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.