Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Get acquainted with horses at Kualoa Ranch

By Star-Advertiser staff


Hunter Peralta, almost 5, was curious about Blackie but shy about approaching the horse at Kualoa Ranch.

After instructor Makana Kahaulelio introduced the older, male American quarter horse, he warmed up a bit, gaining the courage to brush the horse's mane.

"That's a special place for horses because when they're born, that's where their mommies pet them," said Kahaulelio.

Kualoa Ranch recently launched a new horsemanship class for people who have had little hands-on experience with horses.

Students learn about basic equipment, including halter, bridle and saddle, as well as how to brush and mount a horse properly. If they are comfortable, the lesson ends with a hand-guided ride around the corral.

The horsemanship class is $15 per adult and $5 per child (recommended for ages 5 or older) and available on the third Saturday of every month. Horsemanship classes are also available by appointment, if available.

"We have so many visitors that come to Kualoa who are interested in a hands-on experience with our horses but aren't yet ready for a one- or two-hour guided trail ride," Kualoa President John Morgan said in a news release. "Our new horsemanship class offers the perfect opportunity to meet the horses and learn the basics of horse care."

Kahaulelio said she loves introducing horses to keiki, especially those who have never been close to one.

"It's like being part of that wonder they have," she said. "They overcome that fear and the smile says it all."

Kualoa Ranch continues to offers its one- and two-hour horseback tours for adults and keiki (ages 10 and over and at least 4 feet 6 inches tall).

For keiki too young for regular horseback tours, a $5 guided five-minute horse ride is available to those ages 5 to 9.

Parents taking the tour can place their children in the Kualoa Keiki Experience, available the first Saturday of every month for children ages 4 to 12.

The one-hour experience ($25) includes a guided tour of the petting zoo and exotic animals, along with Hawaiian legend storytelling. The two-hour experience ($40) includes an additional hour of games and activities using Hawaiian canoe plants plus a visit to the Sculpture Garden.

Kualoa Ranch is at 49-560 Kamehameha Highway. Call 237-8515 or visit

-- Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser

Kids invited to take part in scientific discoveries

Build a catapult out of craft sticks, launch gummy bears at a target or make fake wounds and blisters while learning about germs and blood coagulation. 

Science Olympiad Fun Day
>> When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 10
>> Where: Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, 111 Ohe St.
>> Admission: Free, but does not include access to museum exhibits. Museum admission is $6 to $10. >> Call: 524-5437
>> Note: For information on the Hawaii State Science Olympiad, visit or email

Kids can take part in these activities and more at Science Olympiad Fun Day at the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center on Nov. 10, while considering the possibility of joining a team to compete in the Hawaii State Science Olympiad, which has expanded this year to include an elementary school division. 

Eight stations, geared for kids ages 5 to 8, will be staffed by volunteers from La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls and Kalani High School in the museum’s courtyard and lobby areas. 

“The center is excited to partner with the Science Olympiad organization to get children interested and active in the sciences at a young age,” said Liane Usher, president of Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center. 

Kim Strong, a science teacher at La Pietra, serves as director of the Hawaii State Science Olympiad, part of a national organization that promotes science education. 

Hands-on science projects offer a different approach to learning, she explained. “Some kids may not do well at academics, but they can build things or know everything about anatomy,” Strong said. “These types of activities encourage team-building skills and camaraderie.”

Events range from creating ready-to-launch bottle rockets to building vehicles that can stop on a dime. “One of the projects in the state competition is to build a bridge comprised entirely of (uncooked) pasta that’s able to hold 15 kilograms of sand,” Strong said.

“We’ve had a middle and high school competition, but this is the first year for elementary school children,” Strong said. “They research, study, prepare and build things for their events.” 

Teams of 15 kids can be formed from Boy or Girl Scout troops, church groups or even neighborhood kids led by a parent volunteer, she said. 

At the Discovery Center, participants can get a taste of the projects a science group might tackle, such as using coffee filters, a spray bottle and pens to see how colors separate; creating and floating a barge constructed from aluminum foil; or exploring the field of forensics through fingerprints.

-- Nancy Arcayna, Star-Advertiser

Send sugary treats to troops abroad

If you’re worried about the excess of sugary treats collected by your kids this Halloween, Wilfred Miya­saki’s dental office may have a solution.

Trick-or-treaters can earn $1 for each pound of candy brought to the downtown office between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. today. The donated candy will be sent, along with toothbrushes, to military troops stationed overseas. Kids can also write and drop off letters of gratitude, which will be sent along with the candy.

Miyasaki started the candy buyback program to help lower levels of tooth decay and childhood obesity. Candy can be dropped off at 1139 Bethel St. Each person can bring up to 15 pounds.  

Call 533-0000 or visit

-- Nancy Arcayna, Star-Advertiser

Wreath workshops let kids create

The Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House is offering keiki the chance to make ceramic Christmas wreaths as part of a two-part workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday and Nov. 10.

Artist Cheri Keefer teaches the workshop, which results in a keepsake gift just in time for the holidays.

During session one, kids will craft a wreath out of clay. In the second session they will color their wreaths with a variety of glazes. Finished pieces will be fired and can be picked up at a later date. 

Cost is $26 for the two sessions. The class is appropriate for children ages 5 to 12. The Hono­lulu Museum of Art Spalding House is at 2411 Makiki Heights Drive. Call 237-5230 to make a reservation.

-- Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser

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