by Molena Cannon
((Macon, GA USA))
Theme parties are excellent at this age. On my daughters 5th birthday I gave her a Luau themed party.
We had the party poolside and played Hawaiian style music for ambience. It is always easy to find tropical type decorations. Tiki torches are a must. Tableclothes with floral patterns are easy to find. You don't have to get these from a party store.
We had 2 tables set up for food. On one table, the centerpiece was a whole pineapple on a platter with slices placed neatly around it. I carefully cracked a couple of fresh coconuts and used the outer shell to hold macadamia nuts. I served other tropical fruits such as mango and guava to complement the pineapple and coconut.
Our Luau Party Volcano Cake
I used chocolate cake mix baked in a dome shaped mixing bowl to make a volcano cake. I then prepared a hard candy mixture by boiling 1/2 cup light Karo syrup, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup water and red food coloring to 295 degrees. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can crush red hard candy and melt it over heat. Let it cool for about 2 minutes while you line a cookie sheet with foil. Now you can drizzle the mixture onto the foil in random shapes that resemble spews. Let this completely cool and you can carefully remove the candy and insert the pieces into the cake to resemble lava spraying out of the top and running down the sides.
Luau Party Favours
Since the party was for girls, we made our own flower leis. Prepare the needed items and let the girls design their own. I cut a handful of yarn in long enough lengths for girls this age. Next, I cut simple, random flower shapes from construction paper. I used a whole punch to put a single hole in the center of each. Next I cut various colored straws into 1 inch lengths. These are used to separate the flower shapes. I set up a small table with these items. Each girl took a piece of string and alternated paper flowers and straw spacers. When they were done, I simply tied them up and they had created their own party favor.
You can let your imagination run wild with this theme. It's a perfect theme for summer but could also be used for a winter birthday party. Sometimes, this is just the kind of theme party to break up the monotony during the cold months. You can always bring the tropical spirit indoors and brighten up those dreary winter months.
I did not offer any other activities other than making the leis at our Luau party. Since this was poolside, I felt that one project would probably be enough. I was pleased with the results. At this young age, kids don't like to have too many organized activities at parties, they seem to get bored if you offer too many.