Ever since our original Hawaii week, Moira has been obsessed with Hawaii. We've been checking out books, listening to ukulele music, doing hula dances, and she has been planning a trip we are all going to take "soon." She has also been asking to have another potluck culture lunch like the Norwegian one we had with our preschool group. I figured it would be a good thing to combine both, and host a Hawaiian Luau for our friends.
We spent a while talking about how to decorate, and what she was going to wear. Sadly, the original grass skirt I made her died after a lot of vigorous play, so I made her a new one loosely following this tutorial. She decided that a plain white shirt was the right thing to pair with it, since "That's what real hula dancers wear!" I tried to make Davis a little flowered shirt, but he ripped most the flowers off during a diaper change.
The Lei'po'o I made needed minor repairs, and then it was back in service and worn by a number of tiny people.
Of course, the main attraction of the day was the lunch! Seriously, the kids just kept eating. Among the selection were ham/tofu and pineapple skewers, pineapple fried rice, spam fried rice, huapia, plantain chips, dried coconut, and young coconut.
Lori brought the coconut and it took two of us and this youtube video to figure out how to open it. I think all the kids who tried the coconut water liked it, and the adults had fun scooping up the flesh.
I had a bunch of coloring sheets printed up, and the kids enjoyed those until we pronounced the buffet open. There were some interesting conversation happening at this table as questions were asked about different things represented on the sheets, but sadly, I was too busy to catch them.
Then, oh no! There was an earthquake! I explained a little bit about tectonic plates, and how the island of Hawaii was formed. None of the kids could really remember being in an earthquake here, although I know they've all experienced a seismic event. We all banged on the table and floor to simulate the earthquake, and then, by popular vote, the volcano erupted first.
Moira and Davis helped me make the volcano, and decorated the box like Hawaii at sunset. I was skeptical of her color choices, but it does look like pictures of the sunset we've seen.
Seriously, if you want to capture the attention of 15 children aged 6 and under for 45 minutes, talk about natural disasters.
I preloaded the volcano with a bunch of baking soda, food coloring, and glitter. Every kid who wanted a turn got to take a turn pouring the vinegar and causing an explosion. Some kids were hoping that we would refill it, but we had our third natural disaster to do.
Tsunami! One of the children had recently returned from Malasia (if I remember correctly), and seen how they were recovering from the big tsunami from a couple of years ago. We discussed how tsunami's form, and why we don't have to worry as much here in Seattle. Then we set off our own.
I did this before with Moira, and she was able to help me make it happen, but I couldn't make group participation work this time. For one thing, we could only do it once. For another, I made my island too high, and so water was sloshing everywhere in order to make tall enough waves. They still enjoyed it, but most of the group was ready to move on playing and books.
I didn't get around to checking out any books to have at the party. Another family brought theirs, but I didn't manage to get a list.
I said most of the group was ready to move on from the activity, Mikko was not. He wanted to continue the experiment, first by knocking down the whole island, then by dropping meteorites onto it. He was happy with his results.
Thank you to Adventure Bee and Hobo Mama for the good pictures. The weirdly lit ones are all mine.