Encouraging Children’s Interests! | Loft & Learn Thought of the Day


I am so proud of Ace taking the initiative and researching online ways to teach yourself to draw. He found a way to help him draw super hero characters’ which he is fascinated with. It was so inspiring and surprising to see him dedicate such a great deal of time to researching and then practicing the skill until finally he was pleased with an amazing result.

I have to say not just as a proud mama, that I was pretty darn impressed myself. It is so interesting to discover along with your child what their interests and passions are. I never knew that he liked to draw until this moment! Wow, I suppose just exposing our boys to different things and sitting back and observing what they take to is the key.

His little face just lit up as he saw my glee and appreciation of his fine work. I could tell that he was extremely impressed with his hard work. Everyone needs to feel celebrated for their efforts, especially when they produce a pretty cool result.

Although Motherhood has its obvious challenges, the moments like these make the sleepless nights pale in comparison. Being a mommy rocks!!! Great Job Ace.

Fun Day On Campus! | University of South Carolina


      Usc Ace on Campus loft & learn

What a fun day we had touring the University of South Carolina in Columbia. It’s important to us to expose our boys to museums, parks, and many other educational outlets, but none as important than higher education. We often like to visit college campuses during our travels subconsciously introducing them to life on campus.

I believe exposing them to this type of diverse environment at an early age,plants seeds of what life will be like for them down the road. Watching kids reading out on the lawn while catching sun,  where others are gathered in discussion nearby, or a group gathered for fun sports shows them just a peak of the many great benefits and joys of higher education aside from the obvious. We had a picnic and a ball on campus!!!

Usc The fellas loft&learn IMG_20160701_141426 Usc Daddy & Kingston loft&learn USC loft&learn Ace



Rocket Science!!! | Why You Should Get A Tandem-X Rocket Building Kit by Estes

Tandem-X by Estes

Build Your Very Own Rocket And Watch It Blast Off!!!Tandem X Rocket Building Set

What a great alternative to the regular family bonding or reading routine. The Tandem-X Rocket launch set is a sure fire way to keep everyone involved and excited about learning new things. It’s amazing to see just how curious and animated Ace gets while trying to figure out how to follow the instructions along with his dad in efforts to build something “super complicated cool” as he calls it.

Today with so many kids not being interested in math or science it is an awesome way to introduce complex sciences with out being stiffy. He is truly curious about how things can be put together and is learning fundamental theories such as relativity and Newton’s laws of motion and basic engineering.

The Tandem-X Launch Set is a great way to engage with your children while learning yourself (It’s amazing just how much fun science can be) believe me I used to be a skeptic and shut off to learning certain things but by explaining complex things in a simple and fun way, Tandem-X opens up a whole new world of fun and adventure!

Let’s Build A Rocket!!

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Tandem-X Paint loftandlearn

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Tandem-X Rocket Blast Off! loftandlearn

Tandem-X Rocket day loftandlearn

Tandem-X Rocket loftandlearn

Tandem-X Rocket Science loftandlearn

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Tandem-X setup


Tandem-X Launch Set Available On Amazon


Erupting Volcano Science Experiment!!! | The Magic School Bus

Erupting Volcano Science Experiment!!!

Wow what an amazing time everyone had with the Magic School Bus Volcano Erupting Kit

Volcano Science Experiment Feature loftandlearn

I highly recommend this for any inquiring young minds. Ace and Kingston both love to see how things really work and are fascinated by creating things and understanding why they operate.

Being that Ace has lived the majority of his life in Hawaii up to this point having access to live active volcanoes and lava tubes in Hawaii Volcano National Park for example or witnessing the close proximity of the stars at the beautiful Mauna Kea Volcano has peaked a natural interest in the science of how volcanoes work.

This Magic School Bus science project provides an excellent lesson as to how and why volcanoes exist and the depth chart of how far they journey below the earths surface. This cool kit comes equipped with a ton of info including, charts, booklets, graphs and more giving an extensive fun family lesson on the subject!!!

