How to Make Hawaiian Leis for Kids

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Leis are the traditional way of saying "Hello" or "Welcome" in Hawaii. They are simple for children to make; they can create one using paper and straws, or they can use real or artificial flowers. Make leis to prepare for a trip to Hawaii, or in preparation for a Hawaiian-themed party. Children can also create leis during a party as a favor to take home with them. Leis require everyday craft items that can be found at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Single-hole punch
  • String
  • Plastic drinking straws
  • Measuring tape
  • Orchids
  • Lei needle or sewing needle

Paper Flower Lei

  • Trace 20 to 30 flower shapes onto construction paper. Use many different colors of paper, and make several different shapes and types of flowers. Make sure each flower has a match, so they can be glued together.

  • Trace matching leaves on green construction paper. Again, make sure you have an even number, and each leaf has a match.

  • Cut out the flowers. Cut out the green leaf shapes as well.

  • Lay the matching flowers and leaves on top of each other. Punch a hole in the middle of the flowers and leaves with a single-hole punch.

  • Cut plastic straws into 2-inch pieces.

  • Cut a piece of string long enough to fit in a loop around the child's necklace, allowing it to hang to the middle of the chest.

  • String a double flower onto the string, followed by a leaf. Add a piece of straw. Repeat with another flower and leaf, followed by another straw.

  • Repeat the pattern, finishing when you have about 2 inches left on either end of the string.

  • Tie the two ends together in a double knot.

Real Flower Lei

  • Gather roughly 50 loose orchid flowers. If the flowers still have the stems, cut them off carefully.

  • Cut a piece of string roughly 90 inches long.

  • Thread a lei needle with the string. Pull the string until the needle is in the center of the piece of string. If you do not have a long lei needle, you can use a shorter sewing needle.

  • Push the needle through the bottom of a flower up through the center and out the top of the flower. Slide the flower down the needle and onto the string.

  • Continue adding flowers onto the string until it is full, except for roughly 2 inches of loose string on either end. Tie the two ends of string together in a double knot.

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References

  • Photo Credit pineapple and lei image by William Berry from Fotolia.com
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