Preparing the Kids for Hawaii

Jessica and HJ on the beach in Hawaii

My daughter is at a very exciting age. She is learning quickly, remembering details, and drawing her own conclusions about the world around her. As we approach her 4th birthday and our family trip to Hawaii, I find myself thinking that this could be a trip she really learns from and enjoys. How can I help create the fascinating experience that I want her to have? Prepare her for the trip in advance!

The following are things I’m trying to get the kids excited about Hawaii and to deepen their appreciation during our trip!

Look at pictures from previous trips

Because we have family in Hawaii this is an especially good lead up to the trip. Last time we went HJ was 8 months old so we have tons of pictures. “Look! Here you are with your Auntie Isabelle,” “Look! Here you are with a sea turtle,” “Look! Here you are with a waterfall,” etc.

Since we’ll visit many of the same places this time, I’m hoping the kids will recognize them from the pictures.

Read about Hawaii

These are great because they are equally enjoyable for my 2-year-old and my 3-year-old.

Picture Books

Froggy Goes to Hawaii

I’m Reading About Hawaii

Good Night Hawaii

Baby Honu’s Incredible Adventure

Dog of the Sea Waves

Too Many Mangos

Coloring Books

These will be great for the plane ride over!

The Story of Hawaii Coloring Book

My Hawaii Coloring and Activity Book

The How ‘Bout Hawaii Coloring Book!

Read Aloud Chapter Books

I’ve only read one full-length chapter book to HJ so far, but she did great and I need to make this part of our daily routine. I’m going to start with the first book in this series and then skip right to the Hawaii one.

High Tide in Hawaii (Magic Tree House)

Listen to Hawaiian Music

This can also be a great way to get the adults fired up for vacation! Both of these are free to stream if you have Amazon Prime.

Authentic Hawaiian Luau Party Music

Hawaiian Music Ukelele and Steel Guitar

Learn about Hawaii from Movies or TV

These would also be great for the plane ride over!

Lilo and Stitch

If your kids love this one, you could grab a Stitch doll and have the kids take pictures with it on your trip. This could help get the kids excited for taking pictures and make a great souvenir of their trip.


This one is not set in Hawaii, but Hawaii shares a lot of history with the Polynesian Islands the movie was based on. The demigod Maui is featured in the movie and is based on a legendary character in Hawaiian (and other Polynesian) mythology. He was said to have given the secret of fire to the Hawaiians.



Anything else we can be doing to get a 2 and 3-year-old excited for a trip to Hawaii? If you’re headed there soon, check out my tips on visiting Hawaii with a baby.



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4 responses to “Preparing the Kids for Hawaii”

  1. Elaine Parnell Avatar
    Elaine Parnell

    I love that you are preparing the kids for what they will see. We do exactly the same! (although mine are a bit older now at 11 and 13 we started at 3 and 6). Another book your 4 year old might enjoy is The Magic School Bus Blows its Top: A story about Volcanoes (there is a TV series too of course) and for older kids, say 6-9 year olds, Thea Stilton and the Legend of the Fire Flowers (#15)


    1. magnetsfromeverywhere Avatar

      Thanks for the tips! I completely didn’t think about Magic School Bus! We’ll see if we can fit it in, since we just started chapter books I’m still not sure how long each will take!


  2. I love all these ideas!! To get the adults psyched, James Michener wrote Hawaii in 1959–he is a great writer. I think it was also a movie.


    1. magnetsfromeverywhere Avatar

      The grown ups don’t need help getting psyched! We should probably check that out though!


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