Welcome! With a Hawaiian Lei


When Hawaiians plan a family get together, they make a lei for everyone coming to the event. Welcome guests to your classroom and school with bright leis.


1. Colorful tropical flower leis are used to welcome people to the Hawaiian Islands. They are worn at weddings and always play a part in big family celebrations. Find out more about this colorful tradition and the kinds of flowers used. Why not start a school tradition of giving leis to visitors? This is one way to create gorgeous tropical flowers with paper.

2. To make 10 flowers, use Crayola® Scissors to cut 20 pieces of paper, each 2 by 4 inches (5 x 10 cm). Fold each piece in half.

3. Hold the folded side with one hand. Cut a flower shape (scalloped edges) along the open sides. Punch a hole in the middle of the folded edge. Unfold. Decorate the flowers with Crayola Color Wave Markers.

4. Glue the folded edges of two papers together with Crayola School Glue. Repeat to make the other nine flowers. Air-dry your 3-dimensional blossoms!

5. Cut 10 oval paper leaves about 2 inches (5 cm) long. Punch a hole in the top of each one. Color the leaves. In Hawaii, these are called ti leaves.

6. Alternate your flowers and leaves on a long ribbon. Attach ends with tape around your neck. Welcome guests with a friendly "Aloha!" and a beautiful lei. How else can you be sure they enjoy their visit?

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Costumes & Masks— CAUTION: When children wear hand-crafted costumes and masks, make sure the crafts do not obstruct the child’s vision, hearing, or impede movement. Do not use feathers, fabric, or raffia on wearable costumes and masks because these items do not pass costume flammability tests. Wearable masks are those held in place on the face with elastic, yarn, or other materials. Keep away from open flames.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.


  • Early Polynesian voyagers, who took an incredible journey from Tahiti, brought the custom of the lei to the Hawaiian Islands. They navigated by the stars in sailing canoes. Study astronomy and plot their probable voyage with a star chart. What other people have used stars to guide their way?

  • Make a timeline of when each state became part of the United States. Link these dates with other events in the world at the time.

  • Listen to Hawaiian music. What instruments are Hawaiian? Ask someone in your community to teach your group the hula, the traditional storytelling dance of Hawaii. How does it resemble today’s popular dances?

  • Assessment: Observe children during the creative process for their ability to concentrate, stay on task, and create a carefully made, creative gift.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Color Wave™ Markers
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • hole punch
  • ribbon
  • clear adhesive tape



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students explore Hawaiian customs and tropical flowers used to make leis.

  • Children adapt one colorful Hawaiian tradition to their classroom or school.

  • Students create colorful paper leis with which to welcome classroom guests.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards