List of ideas for a beach party
The Great Shell Search
Fill inexpensive containers, sand buckets, or beach totes with play sand. Hide ten (or more) shells in the sand. Give each child their own container and time who finds all the shells in the least amount of time. Game is best played outside as it can get messy!
Musical Beach Towels
A tropical twist on the traditional musical chairs, this party game uses either folded beach towels or luau-themed placements in place of chairs. "Hawaii Five-O" or "Wipeout" is a perfect musical accompaniment.
"Lay on the Leis"
This luau party game can either be an individual or team game. Stock up on inexpensive leis at the dollar store or party store. Pile a equal amount in a center of hula hoops. The number of hula hoops is determined either by the number of kids or teams. Line up kids a distance away from the hula hoops. Then, let the game begin! The children dash to their hula hoop, pile on the leis, and dart back to the starting line. If doing it as a team game, they would then switch leis with their teammate, who dashes to the hula hoop and back. First team with their last team member loaded with leis wins.
Crazy Beach Dress and Dash
Similar to "Lay on the Leis", this game uses luau-themed attire instead but has all the same rules. Pick a variety of clothing and beach accessories to put in the hula hoops. Over-sized Hawaiian shirts, swim trunks, grass skirts, swim goggles, silly visors or floppy hats, leis, and goofy beach bags are all guaranteed to bring giggles to your little party-goers.
Luau Coconut Roll
Have each child take a turn rolling a coconut. If played outside, children can try for distance. For inside play, make it an accuracy game in which the children can aim at different beach-related items.
Set up bowling using empty two-liter soda bottles. If preferred, the bottles can be weighted with sand or water. Colored sand or food color-tinted water is a nice touch. For a ball, use a coconut to continue the luau theme.
Hot Flamingo (or Monkey, Parrot, Pig, etc)
Put your child's beanbag creatures to good use! Pick one with a tropical or Hawaiian connotations and play Hot Potato. This party game can also be done as "Hot Kiwi" or "Hot Coconut". Surfing or beach theme music for background is a must.
Remember duck-duck-goose? Same game but with a luau flair. Let the children pick the animals or items for more participation. Some silly examples include shell-shell-starfish, minnow-minnow-whale and banana-banana-monkey.
Make bingo cards using stickers, luau-theme clip art, or pre-cut foam shapes. Think tropical: palm trees, surfboards, beach shovels and pails, bright flowers, etc. First child to get bingo wins. Great game for a classroom luau celebration or party.
"Pin the Coconut on the Palm Tree"
Another twist on an old party favorite! This game is played just like "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," Have children personalize brown paper coconuts with stickers, glitter glue, and jewels. Each child is then individually blindfolded and spun around a couple times. See who comes closest to sticking their coconut on the palm tree. Pre-printed palm tree posters can be found at party stores or can be painted on large craft paper or sheets. Protect the coconuts from damage by using double-stick tape to attach to the palm tree. They can then be brought home as a luau party craft favor. This game can be customized depending on the luau party theme; try "Pin the Shovel on the Beach Bucket" or "Pin the Surfer on the Surfboard."
Pass the Kiwi
A fun luau team game! Children tuck in the kiwi under their chin and shoulder, race to their teammate, and pass the kiwi to them without using their hands. If the kiwi is dropped, it can be put back into place using hands. Depending on the size of the kids, the fruit can be switched to bananas, mangoes, oranges, or passion fruit.
Stock up on flip-flops at the dollar store for this game! Each pair should be unique in color and size to make matching easier. Make a large pile inside a hula hoop. Each child is given 30 seconds to race to the pile and make as many matches as possible before time runs out. Re-stack the pile after each participant.
The Great Poi Eating Contest
Take the kids to a true luau by giving them each their own dish of "poi". Here's the catch: they eat their portion without using their hands or any utensils. This party game is messy but fun! The poi can be any kid-friendly white food, including vanilla pudding, rice pudding, yogurt, or softened ice cream.
Sharks and Minnows
Here's a playground game that translates well to a luau party! One child is a "shark"; the rest are "minnows". The shark tags the minnows, who then turn into "seaweed". Once turned into seaweed, they cannot move their feet but can help the shark by tagging other minnows with their arms. The winner of the game is the last remaining minnow.
Guess the Shells
Take a beach-theme container, such as a sand bucket or tote, and fill up with specified number of shells. Let the children guess how many shells are in the container. The closest to the right number wins the container and the shells. A perfect way to end a successful luau party!