Hawaiian Party

Appropriate age: 9-12

My eldest daughter Abby has her birthday in August. Although we are not guaranteed good weather in Ireland in the summer months, I’d still like to chance it. Last year she wanted a Hawaiian party. And we were so lucky to have the perfect day for it with 24 degrees and sunshine! We stocked up on flower chains for the girls and sunglasses for the boys from the euro shop, hung up balloons and bunting in the garden, blew up and filled the paddling pool and made a playlist with some nice summery songs (Waka Waka by Shakira, the tide is high by Blondie, Mambo no 5 by Lou Bega, Macarena, Holiday, etc). We also looked up the names of all the guests in Hawaiian at the following site: http://www.alohafriends.com/name.html. We cut out little fish from tinfoil and wrote the name on it and attached it with a ribbon to a cocktail glass. Everybody was asked to come in swimming suit and to bring a bath towel. We made fruit juice cocktails by mixing different fruit juices with some sparkling water.The palm tree straws topped it all off …


When the guests arrived the got a flower chain/ singlasses and a cocktail. After everybody had arrived and enjoyed a drink we started our first activity: limbo dancing. Accompanied by a lot of loud music, two people held a piece of rope and all the kids tried to go under it, without touching it, while bending backwards. Especially the bending backward seemed quite tricky for most of the kids but they had a great laugh.

After this we had a water balloon fight. Something that all kids love. It was a lot of work to get them all filled and the game was over very soon, but definitely worth the effort.

For the next game we got our bath towels out. We played ‘musical bath towels’, the same game as musical chairs, but using bath towels instead of chairs. All the bath towels, bar one, were placed side by side on the grass, the kids had to dance around them and when the music stopped, whoever did not have a towel was out of the game …

We were all very hungry after these games and all tucked into a dinner of burgers and hot dogs. The birthday cake was home made, I used the recipe by Lorraine Pascale of the ‘I can’t believe you made that cake’, and topped it of with chocolate flowers, which I bought in Holland. The recipe for this cake can be found here.

Birthday cake for Hawaiian party

Birthday cake for Hawaiian party

We had made some colourful goodie bags with crepe paper and bendy straws and we had put the into a bucket.

Goodie bags Hawaiian party

Goodie bags Hawaiian party

We attached a long rope to the handle of the bucket. We threw the rope over a high branch of a tree. We lifted the bucket up high and attached a bucket full of of water at the other end of the rope, this part was touching the ground. The task was to empty the bucket of water with plastic cups, which the kids had to empty in the paddling pool. One per child. The less water was in the bucket the more it rose up and brought the other bucket with the goodie bags down. I got the idea of the ‘I’m a celebrity … get me out of here’ program …

We finished the day with a disco in the paddling pool. The kids had a ball!

Shopping list (for 10 children)

1.Flower chains, I got 4 for €3,-, I needed 8 for the girls: €6,- and 2 pairs of sunglasses for the boys: €4,-.

2.Plastic cocktail glasses from the 2 euro shop: 4 for €2,-. Total: €6,-

3. Straws from the 2 euro shop with palm trees: €2,-

4.Water balloons: 2 euro shop: 2 packets: €4,-

5. Burgers, burger buns, hot dogs, some sweets (for the party and the goodie bags) and drinks (juice, water, fruitshoot): €18,-

6. A cake or ingredients for a cake: €10,-

7. Crepe paper and ribbons from the 2 euro shop: €4,-

8. Bendy straws, I found them in Dunnes Stores: about €5,- in total.

Total costs: €59,-


  1. Have the music and playlist ready;
  2. get out a rope or a stick for the limbo dancing.
  3. Fill up the water balloons, take quite a bit of time out for this, it’s very time consuming;
  4. Make the goodie bags and put them into the bucket. Attach the rope to the bucket and another bucket at the other end. Allow for quite a bit of rope in between. Don’t hang the bucket from the tree until after the food has been served. Otherwise the surprise will be gone. When the kids are having food, someone can hang it in the tree and fill the other bucket with water.
  • The kids can help you with:
  1. Fill the paddling pool.
  2. Make the punch/ cocktails. I mixed tropical fruit juice with sparkling water.
  3. Make the name tags for the cocktail glasses: I cut out fold tin foil and stick it together to make it stronger. Cut out a fish shape. Write the Hawaiian name of the child on the fish. Punch a hole into the fish. Stick a ribbon through it and attach it to the glass.