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Beach party

Aloha! A Hawaiian greating meaning affection and peace but often used in Engligh as a greeting such as hello and goodbye.

No one said it had to be super hot to have a beach party. In fact, a warm sunny day not in the middle of summer is perfect for kids as they won't be so likely to get sun burned. It can also be a great time when beaches are less crowded.

Decorations

Beach parties are a great opportunity to get out all those beach and pool items and use them as scene setters and photo props.  If you're headed to the beach, your location does some of the work for you but with a little imagination you can transform a place. The sandpit becomes a place for sandcastle building competitions. Buckets and spades make great ice buckets, beach towels become table cloths or can be hung over doors and chairs as decorations.  Strategically placing items around the area will help create the right atmosphere. Some items can also be used for games.


Look in garages and cupboards for:

  • beach umbrellas
  • surf boards
  • bogie boards
  • sun hats
  • beach bags
  • bottles of sunscreen (also practical)
  • flippers
  • beach balls
  • buckets and spades
  • beach flags

Another fun way to decorate is by adding balloon sea creatures. These are not only a fun talking piece, they make great prizes for games.


Resources:

Videos:

dress-up ideas

Dressing up is a fun way to get involved in the theme and party atmosphere. Try a few of these items:

  • Hula skirts
  • Lays
  • flowers in hair
  • floral shirts
  • thongs (that's what the Aussies call flip flops)
  • sarongs
  • board shorts

Drinks

Sipping on special drinks at a beach setting is fun for kids, delightful for adults. Here are a few ideas:

  • fruit punch
  • water with a squeeze of lime and mint leaves
  • serve special drinks in cocoa nut husk cups
  • Mini umbrellas are lots of fun but best used when children are over the age of 3-4years
  • sea creature or tropical swizzle sticks are also fun (but make sure they are not sharp if serving to young children)

Food

The food should be influenced by tropical fruits and flavours.  Hawaiian treats and sun filled destinations.  Try these suggestions:
  • chicken, bacon and pineapple skewers 
  • ham and pineapple skewers
Tip: use paddle pop sticks for kids as they are not sharp and are a good size for little tummies. Alternatively, trim of the points of skewers when threaded)
  • mini wraps or burritos filled with chicken pieces or even sausages
  • fresh fruit pieces cut as flowers or as pops on a stick
  • ice blocks
  • cocoa nut pieces
  • cocoa nut ice cut in the shape of frangipani (yellow/pink)
  • mini Hawaiian pizzas

Entertainment & games

Sand sculptures (ages 4+)

Younger kids can help by decorating, fetching water and other items.

Not at the beach, you can use the sandpit!


If you are on the beach you don't have to worry too much about sand. If you are at home, use a sandpit if you have one. Alternatively buy some sand and fill a toddler pool to create one. Players can work in teams or on their own depending on the age of the kids.


Provide each team with access to the same tools ie: buckets, spades, water, twigs and shells for decorating.


Give each team about 10-15minutes to create a sand sculpture explaining that they can only use the items provided to create their master piece, they only have the allotted time and that sculptures will be judge equally on creativity (uniqueness - points out of 10) and construction (stability - points out of 10). The team with the highness score out of 20 (when all the points are added together) wins.


You will need to allocate the Judges before you start and the judge mustn't participate in the building of the sculptures.


Walking in flippers ( age 6yrs +)

Set up your start and finish lines and move all obstacles out of the way.  On the word "go" contestants are to put on a pair of flippers and move as fast as they can to the finish line.  If you only have one pair of flippers, you can time contestants and guenons with the fastest time wins.


Spinning stick (ages 4yrs +)

Standing on a start line with a bit of space between contestants, using a long piece of dowel, have contestants place one end on the ground and put their forehead on the other end (note: It is recommended that the end where the forehead is resting is padded to avoid potential slips with the dowel in the face).


Have contestants walk around the stick three times with their head resting on the padded end. Once completed, constants have to make their way across a pre-determined finish line as fast ass they can.  The fastest person, wins.

Tips: this is a fun game to video as contestants can rarely walk in a straight line.  It's also a good idea to move any obstacles well and truly out of the way.


Hula hoop competition (ages 4yrs +)

Such a simple concept but it takes a bit of getting the hang of... even if you used to be able to do it. You can design all sorts of competitions with hula hoops. You can see who can hula hoop the longest. You can see who can have the most hula hoops spinning around their waste at the one time.  You can even see who can spin the hoops on legs and arms.  Your game, your rules.

Note: hula hoops can be purchased in different sizes for different ages and skills.


Water pistol targets (ages 3yrs +)

What boy or girl doesn't like to test their skill and accuracy with a water pistol.  Set up empty plastic bottles and shoot them down with water pistols. The rules can be varied to suit each situation. You can even hand out various winner titles like 'quick draw (child's name)' for the fastest, 'sharp shot (child's name)' for the most accurate, 'long gun (child's name)' for the one that can shoot from the furthest distance.


Tip: make sure reloading isn't hard by being near a tap or other water source. Make sure kids are in their costume or have a change of clothes as when eater flies, someone usually gets wet.


Quoits (ages 3 +)

The aim of the game is have players stand a reasonable distance away from a peg and throw six quoits (usually rope circles) one at a time onto a peg without missing. The person that gets all six in one go without missing is the winner. If you have more than one winner, you can have a play off until one winner is decided.

It is important to ensure the peg is a suitable distance from the line where people toss from. Suitable being that the organisers need to take into consideration the abilities of their players, young children might need to be closer to the peg and have a different tossing line to adults.


Tug of war (also known as Tug o' War) (ages 4yrs +)

Two teams as equally matched as possible in strength and ability are pitted against each other at different ends of a long rope.  A centre line is marked in the middle of the rope.   The game starts with the two teams lined up at equal distance on either side of the rope with the centre line over a middle marker.


When the game starts, the object of the game is to pull the other team over the centre line or alternatively topple them other side.  Depending on the age and ability of your plays and how strict you want to be, you can introduce the following rules.  Players are not allowed to:


sit down or drop to their knees to get extra pull

elbow other players


Tip: A double length skipping rope can be used as a rope if need be.

Hula dancing (ages 3 +)

Great for a little girls beach party but fun for all ages!

Resources: Check these video's out for a little 'Hula" inspriation

Music

Music is one of the best ways to get a party going.  It creates the feel of the party and prevents that dead air silence when guests are just arriving - instead the right music can welcome guests in.  A beach theme has plenty of great music options.  Here are are few ideas to turn up the volume on your party.

  • Just about any of the songs by The Beach Boys
  • Music for kids from the Catch a Wave: Beach Songs for Kids album by Music for little people
  • Finding Nemo: Ocean favourites album
  • Hula dancing music

Cake ideas

There are lots of beach and water theme cakes.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Sandcastle cake
  • Surf board shaped cake
  • Sand and surf cake decorated with beach towels, umbrellas and sun bathers on the sand and swimmers, sharks and divers in the water
  • Mermaid cake
  • Underwater cup cakes

Party bag ideas

You can make mini beach bags and fill with:

  • Thongs (flip flops)
  • Mini sun screens (kids love to have their own stuff)
  • Water pistols
  • Flower Leis
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