It’s that time of year when parents with young children are beginning to plan that very first camp trip with their young child. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve read a ton of articles about camping with kids. What can possible be added to the discussion? I have a few extra tips for … More First Time Camping with Kids? 5 Tips!
For months, my son has been asking when the new Earthquake exhibit will be opening at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Well, it finally opened last weekend, so I took him on Tuesday. How was the exhibit? I thought it was great! First, visitors are shown a short movie about plate tectonics. … More Earthquake! And More… California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
If you read my post yesterday, you know we attended the Nectar Garden Fun Day at Coyote Hills Regional Park on Monday. I invited friends from my Nature Time! playgroup to attend with us, and the kids had a great time running around and playing after they were done with the butterfly activities. A favorite … More Hiking and Playing, Coyote Hills, Fremont
Nectar Garden Fun Day As many of you already know, we’re in the process of creating a butterfly garden in our backyard. So I couldn’t resist attending the Nectar Garden Fun Day with my son yesterday morning at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. This is one of my favorite parks in the East Bay, … More Nectar Garden Fun, Coyote Hills
The baby scrub jay is leaving the nest more frequently, testing his wings… so cute. Every time the baby “screeches” for food, he puffs up and flaps his wings. And here’s mom (or dad)… Related articles Backyard Wildlife… Scrub Jay (anaturemom.com) Bring Wildlife to Your Home – Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (anaturemom.com)
We kicked off our Memorial Day weekend with a great hike with friends from our Nature Time! playgroup. The kids had fun on the trail, playing in the tall grass, and stopping to check out insects (mostly stink bugs). The weather was breezy and cool, but the children didn’t seem to notice. It makes me … More Nature Time! Hike, Dublin Hills
Thank you to FeyGirl at Serenity Spell, one of my absolute favorite blogs, for passing along the Readership Appreciation Award to me! If you are interested in wildlife and photography, I highly recommend you check out Fey’s blog. It’s gorgeous! Now, for the six blogs, each nature-inspired, that I’d like to pass the Readership Appreciation … More Readership Appreciation Award.. Thank You!
We’ve had this one bird feeder in the backyard for almost two years now, without any problems with squirrels. But that changed this week. We now have a small red squirrel who visits us daily, cleans up the seeds dropped on the ground by the birds, and has, unfortunately, begun to raid the bird feeder … More Backyard Wildlife… The Squirrel
The second we noticed it was raining, my boy rushed outside to play in it….
A friend recommended that I check out this park, and we finally made it there a few weeks ago. Creekside Park in San Ramon is a fun little park, with two play areas; one for little kids, one for older kids. This is one of the few parks around that might actually be challenging for … More Great Climbing Structures, Creekside Park, San Ramon
Since the week my son turned three, we’ve been attending the East Bay Regional Parks Outdoor Discoveries program, a naturalist-led class designed specifically for three-five year-old children. Each outing includes a hike and plenty of time for observation, exploration, and play. To make the classes even more fun, I always invite friends from my Nature … More Birding with Kids, Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton
The weather is warming up, so it’s time to find fun outdoor activities for the kids that incorporate water play. Kids love to play in water… any kind of water! The play areas I’ve included in this list are all free and are located within local community parks. If the features aren’t already on in … More Ten Fun East Bay Parks with Free Water Play Features
This little bird is my son’s favorite visitor. He says the bird has “cool creature powers,” as the bird can jump along vertically up our back fence. I believe this is an oak titmouse. All I know is it’s cute, and my son loves it. Also, I’m looking for some suggestions. For bird identification, I’m … More The Little Brown Bird
Quotes from my son while viewing the solar eclipse last evening at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the Berkeley hills… I figure he’ll be seventeen for the next solar eclipse… have to experience these moments while we can!! Related articles 40 Awesome Photos Of The Solar Eclipse (buzzfeed.com) Trans-Pacific ‘ring of fire’ eclipse wows … More “Awesome”… “Wow!”…
We’ve been making progress in planting our butterfly garden, and now we’ve moved onto the next phase… bees! I’ve been researching citizen science programs that might be fun for me and my son to do together. I love the idea of being a citizen scientist, helping in our own way to assist real scientists by … More Learning About Bees: The Great Sunflower Project
