Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Luau for Preschoolers

Ever been to Hawaii? Me neither...but one can always dream and make Hawaii's famous Luau happen in their own paradise. :)

Luau Bingo Preschool
Luau Bingo

Being that it's summertime, I'm having a wee bit of fun and brought in this colorful bingo to the school  shelf. Get your own free cards at Fantasy Jr.. Counters were sand dollars from our own collection. 

Luau Grass Skirt Making
Making a Grass Skirt for a Hula Dancer

Cutting with scissors has improved a lot lately so I'm trying to be consistent by providing fun practices and trying to make it a bit more challenging each time. For this activity, I provided a yellow strip of construction paper (thicker than the paper previously used for Adrian's cutting activities) and asked Adrian to cut on the lines (I drew them on the back). Once that was done, he had to punch flowers in various strips of paper and glue them on top of the skirt to decorate it. Finally, a mini-stapler was used to turn the strip into a skirt. Adrian loved making this skirt. Paper punching was not easy but he really liked it.

Grass Skirt Luau Preschool Craft
Maisy Mouse : ready to attend the Luau!

Luau Lei Making Montessori
Lei Making with the Kui Method

Adrian is still young so I didn't go over all the methods of Lei making but it can get intricate. For most people, a Lei is a Lei, but did you know that these flowery garlands made in Hawaii are usually braided, knotted or sewn instead of simply pierced through as the ones we usually see at Luau parties? Anyhow, Adrian being only 4.5, I went with the simplest way of making a Lei; the Kui method. I bought a pack of silk Na Lei and cut up one of them, enlarged the holes, and provided a long shoelace for stringing the hibiscus flowers on. I also cut up two straws to use as spacers.

Luau Lei Sporting
Adrian Proudly Sporting his Lei

Tweezing Dried Orchids
Tweezing Dried Orchids with Tweezers

My beautiful Phalaenopsis Orchid has been "shedding" lately. I must have picked up seven flowers on the floor one morning (thank goodness this gorgeous plant always makes more flowers before losing some!). After picking them up, I pressed them and kept them for this activity. Tweezing activities are fun but easier for Adrian. I thought that these paper-thin and fragile flowers would complicate  things a bit bit nope... 

Painted Ki'i Clay
Art: Carving a Ki'i out of Clay

Although wood and stone are usually used for these statues, there was no way, I was going to let Adrian carve either of those materials! :) After giving it much thought, I figured clay would be a good replacement for a miniature Ki'i so I presented a block of it to Adrian after a short presentation on Tiki and Ki'i carvings of the Polynesian area. I tried to have him come up with observations while looking at the statues and totems of the Hawaiian islands in particular. Examples of what I was looking for? What is this a statue of? Expressions of the Ki'i; funny? scary? Do we see see the entire body or only the face of the "human"? What about the proportions of the face? Tell me about the colors you see, etc. Once he knew "enough" about the Ki'i, he went on to make his own. He made sure his had big teeth, nose and eyes. He also chose to make his very colorful like the modern ones sold commercially but I think it's because he just like colors! :)

tiki in progress
Ki'i in Progress

Opening Coconut
Opening a Coconut with Daddy

I somehow brought a coconut home last week. A whole one. Now, it was my intent to open it, have everyone taste it and  use the shell for bowls during the week...but wow. Are these things hard or what? In the end, my husband opened it in front of the kids and everyone had a taste of raw coconut (yuck! was everyone's verdict except for my husband who somehow likes absolutely everything he's ever tasted). :)

Opened Coconut
Ready to Taste Raw Coconut? 
I usually buy coconut milk or shredded coconut, but
there's a first to everything, right?

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  1. I love it all! I've wanted to do something like this... maybe next summer. Very cool!

    1. We gave it a try and liked it. We're covering themes very lightly this summer but if I would have planned it during the school year, I think Adrian would have liked it even more , you know with volcano studies and Hawaiian geography and all. Just testing the waters this year but for next year, I may include it with more advanced materials and make it a real unit. To be followed...

  2. The grass skirt cutting activity looks like a lot of fun. Great week!

    1. Thanks. It seems very simple but for my preschooler, it was actually quite an achievement and lots of steps. :)

  3. I love the grass skirt cutting activity. We will have to try that after ours have had more practice with scissors. The flower lei activity is really fun. The statue activity is also fun and creative. I love that your activities are all around the same theme. Thank you for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday. I pinned it. (http://pinterest.com/pin/243687029810447359/)

    1. Thanks! I am a very theme-oriented person so that's mostly what you'll find on my blog! :) I'm glad you like the activities we did for our Luau unit.

  4. Great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing! Will be using some for my luau theme next week!