical floral colors like pink, red and orange
A bunch of plastic straws: For the lei. But save some for the cocktails!
Dental floss or yarn: To string the lei on
Hawaiian music: We like Elvis's classic "Blue Hawaii". Hail to the King!
Plastic zipper bag: The big freezer kind
Traditional centerpiece items: Like ferns, leaves and flowers
Red, orange and yellow tissue paper: To make some fire
Colorful table cloth
Hawaiian cocktails: Pina coladas and mai tais.
Hawaiian Food: You can make your spread as simple as a few plates of cut up pineapple and papaya or go all out with some authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Waikiki meatballs anyone?
The first thing that happens when you get to Hawaii is you get leid! So gather up the construction paper, straws and floss or yarn and have the kids create paper leis.
First, help your kids draw several 3-inch diameter flowers on the construction paper.
Then help them cut the flowers out and poke a hole in the center of each flower.
Cut two straws up into 2-inch pieces.
Cut 2-foot pieces of yarn or dental floss (one per luau guest) and have your kids string the lei together, alternating flowers and straws.
When they're finished, help them tie it together.
Next, have them make the requisite grass skirts.
Pick up some large green or tan colored garbage bags. (If black or white is all you have on hand, that's fine too.)
To make each skirt, lay one garbage bag flat on the floor.
Help your kids cut the sealed bottom off.
Then help them cut the bag into 2-inch strips, starting at the bottom of the bag and ending about a foot from the end with the drawstring (or closer for shorter kids).
When the bags are cut, have each person try them on and trim them to the desired length. Most grass skirts are knee length. (You can tell that to your preteen, who insists on hiking the skirt up to her hipbones!)
Tighten the waistband by pulling the drawstring taught, tying it and rolling over the top to hide the drawstring.
When the skirts are finished, crank up the heat and bust out the girl's bikini tops (we draw the line at coconut shells). Boys can put on cool, colorful tee-shirts and Bermuda shorts if the idea of wearing a skirt freaks them out.
If you have any aspiring fire dancers in the family, break out the colored tissue paper. Shred it into long thin strips and tape it together at one end to make a "flame." Your kids can wave it around during their fire dance.
Traditional luau meals were eaten on mats on the floor. So clear out the coffee table and lay down a colorful table cloth.
Your kids can then create a centerpiece out of ferns, leaves and flowers.
Help the kids prepare food for the luau either by slicing up a pineapple or slicing, dicing, frying and baking up a whole feast, like kahlua pork sandwiches and Waikiki meatballs.
When the food is ready, lay it out on platters on the floor.
Finally, the moment you've been waiting for! Mix up some Hawaiian cocktails like Orange-Pineapple Hawaiian Punch, Pina Coladas and Mai Tais. Don't forget the little drink umbrellas, and settle down for the feast.
Pop in some Hawaiian music and encourage your kids to perform a hula dance! Have the boys grab their "flames" and join in with some