Create a Hawaiian Costume! Activity
This Hawaiian costume is fun for luaus, Halloween, or playtime! Traditionally made of fresh flowers, nuts, or seashells, Hawaiian leis are a well-known symbol of affection. This homemade version can be easily made using tissue paper and dried pasta. Help your child practice his pattern-making and fine motor skills by making this lei together! Pair the lei with a 'grass' skirt to complete the Hawaiian costume, and get a look that's fresh from the islands.
What You Need:
- Colored tissue paper
- Skewer or other sharp, pointy object
- Dried pasta tubes, such as ziti, penne, or rotelle.
- Green crepe paper
What You Do:
- To make the lei, measure and cut a piece of string long enough to make a necklace. Be sure that it will be able to easily fit over your child's head.
- Help your child cut simple flower shapes, about 2 to 3 inches wide, out of the tissue paper. You'll need a lot, but this should go quickly because the shapes don't have to be exact or intricate.
- Ask your child to make piles of the tissue flowers. Encourage her to do it as she pleases, and let her mix colors if she wants.
- Take the piles and squeeze the bottom in the center to create the illusion of flower petals. You also might want to slightly crumple the paper.
- Then take a skewer and poke a hole in the bottom of each flower.
- Have your child string the flowers on with a pasta tube between each one.
- When the string is full, tie the ends together in a knot and place it around her neck to show off!
- To make the grass skirt, cut a piece of string that's long enough to tie around your child's waist.
- Cut strips of green crepe paper that measure from your child's waist to the floor, and are no more than 3 inches wide. Cut enough to go around her entire waist.
- Fold the top of each strip over the string and staple it closed. Do this until the string is full of green strips all the way around.
- Then tie the string around your child's waist to complete her Hawaiian costume. Put some pineapple juice in a colorful cup, and have yourself a mini-luau!
Hannah Boyd has two young children.