We try to attend at least one of our many local farmer’s market weekly. While our primary reason for a visit to the market is to purchase fresh, seasonal, local fruits and vegetables, what my son likes the best is the music. Each of the markets seems to have a different musician or band playing … More The Kora… Outdoor Music at the Farmer’s Market
I thought we’d head to a museum today, but my son asked if we could go hiking instead. Great! When I asked him where he wanted to go hiking, he said, “Dublin Hills!” I liked that answer, as the official trail head (Donlon Point Staging Area) is only a few miles from our home. Easy! … More Fossils, Flowers, and Fun! Dublin Hills
I’ve finally figured out who is living in the nest high up in our oak tree. I can hear the babies chirping, but I haven’t been able to spot the parent bird feeding them. But I’ve finally had success! It’s a scrub jay family. I should have known.. the birds are so territorial, but I … More Backyard Wildlife… Scrub Jay
We’ve been staying home a lot this past week while my son’s been sick with a cold. One afternoon, he asked, “Can I dig for dinosaurs in the backyard?” We have a section of the yard that isn’t landscaped, so that was perfectly fine with me. Dinosaur digging can be done in a patch of … More Paleontology Play! Dinosaur Digging
For Mother’s Day, I wanted to explore someplace new with my husband and our son. I reviewed my “to-see” list, considered outings in the Marin Headlands and San Francisco, and decided, instead, that it would be a great day for a visit to The Arboretum at the University of California Santa Cruz. And I’m … More The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz
Multiple times a day, ever since my four-year-old son could talk, he exclaims, “Mommy, look! Mommy, look! There’s a deer on the hill!!” Of course, he won’t let up until I take a look. Today, his shouts were slightly different. “Mommy, look! Mommy, look! A teenage boy deer on the hill!!” Here’s what my son … More “Mommy, look! A deer on the hill!!”
After tons of research, I finally decided what to plant in our yard to attract butterflies. As you may know, we’ve been creating a backyard wildlife habit, following the guidelines set forth by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). My first goal in creating our butterfly garden was to add plants to our yard that will … More Bring on the Butterflies…
The grasses on the hill behind our home are beginning to dry out. That means it’s weed abatement time. We live in fire country, and it’s required that all flammable and combustible growth within thirty feet of our home must be removed each spring. I completely understand the necessity of this requirement, but it makes … More The Hill Before Weed Abatement
I’m always on the lookout for fun things to do with my son. Today I came across the Spring 2012 Nature Rocks Spring Activity Guide, which is filled with tons of fun nature activities. Coincidentally, it includes a couple activities I recently recommended (take favorite toys outside and do messy art activities outside), but also … More Spring Nature Activities!
One of our favorite parks for play is Roberts Regional Park in the Oakland Hills. This park, nestled in the redwoods, has something for everyone. First, if you have a child, the play structure here is among the best in the Bay Area (and it’s barrier free / wheelchair accessible). But other than that, the … More Nature Play, Roberts Regional Park, Oakland
One of these days, I’ll remember that finger painting really should be done outside….
Simplest of outdoor play… let your child take their inside toys outside. My only constraint? I don’t allow toys with small pieces that can get lost (Lego‘s) or items that can roll under the deck (Marble Run, Hot Wheels). When I was a kid, I loved to take my Barbies outside. They would frequently go … More Simple Outdoor Play: Take Inside Toys Outside
Very cool! Travel Lady with Baby has passed this award on to me. Thank you! I love your blog! *** The rules for this award are that you must answer the following ten questions and nominate ten blogs that you think deserve the award. 1. Describe yourself in seven words. Caring, Loving, Earthy, Passionate, Observant, … More Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award.. Thank You!
This Friday, May 11th, is National Public Gardens Day! Better Homes & Gardens and the American Public Garden Association have collaborated to provide free admission to gardens throughout the United States and Canada. What a wonderful program to help people discover and learn about their local gardens! Interested in attending? Sign up through the Better … More Visit a Garden for Free! National Public Gardens Day 2012
Over the weekend, we went to Sacramento to help my parents plant their vegetable garden. The garden has historically been my mom’s project. However, as my parents have become older (they are now entering their 80’s), the yard work has become more difficult for them. My mom uses a walker, and getting down to the … More Gardening with Grandpa