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Fun Hawaiian Games & Activities

author image Linda Donahue
I teach belly dance classes and perform with a dance troupe. I also teach tai chi classes. I practice empty hand forms as well as weapon forms and have competed in tai chi competitions, earning a gold and three silver medals. I have also judged at tai chi tournaments. As an Air Force Brat, I grew up traveling and have lived overseas in Okinawa. I taught AP and IB computer science for 18 years and designed a CS III course that was the first (and to my knowledge) the only CS III course to receive Texas State accreditation.
Fun Hawaiian Games & Activities
A girl wearing a lei and holding a balloon. Photo Credit: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images

If you're planning a party and want an Hawaiian theme, there are many fun games and activities you can engage in. The theme is the perfect setting for an outdoor party with or without a pool. And nighttime, after the heat of the day has passed, works just as well as having your party under the sun. Traditionally, luaus are held at night anyway.

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Host a Luau

Perhaps the most obvious Hawaiian activity you can do is to host a luau. To do it right, you'd have to make a pit and roast your pig outdoors, but this can be adapted to city life by simply serving your main course on a platter. Try serving up authentic dishes, such as poi, and certainly have plenty of fresh pineapple, mango and guava. Decorate with palm fronds and use grass skirting around the edges of tables. To go all out, add fake palm trees. And if hosting the party outside, see about adding a sprinkling of sand to the patio. Tiki lights and a few decorative idols put on the finishing touches. For atmosphere, encourage your guests to come in Hawaiian shirts, sarongs and beach wear.

Make Hawaiian Leis

Have your guests make their own leis. The process is no more complicated than stringing popcorn garland. For each lei, you'll need about 50 flowers. If you don't want to use real flowers, use silk flowers. Give each person a sewing needle, long enough to go through the flower, and about 60 inches of thread. For a sturdy lei, use dental floss. Simply thread the needle and start stringing the flowers. Besides flowers, shells (with holes in them) can also be threaded onto leis. Guests may wish to place shells (or beads) between the flowers for spacing. Once the flowers are strung, simply tie together the two ends. Perhaps give out an award for the best lei, for the most unusual and for the person who finished the fastest.

Play Volcano Virgin Toss

This is an easy and fun game to play at any Hawaiian-themed party. All you need is a small trash can, the kind for beside a desk, three small dolls (about 6 inches tall) and some dark fabric. To build your volcano, tuck the dark fabric into the trash can and let it spill over the sides and downward to make the slope of the volcano. If you're creative, add some red glitter glue around the rim and decorate the fabric to look like lava is spilling down from the top. For the game itself, players line up behind a designated tossing point. Each participant gets three chances to toss the dolls into the volcano. Keep count. After everyone has had a turn, all those with a tied highest score go on to compete in round two. The tossing point is moved farther back, and contestants toss again. Each time, those with the highest score compete again, the tossing distance increasing, until there is a single winner.

Learn to Hula

Have a hula. While it's fun to watch a hula, if you can find a girl or several who know how, it's also fun and more engaging for your guests if they learn to hula. If possible, hire someone to come out and give a mini hula lesson. If not, there are videos available on how to hula. But rather than play the video for everyone, take notes and learn a bit yourself before the party so you can take on the role of hula instructor. Perhaps have grass skirts available for participants to wear. If not a grass skirt, have a hip sarong, which is also popular in hula fashion.

Create Hawaiian Names

As your guests arrive, translate their names into Hawaiian equivalents and put these names on their name tags. To translate, all you have to do is follow a few simple letter exchange rules. Hawaiian only uses 13 letters. So if a name contains the letters B, F or P, just use P instead. For the letters C, D, G, J, K, S, T, X or Z use K. For names with L or R, use L. For names with V or W, use W. And for names with a J or Y, use the letter I. Basically, the letters A, E, H, I K, L, M, N, O, P, U and W can remain the same. And if a name ends with a consonant, simply add a vowel to the end. Pick one that sounds nice. Likewise, if a name has two consonants together, place a vowel between them. Now your guests will have Hawaiian names for the evening. And if the guests don't know each other, an ice-breaker activity can be to figure out their real name from the Hawaiian tag.

Play an Hawaiian Game

Play the Hawaiian game ulu maika, which is very similar to playing horseshoes. All you need is a wooden stake for the ground and some stones. Players toss their stones at the stake. The player whose stone lands the closest to the stake scores the point. Continue playing until a player reaches a designated winning score.

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