Let’s Visit Hawaii!

Food literacy for young children is all about understanding where our food comes from and how it is grown and eaten around the world. These days it’s difficult for us to travel so let’s imagine visiting a different culture instead, especially a warm place when it’s so cold outside.

Where is Hawaii?

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is a cluster of 137 volcanic islands, of which 8 islands are the main ones that people live on and visit. It is very warm in Hawaii and there are many different tropical and arid landscapes with palm trees, lava fields and species of animals and plants we do not find here in Canada like large swimming sea turtles.

Here are some activity ideas to create a ‘visit’ to Hawaii:

•    Decorate. Create a Hawaiian landscape as a theme in your centre. Add pictures or paintings of palm trees and hibiscus flowers, pineapples, and sea turtles. 
•    Make Hawaiian art. Leis (like a garland or wreath) are worn as necklaces or crowns and are made out of flowers, feathers, shells or seeds. Children can make them out of fabric or paper flowers or shells to wear at the centre or take home as a ‘souvenir’. 
•    Make a Hawaiian feast. Hawaiian food is a fusion of the many cultures that have immigrated to the islands, like the Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese and Americans. Pu pu platters are an assortment of small appetizers and might include taro root cakes, kalua pork, tropical fruit like pineapple or mango and vegetables like carrots, cucumber and cabbage. Finish it off with a special dessert of Shave Ice (see our recipe). Childcare facilities with 8+ children should check with their Licensing Officer about what is needed to serve food.
•    Enjoy Hawaiian music & dance. The Ukelele is a small guitar played in Hawaii. Find Hawaiian songs to play and teach children to Hula dance, a tradition of storytelling through movement and music.
•    Read a book about Hawaii. Too Many Mangos by Tammy Paikai is a story about two children who share their family’s mangos with their neighbours and receive something special in return.

For more ideas and resources:

Learn more about Hawaiian culture and traditions here.