Incorporating theme days into your preschool curriculum is one way to keep kids engaged in learning and inject a spirit of fun into the classroom. One of the most entertaining theme days is Hawaiian day, as it not only incorporates crowd pleasers like hula dancing, delicious treats and a beach party atmosphere, but also includes an abundance of educational opportunities in science, language and art.
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Dress for the Occasion
Encourage parents to dress their children in tropical-inspired clothing for Hawaiian theme day. Hawaiian-print shirts or shorts, or dresses in bright colours with floral or tropical prints will help get the children into the spirit of the day. Purchase grass skirts from a party store or online party retailer, and have them available for children to wear if they wish.
Decorate your classroom to create a Hawaiian paradise. Party supply stores offer an abundance of tropical themed decorations and party supplies. Decorate the classroom with palm trees, coconuts, tropical birds and brightly coloured flowers. Have children bring their favourite beach towel to sit on during story time to enhance the beach party feeling of the day.
Since learning is still important, incorporate Hawaii into your lessons for the day. Choose stories about Hawaii for story time (see Resources for a list of possible titles) and print colouring sheets with Hawaiian images for other lessons. Preschoolers will also be fascinated with volcanoes. To teach a lesson about Hawaiian volcanoes, build a model out of paper mache and use baking soda and vinegar to cause an eruption. At music time, play Hawaiian music and allow your preschoolers to play with Hawaiian instruments like ukuleles, drums, rattles and shakers. If a local dance school offers hula dance lessons, ask an instructor to come to class and teach the children the basics of hula.
Lei-making is an ideal craft activity for preschoolers. Pre-cut flowers from construction or tissue paper beforehand, and punch a hole in the centre of each flower. Have the children thread the flowers onto a length of string, tie off the ends and hang their completed leis around their necks. If your preschoolers are not interested in crafting their own leis, purchase inexpensive plastic or silk flowers leis from a party supply store.
For snack time on Hawaiian day, offer Hawaiian-inspired treats. A fruit tray with tropical fruits, especially pineapple is a healthy snack, or make delicious smoothies with pineapple, coconut and other tropical fruits. Make snow cones in a rainbow of flavours to mimic shaved ice, a Hawaiian treat. Research traditional Hawaiian recipes and choose one or two that are kid-friendly to serve to your preschoolers; be sure to double-check with parents about allergy or diet restrictions before serving any unfamiliar foods.
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