Looking for Signs of Spring: A Walk Around the Neighborhood

After school on Monday, we went for a walk around our neighborhood to look for signs of spring. As an extension of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge (Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood), I gave my iPhone to my five-year-old son and asked him to take photos of what he could find.  The signs he saw were … More Looking for Signs of Spring: A Walk Around the Neighborhood

The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

One of the great things about playing in nature is that bouts of exertion and excitement are often interspersed with quiet, contemplative time.  I don’t have to recommend these quiet moments… my five-year-old sits down and calms himself entirely on his own whenever he’s inspired by the beauty around him. I often wonder what he’s … More The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

Neighborhood: Lizard

We enjoyed a walk around our neighborhood yesterday, to look for some “signs of fall” and to collect leaves.  It was another hot day here in the San Francisco East Bay… in the 80’s!  This does not feel like November, but we can’t complain.  The lizards are loving it, too! Also from this walk:  Neighborhood:  … More Neighborhood: Lizard

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

Environmentalism for Kids: Clean up the Neighborhood

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know my son loves to take walks around the neighborhood to pick up trash.  It’s a great, age-appropriate way to introduce young kids to helping the environment. Interested in doing this with your child?  It’s about as easy as it gets.  … More Environmentalism for Kids: Clean up the Neighborhood

First Signs of Fall

Yesterday, I wrote about taking your child out on walk to look for signs of Autumn (Take a “Signs of Fall” Walk).  I didn’t feel the seasons changing yet as I wrote the post, but decided to head out for a walk around our neighborhood with my 5-year-old after I wrote the article.  Here’s what … More First Signs of Fall

Exploring the Ringtail Cat Trail, Las Trampas, Alamo

Another great Outdoor Discoveries outing!  Today, the naturalist took the kids up the Ringtail Cat Trail into Las Trampas Regional Park for a “beanstalk lunch hike” to learn about vines.  This is another of my favorite trails in the area, especially on a hot summer day, as the trail winds above a creek through a … More Exploring the Ringtail Cat Trail, Las Trampas, Alamo

Birding with Kids, Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton

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

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

Our Neighborhood Walk

My boy wasn’t feeling well yesterday and didn’t have much energy. After playing inside the house all morning, by the early afternoon, he was ready for some fresh air. He asked to go on one of our favorite outings… a walk around the neighborhood. We’ve put together several walks from our home over the past … More Our Neighborhood Walk