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Below are a few pics of us either in front of active volcanoes or Lava Tubes in Hawaii Volcano National Park

Volcano with Granpa Ernest and Grandma!





loftandlearn.com Hawaii Volcano


This Week’s Travel Spotlight***ULLR FEST AT BOGUS BASIN! | Culture


Acey Fire The Viking

We were so fortunate to be able to attend the ULLR Fest at Bogus Basin Ski Resort this past weekend. This last trip to Bogus Basin also concluded Ace’s Snowboarding lessons and it’s safe to say he’s hooked! We can cross off another item on his wish list. Last season was Tae Kwon Do which he still practices then next up is swim lessons with Kingston and then rock climbing. After Ace turns 6 this summer he is excited for football & baseball. We might as well let him try everything he wants and then figure out what he really enjoys, but I am tired just thinking about it!!!

Jan 23 loftandlearn Ace Jan 23 loftandlearn BB 1

Jan 23 loftandlearn Colin Jan 23 loftandlearn Ace snowboard

Jan 23 loftandlearn A&K boarding      Jan 23 loftandlearn Hold On Kingston    Jan 23 loftandlearn Brotherly Love  Jan 23 loftandlearn All Done With Lessons

It was such a treat to participate in the amazing festival which provided food, drinks,  history lessons, activities and more. Ace and Kingston among other children were given prizes and treats as we were treated to amazing stories of Viking Culture and Folklore.

In Modern Culture within the winter skiing community of Europe the Old Norse god “Ullr” is considered the Guardian Patron Saint of Skiers. An Ullr medallion or Ullr ski medal, depicting the Scandinavian god Ullr on skis holding a bow and arrow, is widely worn as a talisman by both recreational and professional skiers as well as ski patrol in Europe and elsewhere.

Breckinridge Colorado  hosts a week-long festival called “Ullr Fest” each year in January, featuring numerous events designed to win his favor in an effort to bring snow to the historic ski town. Breck Ullr Fest was first held in 1962.

Jan 23 loftandlearn ULLR FEST FEATURE Jan 23 loftandlearn Viking Tools Jan 23 loftandlearn Vikings Invade Idaho Jan 23 loftandlearn Vikings!

Jan 23 loftandlearn Kingston The Red Jan 23 loftandlearn Malaika & Kingston

Your Baby Can Read! | Parenting Tips

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Your Baby Can Read was an awesome addition to our family 5 years ago when ace was about 6 months old. I would turn it on while I was doing my post baby workout routine in my living room in North Miami, Fl. It served as great entertainment and educational tool for Ace well into his 3rd year. Kingston is now also reaping the benefits of this amazing video series for early child education. If you don’t already have this wonderful disc set, (I believe it may have since gone out of production) you can just go to You tube and pull it up along with countless other great learning videos. There are also great videos by Mother Goose, that keep children entertained for nearly an hour, learning the alphabet, working on phonics, singing nursery rhymes and more!!!

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The Mozart Effect | Early Childhood Development

The Mozart Effect : Classical Music and it’s impact on brain development.

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It has been said that introducing classical music to a child even in the womb yields astounding results. Boosting intelligence, kick starting creativity and utilizing both sides of your brain are just a few of the amazing professed benefits.

I am not sure if this is true or not but I can tell you that I practiced this with both of my sons Ace and Kingston. And not only do they also appreciate all forms of music but I believe this really helped with their early childhood development and ability to learn and process things quickly. It also continues to help sooth my 22 month old Kingston through the night and encourages prolonged naps during the day.


We ordered our Classical Music for Kids CDs on Amazon. click link below


mozart cd


Sleep Well,

How to Make Sure Your Gifted Child is Challenged At School! | Education

How to Make Sure Your Gifted Child is Challenged At School!

#giftedchild #giftedchildchecklist #earlychildhoodeducation #realsimple #education
#giftedchild #giftedchildchecklist #earlychildhoodeducation #realsimple #education

The debate of early childhood education is a hot button topic nowadays. The issue of home schooling vs. Traditional school or Public vs. Private school can be a daunting and deeply personal decision for every family. No matter how each family decides to best educate their child I firmly believe that the key to any of those solutions is working with your child at home thoroughly and aggressively. If deciding to trust your child’s development and education to others as we are you have to make sure that you are also doing the most you can to enhance their efforts and hold the instructors accountable as well by including them in your child’s true capabilities. Only you the parent can truly asses where your toddler or young child’s level of learning is because you work and observe them every day on a much more personal level. If your child is advanced or gifted there can be a whole different set of issues that need to be addressed in their development or lesson plans.

