Connecting Kids With Nature: How Grandparents Can Help

Are you a grandparent who would like to help connect your grandchild(ren) with the natural world?  Check out these great tips from Richard Louv…  Grand Ideas!  21 Great Ways Grandparents and Grandfriends Can Connect Kids to Nature.  What wonderful ways to bond! My dad and my son, then three, gardening together (Tip #9:  Create a … More Connecting Kids With Nature: How Grandparents Can Help

Create-With-Nature Earth Day Celebration: Beach Labyrinth

Photos of the labyrinth created in the sand, from the Create-With-Nature Earth Day Celebration, 2013, at Stinson Beach, California.  Usually, these are made for meditation, but that’s not how my five-year-old used it.  He had so much fun running around and around and around the winding path.  Either way, the design was appropriate for the … More Create-With-Nature Earth Day Celebration: Beach Labyrinth

Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Photos from a hike in Mount Diablo State Park earlier this week with my Nature Time playgroup. We hiked a section of the Trail Through Time, from the Rock City parking lot to (and up) Sentinel Rock, allowing the kids to climb and play on and in the limestone rock structures and caves as much … More Silent Saturday: Trail Through Time, Rock City, Mount Diablo

Rock Art

Take a child into nature where there are rocks and watch what the child does.  Either the child will pick them up and throw them or he’ll build rock statues. Photos taken Friday, October 5th, 2012, Tioga Lake, California.

Going on a Bug Hunt

While my husband was warming up for his bike race on Saturday (see post here… Cyclo-Cross, Monterey Style), my son recommended we follow one of the nearby trails and go bug hunting.  Excellent idea!  We keep exploration tools (bug viewer, magnifying glass) with us at all times, so we’re ready to go whenever inspiration strikes. … More Going on a Bug Hunt

Go Climb a Tree

We’re lucky to have a couple parks nearby that have great trees for climbing.  The kids are drawn as much to playing on these trees as to the man-made play structures in the parks.  This one is in Kolb Park in Dublin.  Our other favorite climbing tree is in Shannon Park, also in Dublin. Do … More Go Climb a Tree

Create With Nature Zone, Blake Garden, Kensington

Take a child out into nature, and what are they naturally drawn to play with?  It’s pretty universal… sticks and rocks.  So this is the perfect playground for a child… an area filled with sticks and rocks, inviting the child to stack, build, and create.  Imaginations went wild this day.  In additional to the simple … More Create With Nature Zone, Blake Garden, Kensington

Swim in a Lake!

The weather is heating up here in the San Francisco East Bay.  Take a break from the local swimming pool, and cool off in a nearby lake instead. Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore has two swimming areas, East Beach and West Beach.  Swimming is free, but there is a $6.00/vehicle park entry fee. Is … More Swim in a Lake!

Kids ‘n Cameras: Five Tips for Introducing Children to Photography

Just in the past few months, my son has become interested in cameras and photography.  Both my husband and I are into photography, so he sees us using our cameras a lot.  He loves to sit on my lap and watch me while I’m reviewing photos on our computer.  He adores the images of the … More Kids ‘n Cameras: Five Tips for Introducing Children to Photography

My Childhood Play… My Love of Nature

This is the backyard of my childhood home.  These are the places I played as a child, building forts, climbing trees, scaling mountains, running from dinosaurs, becoming a world explorer, digging like an archaeologist, wading in the creek, catching crawdads, watching frogs lay eggs, and observing the development of pollywogs.  This was the play of … More My Childhood Play… My Love of Nature

Look for Lizards

As the weather has been warming up, we’ve been seeing more and more lizards on our walks.  I believe these little guys (they are about 3-5 inches long) are Western Fence Lizards.  We have them all over the place here in the East Bay. Maybe your child(ren) would like to go on a walk to … More Look for Lizards

Family Hike, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, Oakland

After several days stuck home due to sickness, my husband, son, and I headed out today for a short hike through the Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve in the Oakland Hills.  The 1.7 mile Huckleberry Path seemed about the right distance, and I’ve heard from many sources that it’s a great hike to do with a … More Family Hike, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, Oakland

Urbia Adventures: Exploring Nature in San Francisco

A friend recently told me about some fun-looking educational treasure hunting booklets created and sold through the Urbia Adventure League. These booklets were created based upon the concept of letterboxing (which I wrote about last week), but add so much more. Each booklet has at least ten pages packed full of information and activities designed … More Urbia Adventures: Exploring Nature in San Francisco

Letterboxing: The Search for the Gingerbread Man

I’m happy to report that our first letterboxing experience was (mostly) a success.  For our first outing, I wanted to do a search that was, 1) relatively easy, and 2) close to home.  After searching on letterboxing.org for boxes hidden in Dublin, California, I was glad to find there was a box hidden in Dublin … More Letterboxing: The Search for the Gingerbread Man