Luau party for kids

How to Plan the Best Kids Luau Party

If you’re throwing a beach or Luau-themed party and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.  We have ideas to plan the perfect kid-approved party. We did this party with children aged 5-12, and everyone had a blast.

Luau Party photo booth


On a  budget?  You do not need to go crazy with decorations.  We used flowered plates and napkins and bought green and pink table-cloth. On the tables, we used flower petals.

We also had large blow-up palm trees and some beach balls around.

We purchased flower clips for each of the girls and greeted each of our guests with a lei.

 Hawaiian music played in the background. We had to have our party inside due to unexpected rain, but we planned to have tiki torches outside.  

Have a big budget, you can add a tiki bar for punch.


Food is an important part of any party.  Planning a kid’s party can be tough because kids are picky and hard to please.  The recipes below have been kid-tested and approved.

Cookies- Cookies are always a big hit with kids.  We made starfish, dolphin, and palm tree cookies, and the kid love them.  

We also made small shells for the pudding (we will go over that later).

The recipe listed below is great for cookie cutters, and they don’t spread.  They are also not as sweet as sugar cookies, so adding the icing won’t be over-the-top sweet.

Palm Tree, dolphin and starfish cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 cup sugar

3 oz cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk

2 1/4 cups flour

Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese. Add vanilla and egg yolk, then add flour a little at a time.  

Do not over-mix.  roll dough into a ball; if it is too sticky, add a little flour.  Roll out and use cookie cutters.  

Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookie is golden brown.

Icing Recipe 

This is the easiest icing recipe I have ever made.  Just place a few spoonfuls of confectioners sugar into a bowl and add a small amount of milk.  

Mix it until the consistency is thick but can still run off the spoon.  It shouldn’t be watery. If it’s too watery add more confectioners sugar; if it’s too thick, add more milk.

You can add a tiny bit of almond or vanilla extract for flavor.  Add food coloring to make the colors.  

We used brown and green for the palm trees and blue for the dolphins; we made a purple color for the shells.  For the starfish, we did not use icing; we melted chocolate and dipped the back of them in it.  

We also purchased edible eyes to put on the dolphins and starfish.

Sand pudding

Sand pudding luau party

Ingredients: instant banana pudding, smashed up sugar cookies, mini shells or crab cookies ( we used cookie cutters to make the shell and crab cookies)

Other Materials: Sand bucket and shovel

Make the pudding according to the package; the amount needed depends on how many kids you have.  We used eight packages for about 20 kids.

Purchase a package of sugar cookies.  

Place 3-4 in a Zip-Loc bag and roll over it with a rolling pin until they are all smashed up and look like sand.  

You can also use graham crackers.

Optional: use chocolate molds to make small beach balls and sunglasses chocolates to add to the pudding.

Clean the beach bucket.  Layer pudding, smashed-up cookies, shells, and crabs until you fill the bucket.  Serve with the shovel.

Beach Jell-O

Beach Jell-O Luau Party Food
Beach Jello-O luau party food

This is one of the kid’s favorites.

Ingredients: Blue Jell-O, smashed up cookies (sugar or graham crackers), Teddy Graham’s, fish jelly candy, colored fruit roll up

Other Items: clear plastic cups and drink umbrella

Make Jell-O according to the package. Fill the cups a little less than half filled.

 Place them in the refrigerator to let them settle a little bit.  Once they are a little settled, place the jellyfish inside.

 Once Jell-O is completely set, add some of the smashed-up cookies. Lay a piece of the fruit roll on top of the cookie crumbs, lay the teddy graham, and place a drink umbrella in.  

Optional: Add a beach ball or sunglass chocolate using the chocolate mold.

Pigs in a blanket

Buy cocktail franks and wrap them with crescent roll dough; bake at 350 or until golden brown.  You can also buy regular hot dogs (a little cheaper), cut them into thirds, and wrap them with the dough.


Luau Punch

We served our punch in a seashell punch bowl

Buy some fresh strawberries and blueberries, wash them, and cut them in half.  Place them in a freezer bag and freeze them. Buy some blue Hawaiian Punch and place it in a punch bowl. Add the frozen fruit.

When you are ready to serve your food, add some of your smashed-up cookies (sand) on all the cookies as garnish.

We also served watermelon; kids love watermelon.

Photo Booth

Luau party photo backdrop

Photo Booths are so much fun at parties.  They are also very easy to make. They are always the kid’s first stop when I throw parties.

You need an empty wall, or you can use the fence if you are doing your party outside.

All purchased items were available at Party City, Amazon, and Oriental Trading.

Buy a beach-themed wall scene and use packing tape to tape it up.  

We purchased two blow-up palm trees and cut out a shark mouth for decorations.  

What’s a photo booth without props?  We used grass skirts, straw hats, leis, large sunglasses, beach balls, beach buckets, coconut bras, and shovels.  The kids had a blast picking out items for their pictures.

Luau party photo booth props


We purchased a limbo stick and played limbo with the kids ( Song Choice Limbo Rock)

Freeze Dance ( play music while the kids dance when the music stops, the kids have to stop dancing.  If someone is moving after the music stops, they are out.  Last kid standing wins)

Musical Chairs

Conga Line

Outside Shaving Cream Twister.  Play the game Twister the usual way but have shaving cream on each of the colored circles.  Messy but fun.

Water Balloon or Water Gun Fight

Sand Art

Temporary Tattoos (summer themed)

Goodie Bags

If you are having a birthday party and need a goody bag idea, purchase small beach buckets, and fill them with a pair of sunglasses, bubbles, candy, or goldfish.

Overall, Luau parties are a great theme for a party. Throw one to bring at the beginning of summer, to end summer, or as a birthday party.  I recommend this party for ages 5-12