Adults and children can enjoy shell crafts of many types. Children can dye shell macaroni and string it to make necklaces and bracelets to wear. All ages might glue tiny shells bought at the craft store on magnets, plain picture frames, around the edges of small mirrors, and on votive candleholders.
If you are not at the beach, lay out a large plastic cloth or tarp and place on it a child’s wading pool filled with clean play sand. Have pitchers of water and children’s sand pails, shovels and castle-building forms. Your guests can be encouraged to build castles on their own and someone should be appointed to take pictures of the constructions. You can also have teams competing in a sandcastle-building contest if you are at the beach or have more than one sand pool. Make certain to take pictures!
Set up your croquet course with wickets, using a coconut as your ball. If you break your coconut, you’re out, so think twice about “sending” your opponent’s ball into the neighbor’s yard. For nighttime play, put candles next to each wicket.
If you trust party guests to safely roll tropical fruits around your house after a few margaritas, then this is the game for you! Use pineapples or empty cans as pins, large to medium coconuts as the ball, and bowl from 8-10 feet away.
This game is played similar to “hot potato”. As everyone sits in a circle, luau music is played. The coconut is then passed from one to the next and as soon as the music stops, the person holding the coconut leaves the circle. The last person to remain wins.
This is an ancient Hawaiian game, similar to horseshoes. The aim is to set up a post or stick on the ground, everyone picks up a stone to throw, and tries to hit the post. The person who hits or whose stone is closest to the post wins.
To us, nothing says “Tropical Party” quite like beating the stuffing out of a papier-mâché donkey or other tropical shape dangling from a tree branch. If your grown-up friends aren’t so eager to gobble down handfuls of miniature candy bars, then take a different approach to packing your piñata.
Remind you of a school science project? But this is always fun—especially since the Hawaiian Islands are built on volcanic islands. You could have a volcano already constructed or a volcano cake made, and just unveil it for a scheduled eruption for everyone to watch. Another option is to have a group activity or team relay race in which the guests actually build, with air-drying clay, their own volcanoes around a plastic cup, and then create an eruption with baking soda and vinegar. Be sure to take pictures of this creative endeavor!
If your party is at the beach or poolside, make swimming one of your party activities. Water games or races can be played for fun. Try a team relay race with guests sitting in inner-tubes to simulate canoes (or on flat floats to simulate surfboards) and paddling to the finish line.
Canoeing or Kayaking
If your party is at the beach or poolside, you might be able to offer canoeing or kayaking for your guests if you can borrow or rent some boats. You might also be able to rent or buy small one-person inflatable rafts and do team relay races in the water as your guests practice the paddling skills Hawaiian fishermen have used for centuries.
This is a little race that will leave guests tripping all over themselves. Have the contestants line up in front of coconuts on the ground. They each must try to pick up a coconut with their knees and hold it between their legs as they waddle to a predetermined finish line. Anyone who drops his or her coconut must pick it back up in order to continue onward. The first guest to the finish line with his/her coconut is the winner.
Blind “Lei Me” Game
Get all the couples in the party together, and blindfold one member of each couple, while having their partners form a circle around them (so no one wanders away from the game by accident). Each of the blindfolded players has a lei, and each must wander slowly around the inside of the circle feeling for his/her partner. Partners can’t help by talking or giving a sign. When the player thinks he/she has found his/her partner, the player places the lei over the other person’s head. When everyone has been “lei’d,” tell the players to take off their blindfolds, and see who they’ve found. This can be done again with the other partner.
Blow Pipe Shooting Contest
Are you good at darts? How about blow darts? In this game, five contestants will be given blowpipes with bamboo sticks, with balloons as targets. The one that strikes the most number of balloons within a specified time wins the prize. A mock-up monkey can also be used for your target, different scores being written on its body. For example, if a guest hits the chest, he/she wins ten points. If the player hits the knee, that’s a harder area to hit, so make it 50 points and so on.
Put a Shot
You’ve heard of “Shot Put” the track and field event, well, this game is called “Put a Shot”! First pour one-third of a glass of water into each balloon. Then blow up the balloons to an equal size. Draw 1.5-inch diameter circles on the ground with the chalk. Each balloon is “a shot.” The player must “put a shot” as far as possible. The player who puts “a shot” the farthest is the winner. You might want to play this game in couples, as the men have the advantage with their throwing skills. This way both males and females get a chance to win.
Monkey want a banana? Here is a funny feeding game to play. You need five couples to participate. The guys will blindfold their female partners, each of whom is holding a long banana in her hand. When the music starts, she is required to turn a couple of rounds. Make sure everyone is paying attention now! Once music stops, the girl will stop and attempt to feed the banana to the guy, who will be squatting like a monkey. The one with the banana in his mouth will be declared the winner.
You can purchase or create your own large thematic cardboard cut-outs your guests can pose behind. Be sure to have plenty of film to capture the funny pictures to send to all your guests!