Fun outing with my Nature Time! playgroup! Redwood Regional Park, Oakland Photos taken October 28th, 2013
I can’t imagine a climbing log with a better view! On the Cypress Grove Trail… a 0.75 loop trail, perfect for hiking with kids. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, California Photos taken September 15th, 2013
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
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
Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures
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
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.
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
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
The highlight of the weekend for my son? A Sunday afternoon bike ride with his dad…. While my husband and son were riding, I enjoyed a nice, quiet walk through the redwoods. Lovely…. Location: Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
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
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!
While visiting Redwood Regional Park in Oakland yesterday morning, I made a fun discovery. We were meeting friends for some nature playtime, and they were running a half hour late. While waiting, my son was having fun riding his bike up and down the paved path while I was strolling along behind him, enjoying this … More Create-With-Nature Pathway
What child could resist playing hide and seek in this redwood forest? Can you find them? At Roberts Regional Park, Oakland… http://www.ebparks.org/parks/roberts. *** You may also enjoy… Nature Play, Roberts Regional Park, Oakland (anaturemom.com)
A child can be absorbed for hours, simply playing in the forest with sticks and pine cones…
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
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
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!
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
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
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!”…
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’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
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
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
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
My favorite spot in the San Francisco East Bay to take kids for a nature walk is Redwood Regional Park, but, for a variety of reasons, we haven’t visited the park for a few months. We had a break in the rain late this week, so we headed to the park for a walk … More Nature Walk, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
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
Letterboxing has been around forever (well, at least, a few hundred years), but I just learned about it within the past year. Though I’ve been interested in trying it out with my son, it somehow seemed a bit overwhelming just to get started. But now I’m ready to begin. If you’re new to letterboxing, like … More Letterboxing: Getting Ready for the Hunt