There are many challenges that face gifted children at school. Some of them being that the sheer volume of students make it harder for the teacher to really know that your child is advanced. So they may not be as eager to enhance a child’s capabilities, while you at home know the more challenging level of difficulty your youngster may be tackling. Another challenge is that sometimes kids, though bright don’t have the where with all to showcase their skills like we do as adults. For some, they may try to read or (dumb down if you will) to seem apart of the crowd. Or get nervous when the reading teacher comes into the class and takes the child individually to read certain words to test for ability.

An example of this happened with our 5 year old Ace. There are a set of reading words that they are expected to know in class by the end of the kindergarten school year. By week two of the year he was tested along with the other children to see how many of the 60 words he knew. Well he not only knew all of the required words for kindergarten but most of the required words for 1st grade as well when tested in the comforts of home. But at school there were about 8 words that he told the instructor that he did not know for kindergarten and around 10 for 1st grade comprehension (words that he can recite in his sleep).

We know that there are so many things that kindergarten and all teachers must focus on everyday so we made it a point to schedule time out to speak with the teacher individually to discuss Ace and his education. Now because of this there will be special teacher that will come and work with Ace going over 1st grade material that cater to his intellect while keeping him in kindergarten working on socialization with his peers. Our interaction with his teacher was so wonderful because she was able to get a little better understanding of Ace as a person and we were able to hear firsthand of some things that we could do at home that would enhance her lesson plans. It was a true team effort and proves that it most definitely takes a village!

Below I have included an amazing checklist and website from the National Association for Gifted Children so that you can determine if your child has a higher potential of learning http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/my-child-gifted

#smartkid #earlychildhoodeducation #giftedchild #decemberstrong
#smartkid #earlychildhoodeducation #giftedchild #decemberstrong

Happy Learning,


Crazy Horse, Sioux Falls, South Dakota | Travel Spotlight

loftandlearn.com -Crazy Horse

Souix Falls was part of an unforgettable trip out west that I took years back with my late grandfather and family that still serves as one of my best ever!! White water rafting, horseback riding and Mt. Rushmore were several highlights. By far the one thing that left the best lasting impression was the monument of Crazy Horse and the story behind the Korscak Family who set out to pay tribute to this legendary Indian Chief. Their story of love and determination is awe-inspiring and evident in the visitors center. I remember going when I was younger and writing in the guest back that I would be sure to return. Now I definitely plan on keeping that promise with Colin, Ace and Kingston!!

Sioux Falls see you soon!

Recommended Reads on the Subject:

loftandlearn.com Crazy Horseloftandlearn.com --sf-books loftandlearn.com -sf---

Legendary Indian Chief Crazy Horse
Legendary Indian Chief Crazy Horse


Here is a great article from the splendid table about Chef Sean Sherman grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

loftandlearn.com recipe


The Blended Thanksgiving Feast | Recipes

Irish & Soul Food Fusion Recipes

Hey Folks,

While some of you know that Colin is a wiz in the kitchen and our resident chef when it comes to Mexican dishes, party foods and grilled pizzas, I am learning the art of cooking simple yet enticing meals. Together we have yet to cook our own Thanksgiving feast because we are usually either chowing down on  Colin’s or my mom’s delicious food when we are visiting or volunteering at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving day. But this year with Kingston being so little and not able to participate yet,we have decided to tackle our very first Thanksgiving Day meal in Boise.  We are calling it the “blended feast”. It’s going to be a mixture of Irish recipes and Soul food! Yummy.

So far this is what we’ve planned for the menu:

Turkey & Cornbread Stuffing
cheddar mashed potatoes with bacon
Fried Corn
Irish soda bread & sweet water cornbread
Down home mac & cheese

Sweet potato pie & banana pudding cheesecake. (can’t wait)

We’ll let you know how it turns out. Please send in any ideas & recipes for our “blended kitchen” Irish Soul Food Hawaiian Christmas Meal!!

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Thanks and Have a Happy Holiday Season…

National Park Hike and Bike | Family Game Night

Family Game Night Fun!

#familyfun #familygamenight #educationalgames
#family  #educational games

What a Fun night Playing this Hike & Bike Game. This is absolutely one of Ace’s favorite games to play for family game night, and not to bad for us adults as well. My Mom & Dad bought it for Ace this summer and he still can’t get enough of it. It involves learning about all of the National Parks and the different states too, so it has double value. It’s great for families that love to road trip, camp or Rv!!

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Thanks Grandma & Grandpa Ernest!!