Let’s Have a Luau

Let’s Have a Luau!

Project Title: Hawaiian themed art projects

Description: leis and parrot puppets

Author: Mary Hager

Grade level or Target Age Range: Preschool

Vocabulary: lei, luau, Hawaii, hula

Materials: For leis: string, cutouts of paper flowers with holes in the middle and small cut pieces of plastic straws.  Plan to prepare the flowers and straws before class.  For parrot puppets:  paper cups, red, yellow, and orange construction paper, glue, crayons, scissors, and fake feathers.


Before we made the leis, we learned about Hawaii.  For instance:

  • We talked about how Hawaii is an island.
  • We learned the different animals we might find on Hawaii, such as parrots
  • Last week we made paper volcanoes and the students learned that volcanoes can be found on Hawaii
  • We also talked about leis: how they are usually made with real flowers and how they are important to the Hawaiian culture (people are now greeted with leis when they arrive in Hawaii).
  1.  Take one bead and string it to the bottom of your necklace and tie a knot around it.  This will ensure that the students’ beads will not fall off of their leis.
  2. Demonstrate how to make a lei by stringing a paper flower followed by a small plastic bead (the cut straws).
  3. Explain that there is a pattern to making a lei (bead, flower, bead, flower, bead).

When the students completed their leis, I taught them how to hula dance and then let them dance to Hawaiian music. They absolutely loved this!!

*** Dancing video  <– watch the students learn how to hula dance!

Parrot Puppet:

  1. Cover each paper cup with red or orange paper.
  2. Pre-cut 3 wings (in small, medium and large sizes) from different colored paper.
  3. Glue these wings glued in layers on top of each other to make one colorful wing.
  4. Once the wings are complete, the students will glue the wings on either side of the cup.
  5. Next, cut out one large circle for the head (out of red or orange paper).
  6. Cut a large beak out of paper and glue this in the middle of the circle.
  7. Have students draw eyes on either side of the beak.
  8. Add feathers to the top of the head with glue.
  9. Glue the head to the cup and allow time for the parrot to dry
  10. Once everything is dry, students can use the parrot as a puppet by placing their hand inside the cup.

“Transforming Lives Through Art”

~ Mary Hager