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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Littlest keiki enjoy hula in Manoa

By Alyssa S. Navares

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Cowry shells help tots learn hands-on at Baby aWEARness' keiki hula class, one of several classes the shop offers.

Courtesy PacificNetwork.tv

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See video, read Edgy Lee's blog Life Is Good and find out more about life in the Pacific at http://lifeisgood.honadvblogs.com

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Tiny feet pitter patter to the rhythm of a pounding ipu as parents and toddlers practice hula motions during a class at Baby aWEARness in Mānoa.

The weekly keiki hula class is one of several offered by this sustainable clothing store for children. Kumu hula Malia Helela translates the Hawaiian culture through a sensory experience, focusing on the visual and auditory senses.

"Most babies are born musical and get a huge sense of accomplishment from clapping or waving," said Helela, who has been teaching hula to toddlers for the past year. She uses cold cowry shells to give toddlers a sense of touch, and musical instruments like the 'ukulele and ipu to help increase sensitivity and their sense of hearing.

Baby aWEARness, which opened last year, sells eco-friendly products and is the only cloth-diapering retail store on the island of O'ahu. As part of a resource center that helps families live greener, healthier and happier, the store also offers a full-time lactation consultant who helps mothers who breastfeed. Other classes include baby yoga, healthy cooking, organic gardening and keiki sign language.

For more video, visit the Pacific Network Keiki Channel at http://family.pacificnetwork.tv/Keiki.