Archive for the ‘child’ Category

Encouraging Your Child’s Artistic Side

May 4th, 2015
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Activities such as coloring, drawing and painting are part of most children’s lives. Exploring visual arts is an enjoyable activity for kids, and has proven brain-boosting benefits. In fact, making art is the perfect example of learning through play. (In fact, Olivia and I have started to sketch together just this year, and through this I've developed a liking for drawing!)

Stuff I draw

Stuff I draw

Stuff Olivia draws

Stuff Olivia draws

 

“Creating art can play a crucial role in strengthening the brain’s attention system, and helps children to develop fine motor and memory skills,” says Richard Peterson, Vice President of Education for childcare educator Kiddie Academy. “In addition to the cognitive benefits, parents can boost a child’s self-esteem and encourage more art activities by proudly displaying their children’s creations in an ever-changing at-home art gallery.”

Here are five tips for adding more art to your child’s daily routine:

1. Think beyond the white sheet of paper or a coloring book and crayons. Provide a wide variety of mediums for drawing and creating, including newspaper, felt, foam, aluminum foil, wax paper, sandpaper, printed paper, laminated paper, chalkboards and whiteboards.

2. Utilize imaginative drawing materials, such as finger paints, chalk, shaving cream, colored pencils, vegetable stamps and foods such as pudding in addition to the standard crayons and markers. Adding a new way to draw can spark a child’s imagination.

3. Encourage your child to use both scissors and non-toxic glue (with supervision) when creating their art projects. Cutting and pasting are two skills every child needs in school, and each take practice in order to master.

4. Repurpose printed materials you already have to give your child more exposure to the printed word and strengthen literacy skills. Junk mail, catalogs, magazines and coupons are perfect starts for many creative projects.

5. Allow for messy play on occasion. Not every day needs to involve a bath following an art project; however, messy activities can be both educational and memorable for your child. Whenever possible, move messy art project outside to allow for easier clean up.

For more creative art and play ideas, parents can visit Kiddie Academy’s Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/kiddieacademy/, where you’ll find multiple boards full of educational activities, art projects and even recipes for DIY art materials.

Olivia's high tea experience

April 29th, 2015
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by Olivia

2015 Mar_Olivia blog_Tea

This blog is guest written by my daughter! She said she wanted to help me at work, and I told her she could write a blog. Here's my version: http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2015/03/04/a-cup-of-tea/ and here is her take on high tea. She wrote it on paper and I transcribed it for her.

Meya, my mom and I went to tea on Valentine's Day.  The waiter said we had to eat the sandwiches and fruit before we could eat dessert, that were cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberries.  We powered through it in 15 or 10 minutes and we got ice cream. I still have to learn how to walk in heels.  We dressed up all fancy too.  I loved all of it!

Olivia's dog blog, "Kona, my dog that died"

April 27th, 2015
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by Olivia

2015 Mar_Olivia blog_Kona

We buried our dog Kona a couple months ago. This was my blog: http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2015/03/23/burying-kona/, this is Olivia's version, which I transcribed.

We buried Kona, my blonde dog that died.  She was very old.  She got buried on February 16th on Presidents Day.  Her ashes were white.  I almost cried.  I wish she could stay forever.  I loved her very much.  Inca and Kona were best friends when Kona died.  Inca was whimpering to death!  They were like 'bff's' ('best friends forever') sisters!  Forever and ever and ever for life!  I wonder why we buried her in Inca's play yard?! Now they can hang out all the time.

At work with Mommy

April 17th, 2015
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This is why my daughter likes coming to work with me. Here is a pictorial essay of a day we spent at KHON when there was no school due to a holiday.

We very quietly watch Uncle Taizo and Auntie Trini at work on Living 808.

We very quietly watch Uncle Taizo and Auntie Trini at work on Living 808.

We help greet the Living 808 guests.

We help greet the Living 808 guests.

After Mommy's work, we swing on banyan tree roots at Ala Moana Beach Park across KHON.

After Mommy's work, we swing on banyan tree roots at Ala Moana Beach Park across KHON.

We watch a boy catch tilapia and squeal when it comes too close.

We watch a boy catch tilapia and squeal when it comes too close.

We impress Mommy by getting easily across the monkey bars. Then again, someone is a little monkey.

We impress Mommy by getting easily across the monkey bars. Then again, someone is a little monkey.

Now that I think about it, this is why I like Olivia to visit me at work!

Sheraton Waikiki staycation

April 15th, 2015
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For spring break, my family decided to stay the weekend at Sheraton Waikiki. I've stayed at hotels all around it, but I haven't stayed there before, and it has a fantastic kid-friendly pool. You see where my priorities are?

View from our room.

View from our room.

We stayed for two nights, the perfect amount of time to enjoy Waikiki and unwind. One night would have been too short. We were upgraded to a one bedroom suite, which was so kind and luxurious.

Olivia has grown up around privilege. When I worked at Waikiki's top luxury hotel, we regularly stayed there. Rack rates started at $500 and went up to $7,000 a night, and we stayed across all categories.

For years, that was her favorite hotel. Kid has taste. Her standard against which all other hotel rooms were measured was if the room had a chromatherapy hot tub and came with its own butler.

I'm saying all this because it means a lot when she now deems Sheraton Waikiki her favorite hotel. Factors: the pool has a slide;  the same pool has a waterfall; the infinity pool looks cool even though she was not old enough to be allowed in; the view from the room overlooked the pool so we had the best seats for the nightly 3D pool light show.

IMG_5919

Secret to the seven-year-old: Win her over with cool water features. What the kid likes, the mommy likes.

So we passed the time alternating between the pool and the beach. We dug holes in the sand. We all used the slide and liked it. We warmed up in the hot tub and made a new friend for the weekend, a ten-year-old from Texas. We fell asleep in the red-awning pool cabanas.

One afternoon, we walked around Waikiki, and found a little restaurant called Heavenly in the Shoreline Waikiki. We stopped in for a bite and were pleasantly surprised. It's fun to discover new things.

Sea asparagus ice cream.

Sea asparagus ice cream.

Heavenly offered the oddest dessert: sea asparagus ice cream. I like to try new things so I ordered it. It was mildly salty at first and then mellowed out to a sweetness. It was just OK - not horrible, not amazing. I wouldn't order it again, but I liked trying it.

It's fun to be a tourist in my own town. We'll have to do this again soon.

Where's your favorite place to staycation?